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Tourist Trains Midlands & Wales

Scenic and heritage trains in the Midlands and Wales

Ffestiniog Railway

Tourist railways feature historic train rides and scenic routes to provide memorable day trips that are fun for the whole family! Shown: Ffestiniog Railway, Tanygrisiau, Wales. Photo: ©Rob Bishop.

East Midlands

Shackerstone, Leicestershire

Remnant structures and signals crop up along the Battlefield's scenic country route. Diesel and steam-driven locos share haulage duties along this preserved rural line. Highlights include extensive railwayana collections including over 3000 items. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: rail museum, station cafe services, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop.

Ripley, Derbyshire

Initially a horse-drawn tramway for hauling coal and ironstone, today's narrow gauge railway retraces the original route before continuing along a country park extension. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: holiday/event excursions.

Loughborough, Leicestershire

Britain's only full-size mainline steam railway revives the grandeur of trains gone by. Highlights include drive-a-locomotive program. Trains operate year-round. Selected features: dinner trips, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, groups, gift certificates.

Wales

Aberystwyth, Cardiganshire

Scaling Constitution Hill, Britain's longest electric funicular affords striking views of Cardigan Bay and the Snowdonia Mountains. HIghlights at the summit include hiking trails and a replica Victorian Camera Obscura -- an outsized revolving mirror which casts remarkable images of the impressive countryside. Trains operate year-round. Selected features: station restaurant.

Llanuwchilyn, Gwynedd

BLR's distinctive red-and-black steam engine hauls vintage coaches along a 9 mi (15 km) turn, past Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake), and through Snowdonia National Park. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: station buffet, holiday/event excursions, gift shop.

Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan

Some 50 mi (80 km) north of Cardiff, vintage steam locomotives tow observation cars along the full length of the Taf Fechan Reservoir through Brecon Beacons National Park. Highlights include railway workshop, picnic site, children's play area. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: enroute cafe and station restaurant, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, wheelchair access.

Corris, Mid Wales

"In the heart of the land of the little trains," this narrow-gauge railway replicates a short stretch of line first built to haul slate in the mid-19c. Highlights include a replica "Tattoo" class No.7 steam loco; also carriage shed tour. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: rail museum.

Fairbourne, Gwynedd

Narrow gauge railway runs from Fairbourne Village to the Harbor where it meets the ferry bound for the seaside resort of Barmouth. Various attractions, including sandy beach, golf course and cafe, are accessible from the railway's six stations. Highlights include nature centre and driver experience courses. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: holiday/event excursions, online ticketing.

Porthmadog, Caernarfonshire

Built to haul slate in the 19c, today's narrow-gauge steam railway is given over to tourists. The scenic 14 mi (22 km) heritage line stretches from coastal resort of "Port," through Snowdonia National Park to the old mining town of Blaenau Ffestiniog. Highlights include attractions at intermediate stations; train driving experiences. Trains operate year-round. Selected features: onboard snack service, station cafes, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shops, gift certificates, limited wheelchair access.

Bronwydd Arms, Carmarthen

Vintage steam locos tow restored Victorian carriages along a short — 1.25 mi (2 km) — picturesque country line. Kingfishers, heron and otter are sometimes glimpsed along the way. Highlights include picnic grounds and miniature railway; train driving experiences. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: station cafe, holiday/event excursions, gift shop, wheelchair access.

Llanberis, Gwynedd

Along a Snowdonian lakeside, trains filled with picnickers and sightseers have replaced the slate hauling railway of yore. Highlights include an interactive woodland centre and a country park containing crafts workshops and a water sports center. Trains operate seasonally.Selected features: station cafeteria, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, limited wheelchair access.

Llanberis, Gwynedd

Take an awesome rail journey to the 3560 ft (1085 m) summit of Wale's tallest peak. Once reached, the Wicklow Mountains of Ireland and the Isle of Man come into view and a host of ammenities let you hoist a pint or two, shop for souvenirs and send a letter from the highest altitude posting box in England or Wales. Trains operate year-round.

Tywyn, Gwynedd

A rarity is this narrow-gauge line which still operates its own original locomotives and cars along a rail trail extending from the Welsh coast into the rolling green forests of Snowdonia National Park. Trains operate year-round (except January and February).

Henllan, Dyfed

As of summer 2014 the heritage railway is not running. A miniature railway continues to operate. Trains operate seasonally.

Aberystwyth, Cardiganshire

From the resort town of Aberystwyth on the Cambrian coast, original steam engines and carriages of super-narrow gauge traverse the sharp curves and steep gradients first plyed by freight-haulers in the early twentieth century.Trains operate seasonally.

Porthmadog, Caernarfonshire

Not even rails remained, when restoration began along the WHR's abandoned railbed in the 1970s. Today, along the old slate-hauling route, the old line is back and riding high... up from the Cardigan coast and across rugged mountain stretches inside the Snowdonia National Park. Trains operate year-round (except January).

Caereinion, Montgomeryshire

A narrow gauge steam train ride through the delightful Banwy Valley, W&LR's string of stations are replete with attendent shops, outbuildings and yardworks of the sort necessary to support this typical Edwardian line. A large and changing retuine of vintage steam engines and rolling stock complements its service as do the wildlife habitats and authentic period tearoom along the way. Trains operate seasonally.

West Midlands

Stowe by Chartley, Stafford

A popular addition to the Amerton Farm & Crafts Centre, this circa 1890 narrow gauge railway is home to a vintage steam engine affectionately nicknamed "Isabel." Highlights include farm attractions and children's activities. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: cafe/snack services (on farm grounds), holiday/event excursions.

Bridgenorth, Shropshire

A treat for visitors and a practical transport option for residents, England's last remaining inland funicular railroad scales the 111 ft (34 m) sandstone cliffs that separate Bridgenorth's High Town from its Low Town and the River Severn. Trains operate year-round.

Brownhills, Staffordshire

This former coillery railway's 2 mi (3 km) roundtrip along Chasewater shores is popular with visitors to its namesake country park. Highlights include footplate and driving courses. Trains operate year-round (selected days). Selected features: rail museum, holiday/event excursions, train charters.

Cheddleton, Staffordshire

Built to haul sand and stone, these days "The Railway in the Valley" treats passengers to a 5 mi (8 km) trip through ancient woodland, abundant with wildlife. Highlights include dining train; footplate and driver experience courses. Trains operate year-round (selected days; no trains in January). Selected features: station cafe services, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, wheelchair access (some restrictions).

Blythe Bridge, Staffordshire

This one-time coal-hauling railway crosses open moorland and steep forest hills on its 5.5 mi (9 km) run. Highlights include Real Ale Trains; driving experiences; extensive locomotive/rolling stock collection. Trains operate year-round (selected days; no trains in January). Selected features: station cafe, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop.

Bewdley, Worcestershire

Among the UK's best known preservation railroads, standard-gauge steam-hauled trains course an inviting 16 mi (26 km) stretch along the banks of the River Severn. Highlights include luncheon and murder mystery dinner trains; cream tea specials; footplate experiences. Trains operate year-round (selected days). Selected features: rail museum, station cafe services, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, online ticketing, wheelchair access (some restrictions).

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