Ffestiniog Celebrates175th Anniversary

Ffestiniog celebrates its 175th anniversary and completion of revived Welsh Highland Railway

From Blaenau Ffestiniog to Porthmadog

The Ffestiniog Railway (FR) was opened from Blaenau Ffestiniog to Porthmadog on April 20 1836. The 175th anniversary of this milestone was marked by a double celebration on April 20 2011, this also being the day when the Welsh Highland Railway between Caernarfon and Porthmadog, rebuilt by the FR, was officially declared completed.

Pete Waterman

With no normal FR and WHR services operating on April 20, the celebratory day commenced with FR chairman, Dr John Prideaux inviting Pete Waterman to unveil a plaque in front of around 300 invited guests at Harbour Station. Pete spoke of the achievements being marked as a testament to the belief that amazing things could be achieved by heritage railways, while also contributing to employment and the economy of the local community.

Llechwedd Quarry

The slate plaque was produced and engraved at Llechwedd Quarry, one of the Blaenau Ffestiniog slate quarry’s the Ffestiniog was built to serve, and collected by an FR train for transport to Porthmadog a few days prior to the unveiling. By the end of the day it had been cemented in the wall of the Harbour station buildings opposite Britannia Terrace at the official junction between FR and WHR lines.

Garratt NG/G16 No. 138

Following the speeches at Harbour station, a special WHR train hauled by Garratt NG/G16 No. 138 took guests from Porthmadog to Pont Croesor where Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas (Welsh Assembly Presiding Officer) spoke of the benefits the WHR brought to the area.

Hartz Railway System

A presentation to Dr Prideaux by representatives of the Hartz railway system in Germany followed before the train continued to Beddgelert. After lunch, guests had the afternoon option of continuing to Caernarfon on the Garratt-worked train before returning to Porthmadog, or travelling back to Harbour station on a train hauled by newly-built Lynton & Barnstaple 2-6-2T replica Lyd and then behind a Ffestiniog Railway special to Tan-y-Bwlch headed by Double-Fairlie Merddin Emrys.


Have your say...

Please note: you have to be logged into the site before you can leave a comment

Liverpool street station in the UK at rush hour

Help and advice with train travel in the UK

Train travel in the UK should be a pleasure, not a headache. So if you’re taking a train on the UK railway, start your journey here. We’ve lots of hints, tips and advice to help you find your way around, travel smoothly and arrive in style by train.

Read more

eurostars passing at 375mph from the drivers seat in france


Welcome to our #railchat page. Our #railchat discussions take place over on Twitter, with our resident expert Phil Marsh. If you would like to get involved, please do join us, and use the dedicated hashtag #railchat. See our previous discussions below:

Read more

Old steam train in Shanty Town Museum

Locomotives & Engines

Our rail network would be nothing without them. From Stephenson's Rocket to British Rail Class 92 and beyond, explore the facts, information and anecdotes behind the steam, diesel and electric locomotives that built the age of the train.

Read more


Latest Tweets


Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh to London Kings Cross by Train

Book in advance with redspottedhanky.com and save 85% advanced bookings.

From £21.00

Buy now

Millenium Dome, London

Birmingham New Street to London Euston by Train

Book in advance with redspottedhanky.com and save 92% on advance bookings.

From £6

Buy now

You may also like...



Follow us on Twitter and become part of our rail community!



redspottedhanky.com is the easy way to buy cheap train tickets online.



Control your business fuel costs with a supermarket fuel card – free to apply, no ongoing account charges and no monthly minimum spend.