After a break for lunch in Spooner’s café-bar at Porthmadog Harbour Station, continue your journey on the Welsh Highland Railway. Travelling through the stunning Aberglaslyn Pass and round the dramatic foothills of Snowdon, the WHR train finally brings you into Caernarfon. From here, a bus takes you to Bangor Station for your onward main line train connection back to Chester.
The cheapest way to pay for this trip is to buy an All-Zones North Wales Rover, costing £23 for an adult and £11.50 for children. Railcard discounts also apply. This rover ticket is valid for one day on all the main line trains (from Chester westwards) and on the bus from Caernarfon to Bangor. It also entitles you to fifty percent discount on the FR and WHR! The run from Blaenau Ffestiniog to Caernarfon will cost you £17.15 for an adult, with reductions for children and concessions. The fifty percent you save almost pays for the North Wales Rover, which can be purchased at Chester and many other manned railway stations, and from the conductor on board Arriva Trains.
A suggested itinerary is shown below. Due to limitations in Welsh Highland services, the trip can ONLY be undertaken on the following dates:
September: Mondays and Fridays only from 12th September.
October: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays only until 20th October.
|Chester||dep||0855M||0922B||Arriva Trains Wales (T)|
|dep||└ 1032 ┘||Arriva Trains Wales|
|dep||1150||Ffestiniog Railway (A)|
|dep||1415||Welsh Highland Railway (H)|
|Caernarfon WHR Stn||arr||┌ 1650 ┐|
|Caernarfon Bus Stn||dep||1715*||1815*||Arriva Bus Service 5C*|
|Bangor Rail Station||arr||1743*||1843*|
|dep||1809||1902||Arriva Trains Wales (T)|
Similar timings are available on some Sundays in October, but connections and catering facilities may be different – check with arrivatrainswales.co.uk and festrail.co.uk.
M - From Manchester Piccadilly 0750 via Warrington Bank Quay 0824
B - From Birmingham International 0709 via New St 0724, Wolverhampton 0741, Shrewsbury 0821. Connection at Chester from London Euston 0710 via Crewe 0849
S - To Shrewsbury 2026. Connection at Chester to Crewe 1954 (for Birmingham New St 2118) and London Euston 2142, and at Chester to Manchester Piccadilly 2052
C - To Crewe 2041 for connections to Birmingham New St 2148 and London Euston 2356. Connections at Chester to Manchester Piccadilly 2157 and Shrewsbury 2216
* Service 5C from Caernarfon runs every 15 mins until 1845
Merseyrail operate frequent train services between Liverpool and Chester via Birkenhead (every 15 mins daytime until 1830, every 30 mins evening)
(T) Trolley service of cold snacks, and hot and cold drinks, for at least part of the journey.
(A) At-seat buffet service of cold snacks, and hot and cold drinks
(H) At-seat service of hot snacks, plus trolley service of cold snacks and hot and cold drinks.
(R) Spooner’s Café-Bar at Porthmadog Harbour Station.
The Small Print!
The above information is accurate as of 1st September 2011, based on information provided by the various organisations concerned. The Festiniog Railway Company cannot accept liability for any inaccuracies, late changes, or failure of any particular service, or for the consequences thereof. Please note that the buses used in the above itinerary are NOT always wheelchair accessible, and prior notice should be given to train operating companies by wheelchair users.
From 29th October 2011 to 23rd March 2012 inclusive, the Welsh Highland Railway ceases running to and from Caernarfon except for the holiday periods 27th December to 1st January and 11th February to 19th February. A limited weekends-only service will operate between Porthmadog and Beddgelert in November and March. The Ffestiniog Railway will also operate a limited service on Wednesdays and Thursdays only in November and March (see winter timetable for other dates). Note in particular that due to major engineering works, both the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland will be closed completely from 2nd January to 10th February inclusive.