Itinerary Planner

Mid Wales Steam Rail Tour

View of the Vale of Rhiedol

Leave the car behind for a few days and travel on the mainline Cambrian and Cambrian Coast Line and jump aboard five of Mid Wales'  great  little trains at locations along the route; the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway, Rheidol Railway, Corris Railway, Talyllyn Railway, Fairbourne Railway and the Ffestiniog Railway. 

You will travel 170 miles on a scenic rural and coastal railway and 30 miles on narrow gauge steam railways, staying in Machynlleth, Barmouth and Porthmadog. You'll find information about places to stay on visitmidwales.co.uk so that you can pre-book and drop off your luggage when you arrive and not have to carry it around with you!

For each stage of the journey, there are notes available with points of interest along the line including old lines and stations that are now closed and, for the return journey, some details of services on our route from 50 or 60 years ago in the age of steam.

Day 1 | Depart Shrewsbury for Welshpool

Your journey starts at Shrewsbury with a short trip down the Cambrian Line to Welshpool which takes about 20 minutes. From Welshpool, you will depart to travel on the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway.

Journey notes available for rail enthusiasts - see Points of Interest Shrewsbury-Welshpool.


About the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway

Originally the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway ran through the town to exchange sidings here next to the goods yard. Today the narrow gauge line starts just to the west of the town at the terminus at Ravens Square. You'll need to drop off your luggage before joing the Steam Train; it is just under a mile between the two stations.

The Cambrian Line was realigned and the current main line station was built in 1993 to facilitate the provision of a new road to by-pass Welshpool. The adjoining old station, a lavishly designed and detailed French Renaissance style building, was constructed in 1869/60 to house the headquarters of the Oswestry and Newtown Railway; however the building's role as headquarters was short-lived - just a couple of years. We can visit this building as it now houses an Edinburgh Woollen Mill’s shop.

From the Old Station, straight ahead for the town; if you are staying at the Royal Oak , the hotel is at the crossroads on your right and you can drop off your luggage and have some lunch. Straight on at the crossroads/traffic lights for more lunch venues and shops. Continue in the same direction up out of the town to Raven Square station which is by the roundabout at the junction of the A458 and the A490. The terminus at Ravens Square is the former station building from Eardisley on the Hereford to Hay-on-Wye line.


Afternoon in Llanfair Caereinion

Opened in 1903 to link the rural community of Llanfair Caereinion with Welshpool, this 2 foot 6 inch narrow gauge railway was built as a Light Railway to avoid some of the costs of railway construction. Passenger services ceased in 1931 but freight on the line continued until it was closed by British Railways in 1956. Restoration of the line began in 1959, the first passenger train ran from Llanfair to Castle Caereinion in 1963 and by 1981 the line was open again to Welshpool, some 8 miles.

All trains are steam hauled, either by one of the original locomotives built in 1902 (‘The Earl’ and ‘The Countess’) or one from abroad - Sierra Leone, Antigua in the West Indies and Germany. The carriages in regular use are from Hungary and Austria.

The Station at Llanfair Caereinion has a cafe on site and the Cloverlands Museum that houses a collection of model cars.


Evening & Overnight in Aberystwyth

If time allows, take a stroll along the banks of the Montgomeryshire Canal or Powis Castle Parkland before jumping back on the Cambrian Line to Aberystwyth


Day 2 | Depart Aberystwyth for Machynlleth

Day 3 | Depart Tywyn for Fairbourne and Barmouth

Day 4 | Depart Barmouth for Porthmadog

Product Information

  1. Shrewsbury Railway Station

    Shrewsbury Railway Station

    Shrewsbury railway station is the hub for many rail services to and from Wales.

    Address

    Castle Foregate, Shrewsbury, SY1 2DQ

    Tel:

    0800 464 0000
  2. Mid Wales Rail Trails | Shrewsbury-Welshpool

    Mid Wales Rail Trails | Points of interest on the train journey between Shrewsbury to Welshpool

    Address

    Depart Shrewsbury Railway Station, Shrewsbury - Welshpool, SY1 2DQ
  3. Welshpool Tourist Information Centre

    The local Tourist Information Centre provides information on attractions, activities and events in the area as well as offering advice and help on booking accommodation.

    Address

    1 Vicarage Gardens, Church Street, Welshpool, Powys, SY21 7DD

    Tel:

    01938 552043
  4. Y Trallwng | Welshpool

    Welshpool is nestled in the heart of the picturesque in north Powys / Severn Valley. Explore Powis Castle, take a scenic walk along the Montgomery Canal, or browse the independent shops and traditional markets for local treasures. Discover the area's rich heritage at the Welshpool and Llanfair…

    Address

    Welshpool, Powys, SY21 7DD

    Tel:

    01938 552043
  5. Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway

    A narrow gauge train trip in up the steepest gradients in Britain. Steam locos and coaches from around the world. Shops and picnic areas at both termini.

