About The Welsh Highland Railways

Are you looking for a unique adventure like no other?

Well then…The Welsh Highland Railway is the ideal spot for you! The Welsh Highland Railway or Rhewilffordd Eryri is a 25-mile-long restored heritage railway in the Welsh County of Gwynedd. The tracks operated from Caernarfon to Porthmadog and pass through a number of stunning and popular tourist destinations including Beddgelert and the Aberglaslyn. It truly is a magical experience like no other and will teleport you back in time when steam locomotives were innovative and awe-inspiring tech feats! One thing is for certain, as much as Wales has changed since the times of steam locomotives, the awe of these beautiful trains and the scenery that follows hasn’t.


The History of the Welsh Highland Railways has a long and chequered past with many complex facets adding to the overall history behind this unique railway. The Company was established by an act of parliament in 1832 however, the Welsh Highland Railway did not begin construction until much later and was completed in the 1920s joining Dinas, near Caernarfon with Porthmadog by combining several more minor railways.

Many of these lines ran from the slate quarries of Cwm Croesor to the harbour at Porthmadog. Such as the Croesor Tramway. The Railway struggled with financial difficulties and underfunding throughout its history leading to it being cheaply built and poorly equipped. This lead to the company and railway being leased and run by the Ffestiniog Railway, but unfortunately, this fell through and the tracks were forced to shut in 1936 and parts of the track were then torn up to help with the war efforts in 1941.

It wasn’t until the 1960s, over 20 years since the railway first closed its tracks, that a rally to rebuild the Welsh Highland Railways began.  With many struggles and plenty of controversy in the years that followed the work of rebuilding the railway was forced to happen in stages with the final opening ceremony happening in May 2014.

This is just a brief rundown of the history of the railways and there is a far more complex and detailed story behind the Welsh Highland Railway. If you’re interested in finding out more take a visit to the tracks, soak in the heritage and enjoy the flash from the past!

Train Services

Several train services run along the Welsh Highland Railways, all offering something a little different. This ranges from the scenery you’ll experience to an array of modern/classic train carriages from steam locomotives to the trains you know today! Here are a few of the train services on offer:

Glaslyn Venturer

Travelling the southern end of the Welsh Highland Railway this train service offers wide views of the rolling mountain range before steaming through the famous Aberglaslyn Pass. A stunning view of the Welsh countryside and mountains, a trip you won’t want to miss!

Snowdonia Star

Rolling out from Caernarfon station and travelling 25 miles coast to coast through the stunning foothills of Snowdonia to its final destination at Porthmadog. Pre-order hampers are available to rebook alongside your excursion as well as plenty of time to explore the station facilities and surrounding cafes, bars and attractions the town has to offer.

The Harbourmaster

Rolling out of Porthmadog Harbour Station, this rail service travels 25 miles coast to coast across the rolling foothills of Snowdown and arrives at its destination beside the harbour and castle at Caernarfon. Pre-order hampers are available to rebook alongside your excursion as well as plenty of time to explore the station facilities and surrounding cafes, bars and attractions the town has to offer.

These are just a few of the stunning journeys available to travel on the Welsh Highland Railways!

Food and Drinks

For those of you wondering about the food and drinks options throughout the railway and local area, have no fear as there are plenty of amazing locations and venues packed full of good vibes, good people and even better food! There are several delicious cafes along the way such as Spooner’s, Caffi De Winton and the Tea Room At Tan-y-Bwlch station to stop in for a brew and sandwich before your adventurous day out.

The train carriages also offer on-train hampers, replacing the standard train catering service with a choice of tempting luxury picnic hampers. What’s more, you can even pre-book these hampers alongside your ticket to be collected at the station. We can promise you this, you won’t be short of great options for food for the day!

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