Welsh Highland Railway
Caernarfon - Rhyd Ddu
25th July 2007

My first ride on the Welsh Highland Railway - the one running from Caernarfon to Rhyd Ddu, the half way stop pending completion of the line down to Porthmadog. Most confusing because there is another Welsh Highland railway already in Porthmadog. I can't pretend to know much about this line or its stock so I can only comment generally, for instance, this looks interesting but I have no idea what it is. It's clearly a restoration project for someone.

I know that Beyer Garratt locomotives operate on the line and this one, number 138, was the return train passing us en route for Caernarfon - they look powerful.

The line is much more picturesque than the Ffestiniog line, probably because it is much more open moving along a valley rather than hugging a mountain. This looked like mining spoil but I have no idea what - slate, gold??

More spoil, or is it? Maybe it's scree but whatever it is it adds drama to the scene.


Our Garratt, 143 and in black this time, twisted and turned its way up the valley with apparent ease.

More splendour.

Renewable resource.

Having meandered around a lake we continued to climb.

 It's fortunate that the locomotive is articulated.

Arrival at Rhyd Ddu and the engine detached to run round. I can't wait for the next section of line to be opened because, whilst Rhyd-Ddu has pleasant scenery, it is very isolated and there really is little to do but get back on the train and return to Caernarfon. I assume that the next stop would be Beddgelert where one can spend time to more effect. The run through the Aberglaslyn pass is surely something to look forward to. Over many years I have driven through the pass and seen the various tunnels by the rock face and even the old girder bridge in the field near Beddgelert, never dreaming that one day I might be able to travel the line behind steam.

Luggage and cycles etc. what a good idea.

The corporate image - a nice touch.

Back at Caernarfon with its ferris wheel to spoil the view and a look at the old railway tunnel now used by road vehicles. It formed part of the route from Bangor to Afon Wen and Pwllheli now long gone. the royal train was parked somewhere on this section at the time of the investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales in, I think, 1969.

The investiture took place in the magnificent Caernarfon Castle.