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.
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Expedition Vietnam

My rail ticket from Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) to Nha Trang

Back in 2002 I did my first long haul trip. It was to scuba dive in Vietnam. This blog will be slightly different to my previous blogs as it will mainly feature excerpts from my dive logbook. I flew from Manchester to Paris where I transferred to an Air France flight to Bangkok. On arrival at Don Muang airport all the other passengers got off the plane for an hour but the assistance team took so long coming to get me off that it was time to get back onboard when they arrived. With a new crew we then flew onwards to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon.)

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Eurostar

Three Eurostars await departure at London St Pancras railway station

On Friday 27 July 2018, after several years of thinking about it, I finally travelled on Eurostar through the Channel Tunnel. I travelled on the 17:31 departure to Amsterdam but only as far as Brussels. I arrived in London Euston station on a Virgin West Coast departure from Chester and as it was a warm sunny day (st)rolled the short distance along the Euston Road to St Pancras. On arrival at St Pancras the signage for wheelchair access could have been a lot better, I had to ask some people for directions. Continue reading “Eurostar”

Berlin Rail Travel

Berlin 48 hour transport ticket for zones A and B

Berlin has a good public transport system that is very accessible to wheelchair users. In the west of the city is a system of bus routes that are accessible, though I didn’t use them. Then there are four sorts of rail transport three of which I used last weekend. The Berlin transport authority produces a map that shows which S-Bahn and U-Bahn stations have lifts or ramps, though the ramps such as at Schönefeld  airport can be quite steep.

Regional trains are probably the first you will come across if you fly in to Berlin Schönefeld airport. These are usually red coloured trains and are good for travelling longer distances in the area as they stop at fewer stations.  They have a carriage that has access for wheelchairs and bicycles. There is a button at the door, both inside and outside, to call for a ramp. At Schönefeld station the access is level so you can board unaided, it is possible to board at any door but you MUST board at the correct carriage or there will be no space for your wheelchair and you will be blocking the vestibule. And more importantly there will be no ramp to get off at your destination. Unlike any other trains I have travelled on you have to go down a ramp, rather than up, to board these trains.

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