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The 13½ mile narrow gauge line was originally built to carry slate and for many years was worked by gravity. We travel aboard one of the famous double Fairlie steam engines – “Merddin Emrys” for a ride that is typically rocky in places. The terrain changes from the wide open “Cob” at Porthmadog, to the fertile wooded valley in the vale of Ffestiniog and the Snowdonia national park, to the state capital of Wales itself, Blaenau Ffestiniog. Within the first mile of the former LNWR line, on board a class 101 DMU, we pass amongst the old mine and quarry workings and enter the 2¼ mile long Ffestiniog tunnel, Britain's longest single main line railway tunnel. At the end of the tunnel is the wild and remote Lledr valley., After Betws-y-coed the line levels out and we dash along the Conwy Valley to Llandudno Junction, on the Holyhead main line. Finally, we traverse the three mile long double track branch to Llandudno, in 1991 still block-worked with semaphore signals.
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Area: UK North Wales