Something of a rarity – a surviving branch line on the national rail network
The Conwy Valley Line has a rich heritage. If you are taking a trip on this line, several traditional features are worth looking out for, including the station buildings and semaphore signals. In addition to passengers, the line was used to carry slate from Ffestiniog to a quay at Deganwy on the Conwy Estuary, ready for export.
The line opened in stages between 1863 and 1879. It can claim the longest single-track tunnel in the UK, occurring on the last section of the line into Blaenau Ffestiniog. The tunnel’s engineers took advantage of innovative techniques using dynamite and pneumatic drilling developed on the Fréjus Rail Tunnel, which linked France to Italy through Mont Cenis in the Alps. The Conwy Line tunnel is straight, apart from a slight curve at the northern end.
Most of the stations along this route have been adopted by local people, and their volunteer work has transformed the stations’ appearance. Look out for the beautiful station platform gardens at Talycafn, North Llanrwst and Dolwyddelan.
Make sure not to miss the impressive viaduct in Dolwyddelan, known as Pont Gethin after local contractor Owain Gethin Jones, who completed the magnificent structure. The history of this line is faithfully recorded at the Betws-y-Coed Railway Museum, which is in the former goods yard. It is well worth a visit to take you back in time, not to mention the cornucopia of cakes and pastries available at the station cafe! You will not be disappointed.
- Accessible by Public Transport
- Buggy Access
- Good Walks Nearby
- Wheelchair Access
Llandudno Junction off the A55
Bus stop to main stations outside the railway station
Full Grid Reference Number: SH 784819
OS Landranger map sheet: 115
- 08457 48 49 50
- Conwy Valley Line, Llandudno Junction, LL31 9NB