The Great Little Trains of Wales

The Welsh Highland Railway at Porthmadog

The Great Little Trains of Wales are 11 narrow gauge, mainly steam, railways. Most are in north and mid Wales, with one in south Wales. They came together in 1970 for marketing purposes. They are the Bala Lake Railway in Llanuwchlyn (near Bala), the Brecon Mountain Railway in Merthyr Tydfil, the Fairbourne Railway in Fairbourne, the Ffestiniog Railway in Porthmadog, the Llanberis Lake Railway in Llanberis, the Snowdon Mountain Railway also in Llanberis, the Talyllyn Railway in Tywyn, the Vale of Rheidol Railway in Aberystwyth, the Welsh Highland Railway in Caernarfon, the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway in Porthmadog and the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway in Welshpool.

The Welsh Highland Railway that runs from Caernarfon meets up with the Ffestiniog Railway in Porthmadog where they share a station and by crossing the platform and changing trains it is possible to do a 40 mile run from Caernarfon to Blaenau Ffestiniog or vice versa.

Below you can find the wheelchair access information for each of these lines, I will add a detailed blog of each of the railways in the coming months as I visit (in some cases re-visit) each of them.

Bala Lake Railway

Bala Lake Railway Ltd.
The Station
L
lanuwchllyn
Gwynedd
LL23 7DD

Tel: 01678 540666

www.bala-lake-railway.co.uk

The Bala Lake Railway (Rheilffordd Llyn Tegid) is a 2ft (610 mm) narrow gauge railway running along part of the track bed of the former standard gauge Ruabon to Barmouth line. It currently runs for 4.5 miles (7.2 km) along the southern shore of Bala Lake between the stations at Llanuwchllyn and Bala with its headquarters at the Llanuwchllyn end. It has plans to extend the railway by 0.75 miles (1.2 km) in to Bala town centre.

The railways website gives no information about wheelchair access but my research shows that the stations are accessible and each train can carry 2 wheelchairs.

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Brecon Mountain Railway

Brecon Mountain Railway
Pant Station
Merthyr Tydfil
Mid Glamorgan
CF48 2DD

Tel: 01685 722988

www.bmr.wales

 

The Brecon Mountain Railway (Rheilffordd Mynydd Brycheiniog) is a 1 ft 11.75 in (603 mm) narrow gauge railway running along part of the track bed of the former standard gauge Brecon and Merthyr Railway. It runs for about 4.5 miles (7 km) between stations at Pant and Torpantau.

The railway is wheelchair accessible and the details are on their website here.

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Fairbourne Railway
Beach Road
Fairbourne
Gwynedd
LL38 2EX

Tel: 01341 250362

www.fairbournerailway.com

 

The Fairbourne Railway (Rheilffordd y Friog) is a 15 in (311 mm) narrow gauge railway running along the beach front. It runs for 2 miles (3.2 km) from Fairbourne to Penrhyn Point for the Barmouth Ferry across the Mawddach estuary to the seaside resort of Barmouth.

The railway is wheelchair accessible and a wheelchair accessible carriage is available upon request, capable of holding a maximum of two wheelchairs (the area available for wheelchairs is 900 mm x 2800 mm).

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The Ffestiniog Railway c.1900

Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways
Harbour Station
Porthmadog
Gwynedd
LL49 9NF

Tel: 01766 516000

www.festrail.co.uk

The Ffestiniog Railway (Rheilffordd Ffestiniog) is a 1 ft 11.5 in (597 mm) narrow-gauge heritage railway. It runs for 13.5 miles (21.7 km) from the harbour at Porthmadog to the slate mining town of Blaenau Ffestiniog.

The railway is wheelchair (but not mobility scooters on the trains) accessible and the details are on their website here.

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Llanberis Lake Railway

Llanberis Lake Railway
Gilfach Ddu
Llanberis
Caernarfon
Gwynedd
LL55 4TY

Tel: 01268 870549

www.lake-railway.co.uk

The Llanberis Lake Railway (Rheilffordd Llyn Padarn) is a 1 ft 11.5 in (597 mm) narrow gauge heritage railway that runs along the northern shore of Llyn Padarn . It runs for 2.5 miles (4 km) between Llanberis and Pen Llyn in the Padarn Country Park.

