Caernarfon rail station

Caernarfon rail station

This station is the starting point of the narrow-gauge Welsh Highland Railway to Porthmadog. The track, which measures 60cm between the rails, opened in stages from 1997, mostly following the route of the original WHR which closed in 1937. The project was managed by the Ffestiniog Railway. The WHR’s tracks join the FR’s at Porthmadog, forming the longest heritage railway line of any gauge in the UK.

The first section of the WHR from Caernarfon to Dinas follows the route of the standard-gauge line from Caernarfon to Afonwen, closed in 1964. That line had itself replaced the Nantlle Railway, which was engineered by George and Robert Stephenson and opened in the 1820s. The track, of 107cm gauge, brought slate and copper from the Nantlle Valley to the slate quay at Caernarfon. Some of the horse-drawn trains conveyed passengers.

The scheme in the 1860s to upgrade the line to standard gauge included tunnelling underneath Y Maes (the square outside the castle). This allowed trains to continue to Bangor, or access Victoria Dock. Earlier stations were replaced with a central facility near Victoria Dock, where Morrison’s supermarket now stands. The tunnel now hosts a local road.

Where is this HiPoint?

Other RAILWAY HiPoints in this region:
Britannia Bridge - originally a tubular bridge by Robert Stephenson
Former rail tunnel, near Llanberis - you can walk through this tunnel, hewn through solid rock
Dinas rail station - terminus of the WHR when it reopened in 1997

Ffestiniog Railway on HistoryPoints.org

Welsh Highland Railway website

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