Ffestiniog Railway - Behind the Scenes

Holiday Highlights

  • Steam Hauled Private Charter
  • Unique behind the scenes access of the entire railway
  • Guided tours and insights from active staff and volunteers
  • 5 days from £975pp
BOOK NOWTailor this tour for independent travel

Tour Dates:
Friday 21 April to Tuesday 25 April 2023
Friday 13 October to Tuesday 17 October 2023

An access all areas tour of one of the most famous narrow gauge railways in Britain, if not the world. Travel the length of the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways’ 40-mile track from Caernarfon on the Menai Straits to Blaenau Ffestiniog, surrounded by mountains and slate quarries. We step behind the scenes of the Ffestiniog Railway and visit sections of the line not normally seen by the average passenger.

"Prior to the holiday I had wondered about the value for money. Having experienced it I realised that it was certainly money well spent." 21 April 2023, Mr M Stoolman, 


Day 1 – Arrive Porthmadog

Arrive in Porthmadog in time to check into the Royal Sportsman Hotel, our base for the next 4 nights on a Bed and Breakfast basis.

Day 2 – Welsh Highland Railway

Today we take the Welsh Highland Railway from Porthmadog through the Aberglaslyn pass and climb through the forest and over the railway’s highest peak at Pitts Head. On arrival in Dinas you have the option of a guided tour of the locomotive workshops including an opportunity to see the latest work on the railways NG15 locomotive 134, or continuing onto Caernarfon to explore the town. We return to Porthmadog on the scheduled afternoon departure. A sandwich lunch is included today.

Day 3 – Ffestiniog Railway

This morning we make a return journey on the Ffestiniog Railway to Blaenau Ffestiniog before returning to Boston Lodge where we take an in-depth ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the works. The tour includes access to many areas that are not usually open to the public, even on guided tours. We will be able to take a tour of the Erecting Shop, Drawing Office, Stores, Running Shed, Old Loco Shed, and Carriage Works. After the tour we return to Porthmadog for a free afternoon. A sandwich lunch is included today.

Day 4 – Behind the Scenes – Special Train

Experience a rare insight into the Ffestiniog Railway with a special steam hauled charter. Our private train includes stops at Minffordd Yard and the Slate Sheds, lonely Rhiw Goch signalbox and loop. We also take our train along the original 'Dinas' branch at Blaenau Ffestiniog to Glan y Pwll Sheds, we also see Dduallt with its spiral and go behind the scenes at Tan y Bwlch. There will be several photo opportunities not usually available en route at Rhiw Goch and Dduallt. We then return to Porthmadog. A sandwich lunch will be provided.

Day 5 – Farewell

After a leisurely breakfast it’s time to check out and say farewell before travelling home independently.

IMPORTANT NOTE - Operational difficulties or requirements and other restrictions may limit or curtail some of the places to be visited but we do undertake to provide a unique insight unavailable to normal passengers or Society members. The special on Day 4 is expected to be steam hauled however in certain circumstances a diesel may be used if steam traction is unavailable for any reason. Please note that as the Railways' timetables are yet to be published the days maybe switched to accommodate our visit.

Tour Route

Tour route map

Selected Hotels

The Royal Sportsman, Porthmadog

Please note - hotel can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • Guided tours as stated
  • Return journeys in 3rd class on the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways
  • Special Train as detailed
  • Accommodation in a good, quality hotel on a bed and breakfast basis
  • Three sandwich lunches
  • Transfers as stated
  • Services of a tour leader throughout the holiday

Price per person

Escorted holiday: £975
Single room supplement: £150
Deposit for this holiday: £100

Booking form

Download your tour booking form here.


Why Choose Ffestiniog Travel?

  • UK's first rail tour operator to run an overseas escorted rail holiday in 1974
  • Created for people who love rail holidays and exploring the world’s heritage railways
  • Dedicated rail holiday specialist - great destinations, sightseeing and unparalled railway content
  • Train ticket supplier for worldwide rail operators - we can plan and arrange your rail journey to anywhere
  • Knowledge of the world’s rail routes makes us leading specialists in escorted and Tailor Made rail holidays
  • Over 60% of our existing rail tour travellers return to holiday with us year after year
  • Committed to supporting rail travel and heritage railways around the world
  • Our profits support the continued preservation of the famous Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways
  • Small, dedicated rail holiday travel team offering an award winning personal service

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