    Address

    The Station, Llanfair Caereinion, Welshpool, Powys, SY21 0SF

    Tel:

    01938 810441
  6. Montgomery Canal

    The Montgomery Canal in the Mid Wales Marches is a haven for wildlife and tranquility with many Sites of Special Scientific Interest along the way.

    Address

    Welshpool, Welshpool, Powys

    Tel:

    01938 553271
  7. Vale of Rheidol Railway

    All aboard for an unforgettable 12 mile journey from Aberystwyth to Devil's Bridge travelling up 680ft through some of Wales’ most spectacular scenery on a historic narrow-gauge steam railway.

    Address

    Park Avenue, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 1PG

    Tel:

    01970 625819
  8. Aberystwyth

    Welcome to Aberystwyth - a beautiful and lively seaside town on the Mid Wales coast. Enjoy stunning natural beauty, cultural attractions, unique shopping and dining, and a range of accommodation options. Easily accessible by railway, bus, or car, Aberystwyth is the perfect destination for your next…

    Address

    Ceredigion, SY23 2AG

    Tel:

    01970 612125
  9. Corris Steam Railway & Museum

    Ride in an old fashioned steam train on a journey that is enjoyable for everybody and just right for families. Take a gentle trip down the beautiful Dulas Valley in one of the observation carriages on this family-friendly steam railway. The Corris Railway is a narrow gauge (2 foot 3 inch) railway…

    Address

    Station Yard, Corris, Gwynedd, SY20 9SH

    Tel:

    01654 761303
  10. Rheilffordd Talyllyn Railway

    Historic narrow-gauge steam railway set in beautiful, unspoilt southern Snowdonia. Running from Tywyn to Abergynolwyn and Nant Gwernol, the line passes the delightful Dolgoch Falls and there are excellent forest walks at Nant Gwernol.

    Address

    Talyllyn Railway, Gorsaf Wharf Station, Tywyn, Gwynedd, LL36 9EY

    Tel:

    01654 710472
  11. Fairbourne Railway

    Narrow Gauge Steam Train journey offers superb views of Cadair Idris mountain range and Mawddach Estuary. G-Scale Railway and museum at Fairbourne. Can be accessed from Barmouth by means of the pedestrian ferry.

    Address

    Beach Road, Fairbourne, Gwynedd, LL38 2EX

    Tel:

    01341 250362
  12. Abermaw | Barmouth

    Barmouth is one of the most picturesque resorts on the Welsh coast and is surrounded by the unrivalled splendour of the Snowdonia National Park.

    Address

    Gwynedd, LL42 1LS

    Tel:

    01341 280556
  13. Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways

    The Ffestiniog Railway in the heart of the Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park is the oldest independent railway company in the world, established in 1832.

    Address

    Porthmadog Harbour Station, Porthmadog, Gwynedd, LL49 9NF

    Tel:

    01766 516000
  14. Mid Wales Rail Trails | Barmouth to Porthmadog.

    Mid Wales Rail Trails | Points of interest travelling on the Cambrian Line from Barmouth to Porthmadog.

    Address

    Barmouth Railway Station, Station Approach, Barmouth - Porthmadog, LL42 1LS

Itinerary Distances

FromToDistance * (metric)
Shrewsbury Railway Station (52.71176,-2.74979)Mid Wales Rail Trails | Shrewsbury-Welshpool (52.71176,-2.74979)0
Mid Wales Rail Trails | Shrewsbury-Welshpool (52.71176,-2.74979)Welshpool Tourist Information Centre (52.65965,-3.14723)24.7
Welshpool Tourist Information Centre (52.65965,-3.14723)Y Trallwng | Welshpool (52.66036,-3.14638)0.09
Y Trallwng | Welshpool (52.66036,-3.14638)Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway (52.6524,-3.32126)10.66
Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway (52.6524,-3.32126)Montgomery Canal (52.65841,-3.14551)10.7
Montgomery Canal (52.65841,-3.14551)Vale of Rheidol Railway (52.41114,-4.07912)62.06
Vale of Rheidol Railway (52.41114,-4.07912)Aberystwyth (52.41246,-4.08311)0.28
Aberystwyth (52.41246,-4.08311)Corris Steam Railway & Museum (52.65359,-3.84191)28.28
Corris Steam Railway & Museum (52.65359,-3.84191)Rheilffordd Talyllyn Railway (52.58367,-4.08884)16.58
Rheilffordd Talyllyn Railway (52.58367,-4.08884)Fairbourne Railway (52.69511,-4.05084)11.4
Fairbourne Railway (52.69511,-4.05084)Abermaw | Barmouth (52.72233,-4.05626)2.75
Abermaw | Barmouth (52.72233,-4.05626)Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways (52.92395,-4.1271)20.65
Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways (52.92395,-4.1271)Mid Wales Rail Trails | Barmouth to Porthmadog. (52.72206,-4.05613)20.68
Total Distance *208.79 miles
Estimated Journey Time6.72 hours

* Approximate distance by road

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