Welsh Highland Heritage Railway

The Welsh Highland Heritage Railway is a short reconstructed heritage railway in Gwynedd, Wales. Its main station is in Porthmadog.

Welsh Highland Heritage Railway (Rheilffordd Ucheldir Cymru)
Peckett 2024 'Karen', R&H 4wDE 'Glaslyn' & Bagnell 3050 'Gelert' Porthmadog, WHR, N Wales 15.8.1992 (10196767243).jpg
Peckett 2024 'Karen', R&H 4wDE 'Glaslyn' & Bagnall 3050 'Gelert' in 1992
TerminusPorthmadog and Pen y Mount
Commercial operations
NameWelsh Highland Railway Ltd
Built byWelsh Highland Railway Ltd
Original gauge1 ft 11+12 in (597 mm)
Preserved operations
Owned byWelsh Highland Railway Ltd
Operated byWelsh Highland Heritage Railway
Length1 mile (1.6 km)
Preserved gauge1 ft 11+12 in (597 mm)
Commercial history
Preservation history
1961Welsh Highland Railway Society formed
1964WHR Society reformed as Welsh Highland Light Railway (1964) Limited
1980WHR Ltd opened for passenger service
1987Original locomotive Russell restored
2003Original locomotive Russell taken out of service for expensive major overhaul.
2005Celebrates 25 years of passenger train service
2007Extended to Traeth Mawr
2008Last train to Traeth Mawr
2009Operational name changed to Welsh Highland Heritage Railway. Terminus reverts to Pen y Mount.
2014Original locomotive Russel back in service.


The origins of the WHHR lie in a small group of railway enthusiasts, including some disgruntled volunteers from the Festiniog Railway, forming the Welsh Highland Railway Society in 1961,[1] to preserve and rebuild the original Welsh Highland Railway which had operated from 1922 to 1936.

Land running alongside the Cambrian Coast line at Beddgelert Siding was acquired from British Railways in December 1972.[2] Work started on construction of the railway in 1973. A substantial works and engineering facility was constructed on the site of the former farm that was situated in the triangle of land between the Beddgelert Siding, the Cambrian Coast Railway and the original Welsh Highland Railway trackbed. The works have been expanded with newly constructed sheds and the re-use of some of the original agricultural buildings, which include one of the oldest buildings in Porthmadog.[citation needed] A museum of narrow gauge railways is part to the works tour and from 2009, with the construction of a new building, this has more than doubled in size.

The original Welsh Highland Railway has been reconstructed by the Festiniog Railway Company and the Welsh Highland Railway Limited.


The railway offers a short train ride in heritage carriages to Pen-y-Mount Junction (where there is a physical connection to the current Welsh Highland Railway), just under a mile away from Porthmadog. On the return journey the train stops at Gelerts Farm Halt, the location of the workshops and museum, where visitors can also ride on the Miniature Railway before returning to Porthmadog (WHHR).

The railway is mostly run by volunteers, who operate the trains and maintain the railway and its infrastructure.

In 2014, Russell the only steam loco to survive from the original WHR, returned to service after a major overhaul costing about £250,000[citation needed]. Russell had been out of service since 2003.


Lyd2 No. 60 awaits work in Gelerts Farm Works yard

The railway currently operates trains from March to November from their main station, which is located opposite the Network Rail station in Porthmadog on Tremadog Road. Trains run for 1-mile (1.6 km) to Pen-y-Mount Junction, where the railway connects with the WHR mainline. On the return journey, the train stops at Gelert's Farm halt, allowing passengers to visit the museum and a 7+14 in (184 mm) gauge miniature railway.

In 2007 and 2008, an additional short section of line was in use between Pen-y-Mount Junction and Traeth Mawr Loop. This line was built as part of an agreement signed in 1998 with the Ffestiniog Railway and allowed WHR Ltd. to run on the original Welsh Highland Railway trackbed for the first time. As part of the agreement, the section closed and became a construction site when the Ffestiniog Railway constructed WHR mainline from Caernarvon was connected in 2008.


Welsh Highland
Heritage Railway
Former connection (closed 2008)
Pen-y-Mount Junction
Gelerts Farm Halt

Rolling stockEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Hopkins, John (2003) [1999]. The Welsh Highland Railway 1991-2003. John Hopkins for WHR Society. OCLC 42445841.
  2. ^ "Welsh Highland Railway (1964) Ltd" (PDF). Narrow Gauge News. No. 80. The Narrow Gauge Railway Society. December 1972.

Further readingEdit

  • Johnson, Peter (2003). An Illustrated History of the Welsh Highland Railway. Oxford Publishing Company. ISBN 0-86093-565-5.
  • Turner, Alun (2003). The Welsh Highland Railway: a History, 4th edition. Stenlak Publishing. ISBN 1-84033-263-8.

Coordinates: 52°55′54″N 4°07′37″W / 52.931656°N 4.126984°W / 52.931656; -4.126984 (Porthmadog, Welsh Highland Heritage Railway)


External linksEdit