“ The Talyllyn Railway (Rheilffordd Talyllyn) is a 2 ft 3 in (686 mm) narrow gauge preserved railway line running for 71⁄4 miles (11.8 km) from Tywyn on the Mid-Wales coast to Nant Gwernol. Despite its name it does not quite reach Talyllyn Lake, a large glacial ribbon lake at the foot of Cadair Idris. „
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Talyllyn Railway is a narrow gauge steam railway situated in the beautiful countryside of Mid Wales. The little line runs for just over 7 miles of the Fathew Valley, giving visitors lovely views of the valley and surrounding hills and mountains.
Your journey will start at Tywyn Wharf. Here you can buy your tickets, wonder around the shop and the little museum, or even have a sit down in the cafe. You'll find the staff (volunteers) friendly and helpful should you want to ask any questions.
Make sure you're wrapped up warm before you get on the train as it can be a little cold and drafty at times. Don't forget, these trains aren't modern! Although, they have been lovelingly restored by the volunteers.
The horn will sound and you'll be on your way. The steam train will start chugging out of the station and towards the hills, passing the sheds and workshops. You might see one or two workers along the way. You'll certainly see lots of sheep on the hills!
There are a few stops along the way, these being:
Pendre - This was the original passenger station in Tywyn. Here you will pass the Carriage sheds, workshops and loco shed.
Rhydyronen - This station is situated within a wooded area. The station is a request stop, but is ideal for those staying at Tynllwyn Caravan Park.
Brynglas - This station is actually located in the hamlet of Pandy.
Dolgoch - This is a popular stop and one I would recommend stopping off at. The reason is, here you'll find the Dolgoch Falls. The train can also take on water here and should you need to relieve yourself of some water you'll find some toilets here.
Abergynolwyn - If you're hungry or thirsty, I would certainly recommend getting off here. Abergynolwyn station has a refreshments room and the food is delicious. (Trains will often stop here for refreshments on the way back to Tywyn.
Nant Gwernol - This is an isolated station and the end of the line, but you will find a number of footpaths should you wish to go off and explore.
The train then turns around and makes it's way back to Tywyn.
Talyllyn Railway has a number of special events throughout the year, but they are well known for their Santa Specials at Christmas time.
The Santa Specials are usually held on the weekend before Christmas as well as on Christmas Eve. It is best to book early as seats will often go quickly. The steam train will take you and the children on a journey to Plas Nadolig. Here the children will meet Santa (or Father Christmas as I know him) where they will receive a present each. There's also time for photos, if you wish.
A note for the kids: You may also find Duncan (from the Thomas the Tank Engine stories) running on the line, but I believe Sir Handel has been filling in for him this year while he's repaired.
I'm a big kid, but a little too old for the Santa Special, so a couple of years ago my parents and I booked tickets for the "Spirit of Christmas" on Christmas Eve. We were given a train ride to the end of the line and back, stopping at Abergynolwyn for a delicious Christmas buffett (this year I believe the buffet is held back at Tywyn Wharf). The ride took around 2 hours and along with the buffet it was well worth the money.
An adult Day Rover ticket will cost you £12.
Children between 5-15 (accopanied by an adult on a Day Rover ticket) - £2.
Otherwise children are half the adult fare.
Under 5's travel free.
If you are in a group, discounts may apply.
Other discounts include a 20% discount for a full round trip if you arrive at Tywyn via a National Rail train on the day of travel. Other discounts are also available.
The main station (Tywyn Wharf) is situated in the seaside town of Tywyn on the Mid Wales coast, so why not make a weekend (or even a week!) of it and stay locally. Other nearby towns include Aberdyfi, Machynlleth, Barmouth and Dolgellau.
You can get there via National Rail (as already mentioned), car or bus. There is a car park at Tywyn Wharf, where buses may also park.
So why not have a lovely day out on a little train of Wales on the Talyllyn Railway?!