Travel in style to the highest summit in Wales.
For the sheer beauty of the landscape, this has to rank among the most awe-inspiring train journeys in the world. And when you add that this railway represents an engineering marvel of the Victorian age, you end up with something really special.
In contrast to most other steam railways in this part of the world, the Snowdon Mountain Railway was never designed to transport slate – or any other commodity for that matter. It was built solely for tourists wishing to ride the 4.7 miles from Llanberis to the 3560 ft summit of Snowdon, the highest mountain in England and Wales.
The railway employs a Swiss-style rack-and-pinion system, designed and patented by the engineer Dr Roman Abt. To ensure that the engine can climb the steep gradients, a rotating, toothed pinion mounted beneath the locomotive bites into a double-racked rail. The carriage is pushed rather than pulled by the locomotive and, for safety reasons, the two are never coupled. The carriage has its own brakes for use in an emergency.
The official opening of the Snowdon Mountain Railway took place on 6 April 1896, but disaster struck when the train derailed descending the mountain, resulting in the death of a passenger. After new safety mechanisms were installed, the railway reopened in April 1897, and has safely delivered people up and down the mountain ever since. The Hafod Eryri visitor centre, built of granite and opened in 2009, is a great place to stop for views and refreshments when at the summit.
Snowdon Mountain Railway
Dependent on weather conditions. For full range of fares and opening times visit the website
In Llanberis on the A4086
Bangor Station - 8 miles
Buses stop at station
Only assistance dogs permitted. Trains have wheelchair access.
Full Figure Grid Reference: SH 585 602
OS Landranger map sheet: 115
- 0844 493 8120
- Snowdon Mountain Railway, Llanberis, LL55 4TY