The railways website gives no information about wheelchair access but my research shows that the trains are accessible but there is limited space available.

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Snowdon Mountain Railway

Snowdon Mountain Railway
Llanberis
Gwynedd
LL55 4 TT

Tel: 01286 870223

www.snowdonrailway.co.uk

The Snowdon Mountain Railway (Rheilffordd yr Wyddfa) is a 2 ft 7.5 in (800 mm) narrow gauge rack and pinion mountain railway that runs to the summit of Mount Snowdon. It is a tourist railway that travels for 4.7 miles (7.6 km) from Llanberis to the summit of Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales, though sometimes owing to weather conditions it doesn’t run the full length to the summit.

The railway is wheelchair accessible and their website states “Snowdon Mountain Railway operates a disabled access policy. Wheelchair users and passengers with mobility issues are asked to call us to discuss any particular requirements prior to booking.

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Talyllyn Railway

Talyllyn Railway
Wharf Station
Tywyn
Gwynedd
LL36 9EY

Tel: 01654 710472

www.talyllyn.co.uk

 

The Talyllyn Railway (Rheilffordd Talyllyn) is a 2 ft 3 in (686 mm) narrow gauge preserved railway. It runs for 7.25 miles (11.67 km) from Tywyn on the Mid-Wales coast to Nant Gwernol near the village of Abergynolwyn.

The railway is wheelchair (but not mobility scooters on the trains) accessible. When I last visited there were 3 wheelchairs in the carriage.

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Vale of Rheidol Railway

Vale of Rheidol Railway
Park Avenue
Aberystwyth
Ceredigion
SY23 1PG

Tel: 01970 625819

www.rheidolrailway.co.uk

 

The Vale of Rheidol Railway (Rheilffordd Cwm Rheidol) is a 1 ft 11.75 in (603 mm) narrow gauge preserved railway. It runs for 11.75 miles (18.9 km) from Aberystwyth on the Mid-Wales coast to Devil’s Bridge.

It is wheelchair accessible but at the moment not all trains (until last year no trains were) are so it is best to call in advance. There is one accessible carriage but the railway runs a two train timetable in high season, there should be a second accessible carriage in service by the end of 2019 and four (two per train) by the end of 2020. Their access statement can be found here.

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Welsh Highland Railway

Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways
Harbour Station
Porthmadog
Gwynedd
LL49 9NF

Tel: 01766 516000

www.festrail.co.uk

The Welsh Highland Railway (Rheilffordd Eryri) is a 1 ft 11.5 in (597 mm) narrow-gauge heritage railway. It runs for 25 miles (40.2 km) from Caernarfon to the harbour at Porthmadog.

The railway is wheelchair (but not mobility scooters on the trains) accessible and the details are on their website here.

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Welsh Highland Heritage Railway

Welsh Highland Railway Ltd.
Tremadog Road
Gwynedd
Porthmadog
LL49 9DY

Tel: 01766 513402

www.whr.co.uk

The Welsh Highland Heritage Railway (Rheilffordd Ucheldir Cymru) is a short 1 ft 11.5 in (597 mm) narrow-gauge heritage railway. Its main station is at Porthmadog and it runs just 1 mile (1.6 km).

The railway is wheelchair  accessible and the details are on their website here.

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Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway

Welshpool & Llanfair Light Rly.
The Station
Llanfair Caereinion
Welshpool
Powys
SY21 0SF

Tel: 01938 810441

www.wllr.org.uk

The Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway (Rheilffordd y Trallwng a Llanfair Caereinion) is a 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge heritage railway. It runs for 8.5 miles (13.7 km) from the town of Welshpool via Castle Caereinion to the village of Llanfair Caereinion.

The railway is wheelchair accessible at the stations at either end of the line (but not those between) and on the trains, their details can be found here.

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If you have any further questions please post them below and I will try to answer them for you.

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