The Ffestiniog Railway Company operates two narrow-gauge steam railways in Snowdonia. Its origins lie in the volunteer effort to reopen the Ffestiniog Railway, which had closed in 1946. The enthusiasts ran their first trains in 1955, and gradually reopened the rest of the track in stages, reaching Blaenau Ffestiniog in 1982. Control of the old company was taken over by the not-for-profit FR Trust in the 1950s, when a controlling interest was purchased for just £3,000.
From 1997 to 2011 the FR reopened the Welsh Highland Railway from Caernarfon to Porthmadog, where the two railways join, in stages. The combined routes are c.64km in length. The FR's activities have preserved or restored many historic buildings, structures, locomotives, coaches and wagons. The Ffestiniog Railway Heritage Group preserves redundant equipment and documents historical aspects of the railways.
The FR is the oldest independent railway company in the world, being established by Act of Parliament in 1832. It opened in 1836 and introduced the world's first narrow gauge steam locomotives in 1863 - four of which survive to this day.
The FR also operates the world's oldest railway workshops at Boston Lodge, which still builds and repairs locomotives and carriages today. It is unique in having built steam locomotives in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. The first, Double Fairlie Merddin Emrys, was built in 1879 and is still in regular use today. The most recent, Lyd, was completed in 2010.Ffestiniog Railway website
Porthmadog Harbour station
De Winton quarry locomotive
Model steam loco Topsy, built 1869
Boston Lodge workshops
Dduallt station and spiral
Blaenau Ffestiniog station