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Snowdon Mountain Railway

Snowdon Mountain Railway
Snowdon Mountain Railway Snowdon Mountain Railway
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Let Snowdon Mountain Railway take you on a journey of a lifetime to the rooftop of Wales. Snowdon, at 3,560ft dominates the landscape of Snowdonia National Park in North Wales. Claim this mountain peak, the highest in Wales, as a lifetime's achievement. With stunning scenery and awe-inspiring views it's all part of a great day out for you and your family in North Wales.

Welcome to Snowdon Mountain Railway. Majestic Snowdon dominates the glorious, ancient landscape of North Wales. At 3,560ft (1,085m) it is a true mountain and a place of legend – said to be the burial place of the giant ogre Rhita, vanquished by King Arthur. Some believe that Arthur's Knights still sleep beneath

Llanberis Station
As your train leaves Llanberis you will be beginning a journey of a lifetime. Outside the Station you will begin the steep incline up the first of the two amazing viaducts crossing Afon Hwch. You will then pass a beautiful waterfall and enter an ancient forest. Beyond the waterfall the train emerges into open, treeless countryside and can give you a first glimpse of the sharp craggy peak of Snowdon.

Your journey then takes you to the passing loop in the track at Hebron which is ¼ distance up Snowdon. There is a small ruined Chapel at Hebron which held its last service in the 1950's. It's name still lives on, however, in the passing loop at this point in your journey.

At Half Way point on the mountain your train will move into the second loop in the track and this is where steam locomotives will take on water. There are three passing points on the mountain in addition to one each at Llanberis and at the Summit. The journey between each loop takes approximately 15 minutes. On very busy days you may see all eight trains passing on the mountain. After this brief stop the train will work its way up to Rocky Valley.

The Rack and Pinion System
The rack and pinion system used is that patented by the German engineer Dr Roman Abt. The railway uses double rack rails, fastened to steel sleepers between the running rails. Each locomotive is equipped with toothed pinions (cogwheels), which engage the rack and provide all the traction necessary to scale the steepest inclines. On the way down, the rack and pinion system also acts as a brake.

The railway, laid to a gauge of 2ft 7 ½ in (800 mm) which is common to most mountain railways, consists of a single track with 3 passing loops spaced equidistantly between Llanberis and the Summit. (Hebron at 1069 ft (326 m), Halfway at 1641 ft (500 m) and Clogwyn at 2556 ft (779 m)). The average speed of the trains is 5 mph (8 kph)

The gradient
The total length of the railway is 4 miles 1188 yards (7.53 km), with an average gradient of 1 in 7.86. The steepest gradient on the route is 1 in 5.5. The gradients on the route make it unsuitable for a normal adhesion railway, so a rack and pinion system was installed. Snowdon Mountain Railway is the only public rack and pinion railway in the British Isles.

Steam locomotives
The company currently operates 4 coal-fired steam locomotives manufactured by the Swiss Locomotive & Manufacturing Co. of Winterhur. Three of which are the original ones dating from 1895 and 1896, whilst the remaining one was built in 1922. The first of the original locomotives cost £1525.

The boilers are inclined on the locomotives to ensure that the boiler tubes and the firebox remain submerged when on the gradient, a standard practice on mountain railways. The locomotive always runs chimney first up the mountain pushing a single carriage in front of it. For safety reasons the carriage is not coupled to the locomotive.

Snowdon Mountain Railway - Location Map

LL55 4TY

Tel: 0844 4938120
Early Bird Adult from £12.00
Early Bird Child from £8.00
Weather permitting trains will run every day from late March to the end of October. From March to Early May trains will terminate at either Clogwyn or Rocky Valley (subject to winter weather conditions). The Summit Station is the usual destination between May and the end of October. Trains may be operated by steam or diesel traction.

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List Wales, High Street, Llandysul, Ceredigion, SA44 4DN Tel: 01559 363553 - Tue 22 Jan 2019 07:05:28