Railways in Wales
Although the present-day scene bears no comparison to the railways' peak time over 80 years ago - when, for example, no part of the old county of Glamorgan was more than three miles from a railhead - there are many places to visit by train, and there is much of interest to see.
Scroll down the page to read the introduction, or select links to move directly to your topics of interest.
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National Network pages have been updated to show information up to September 7
or December 13 2014.
Most preserved narrow-gauge and standard gauge railway pages have been updated for 2014, except for the Dean Forest, Llangollen, Pontypool and Blaenavon, and Vale of Rheidol Railways, which will be updated in time for the start of the main season.
Please check the 'Updated' date at the foot of pages before using them to plan visits.
Most of the rail services in Wales are now operated by Arriva Trains Wales, but, in South Wales, First Great Western and Cross Country also make incursions. In the north, some services are operated by Virgin and First North Western. On April 28 2008 a new company, Wrexham and Shropshire, began running trains from Wrexham to London Marylebone, but went out of business in 2010.
The further north and west you travel the fewer and further apart the stations become. With the exception of the section skirting Cardigan Bay around to the Lleyn peninsular (27 stations in 57 miles), stations are also wide-spread; the railway consisting basically of a coastal route in the north and another line which strikes westward across mid Wales before turning along the Irish Sea coast. A branch along the Conwy Valley and a narrow-gauge railway links the two, giving the opportunity of a figure-of-eight Grand Tour of Wales and the Marches.
The Explore Wales Rover tickets offer eight days' travel throughout Wales, and free or discounted admission to many attractions including eight preserved railways.
The size and scope of preserved railways in Wales is extremely varied, and
ranges from short lengths of track in urban environments to railways hidden in the lush
valleys of west Wales, or clinging precariously to some of the most spectacular
mountainside in the UK.
Some are embryo railways with no track of their own as yet, while another has begun to extend its track to reach the site of the highest station in England and Wales.
In Mid and North Wales, preservation is usually tied up with narrow gauge railways which once served the slate industry or - in the case of the Snowdon Mountain Railway - unashamedly targeted the tourist long before tourism became as important an element in the economy of Wales as it is today.
It is hoped that these pages will prove of worth to the Web surfer, the tourist planning a stay in Wales, the rail enthusiast, or to anyone with a passing interest in any combination of the three.
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Copyright © 1996/7/8/9/2000/1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11 /12/13/14 by Deryck
Lewis. All rights reserved.
Page created July 14 1996; Redesigned March 29 1999; Updated June 21 2014
If you have any suggestions, comments, or glitches to report, please contact the author at WalesRails
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