As a teenager in the 1960s, I enjoyed several visits to North Wales – either on geography field trips, or walking holidays, staying overnight in youth hostels. On a number of occasions during those visits, I walked through the beautifully rugged Aberglaslyn Pass, following the line of a long defunct railway. This included walking through three short tunnels, hewn through protruding outcrops of rock.
Research using my local library back in Coventry, revealed that what I had walked along was part of the line of the narrow gauge Welsh Highland Railway, which had closed in 1937. A few years later in 1941, the track and rolling stock had been requisitioned by the Ministry of Defence, to support the ongoing war effort.
Much as I liked the idea that one day, what must have been a most wonderful scenic railway line, might be rebuilt and brought back into use, I never imagined that it would ever happen. Yet amazingly it has! Under the auspices of the neighbouring Ffestiniog Railway Co., who in 1995 gained control of the trackbed and other assets, from the Official Receiver, the Welsh Highland Railway has been progressively reopened so that it is now possible to travel 25 miles/40 km from Porthmadog to Caernarfon through the scenic delights of Snowdonia.
Therefore on the morning of Thursday 21st April, after an excellent night’s sleep and a hearty full Welsh breakfast, courtesy of Linda, my hostess at Bryn Derw B & B, I set off to drive the short journey from Talsarnau to Porthmadog, to enjoy a train journey I never thought I would ever experience. I was also blessed with a warm sunny day and clear skies, enabling me to see and photograph the rivers and mountains of this beautiful part of the world.
On my train journey north, from Porthmadog to Caernarfon, I had problems taking photographs, because of getting reflections back from the glass of the carriage windows. Below are a few least affected by this problem.
Caernarfon is famous for its castle, which towers above this delightful town.
On the return journey to Porthmadog, I was in a carriage where it was possible to lower the windows and avoid the problem of glass reflection. Below are a selection of the many photographs I was able to take, without distortion or interference.