Snowdon Mountain Railway
From 2009, the Snowdon Mountain Railway has operated to its new Summit Visitor Centre: Hafod Eryri.
It is one of the Great Little Trains of Wales.
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Snowdon Mountain Railway is Britain's only rack and pinion railway, and
celebrated its centenary in 1996. In Summer 2009, Hafod Eryri, the new summit visitor
centre was opened. (The summit is pictured (right), as loco
Padarn and its train prepare for the descent)
It takes passengers from the station at Llanberis to within 66 feet of the summit of Snowdon - at 3,560 feet, the highest mountain in England and Wales - the terminus being 3,494 feet above sea level. From Llanberis, the train covers a vertical distance of 3,354 feet in 4 miles 1,100 yards, taking around an hour to complete the journey, with an in-train commentary revealing the secrets of Snowdonia, rich in landscape, wildlife, history and myth.
Hardly an inch of the single track (with passing places) railway runs on the level, the average gradient being 12.8%, and the steepest 18%. At the summit, there is a licensed bar, cafe, souvenir shop and a posting box for letters and postcards. The highest in England and Wales, mail carrying ordinary postage stamps plus those of the SMR are franked Summit of Snowdon - Copa'r Wyddfa.
On fine days the views from the train and from the summit are unsurpassed, and the Wicklow Mountains of Ireland and the Isle of Man can be seen. Snowdon is a wild, untamed part of Britain, and because of its unpredictable nature, clear sunny days cannot be guaranteed. The summit is frequently in the clouds, so appropriate clothing should be worn. To ensure the safety of passengers, at times of bad weather, trains may terminate at either Clogwyn or Rocky Valley. (Please note: there are no facilities at either of these halts)
Four steam and four diesel locomotives operate the services on the 800mm-gauge line, which is single track, with passing places at Hebron, Halfway and Clogwyn. The oldest of the steam locomotives dates from 1895, while the most recent arrival (in 1992) was diesel loco No. 12.
One of the SMR trains is pictured in spectacular scenery typical of the SMR
route) Weather permitting, the Snowdon Mountain Railway operates from March
15th to November 2nd, but does not run to a strict timetable.
Except at peak periods, the first train is scheduled to leave Llanberis at 9am, then at regular intervals until mid to late afternoon. At peak times (Bank Holidays and from mid-July to early September) trains run at roughly half-hourly intervals, with the last possible departure at 5.pm. Trains do not usually run with fewer than 15 passengers, and at slack periods the time of the last train may be brought forward.
Including a half-hour (15 mins at Rocky Valley) wait at the terminus, round trips are 2½ hours to the summit, just under 2 hours to Clogwyn, and just over 1½ hours to Rocky Valley. Heritage steam trips take a little longer
Return tickets entitle the holder to a return trip on the same train as
they made their outward journey, and seats on later trains cannot be guaranteed.
Single tickets (Llanberis-Summit) are principally intended for people who are going to walk from the summit (allow about 2 hours). Single tickets for the descent are sold at the Summit or Clogwyn on a standby basis only, and are subject to availability.
There is also an 'Early Bird' fare on the 9.00am
traditional diesel departure, for tickets booked at least one day in advance.
|Traditional Diesel Service||Llanberis - Summit Return||Llanberis - Summit Single||Llanberis - Clogwyn Return||Llanberis - Clogwyn Single|
|Heritage Steam Service||Llanberis - Summit Return||Llanberis - Summit Single||Llanberis - Clogwyn Return||Llanberis - Clogwyn Single|
9 am train only)
|Llanberis - Summit Return||Llanberis - Summit Single||Llanberis - Clogwyn Return||Llanberis - Clogwyn Single|
|Early Bird Adult||£21.00||£14.00|
|Early Bird Child||£12.00||£8.00|
There are also special fares for parties of 25 or more, and for bad weather operation to Clogwyn or Rocky Valley.
Telephone booking are subject to a booking fee of £3.50 per transaction. The online booking charge is £3.50
Telephone 0871 720 0033 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make your booking.
Also in Llanberis, on the opposite side of the lake in Padarn Country
Park, is the Llanberis Lake Railway, adjoining the Welsh
Slate Museum. Overlooking the lake is Dolbadarn Castle.
Electric Mountain is a science centre with art galleries, natural history films and displays, and a live weather station. It is also a starting point for tours of Port Dinorwic power station.
Llanberis station is located 7½ miles from Caernarfon on the A4086 to Capel Curig.
The nearest station on the national railway network is at Bangor, from where Llanberis may be reached by buses via Caernarfon, or a less-frequent direct service from Bangor. In the summer months there is also a direct bus service from Llandudno, which is also on the national railway network.
For details of connecting services, including travel planner and timetables, visit the Traveline Cymru website.
Select this link to access the Snowdon Mountain Railway's official web site.
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Copyright © 1996/7/8/9/2000/1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11 by Deryck Lewis.
Photographs copyright © Snowdon Mountain Railway. All rights reserved.
Page created March 20 1997; Redesigned March 29 1999; Updated March 24 2014
If you have any suggestions, comments, or glitches to report, please contact the author at WalesRails