The Ffestiniog Railway, Snowdonia

The Ffestiniog Series


A Folio featuring the historical Ffestiniog Railway developed to transport slate through the rugged terrain of Snowdonia

The Ffestiniog Series

Steam? Here? by a Landscape Photographer? A valid question! And one I shall answer in two parts…

Truth be told, it was the steam railways, or more specifically the Ffestiniog railway that introduced me to the Mountains of North Wales. You see, that trip to North Wales as a 12 year old boy would never have happened if not for my fathers ongoing love for steam railways, and in particular the narrow gauge kind found clustered together in the northern corner of Wales.

The combination of steam and landscape has a magical quality, and as I grew to love the mountains I began to understand. For if not for the landscape of these parts, the Ffestiniog Railway would likely not have existed, at least not in the way recognisable today, and that would have been a loss…

A Time Gone By. Meddin Emrys and Prince settle down for the night.

…the need to meet the demand for slate carved from the mountains in the 1800’s meant new methods of transport had to be devised. The Ffestiniog Railway was an engineering achievement of significant scale, built in the 1830’s without modern surveying techniques it traverse’s some of the most difficult landscape in Britain. It did this while maintaining a continuous gradient from Blaenau Ffestiniog enabling “gravity” trans to roll down the full 13 miles of railway carrying slate to the waiting ships at Porthmadog – The first steam engines weren’t introduced until 1863.

So, for me The Ffestiniog Series has a clear affinity with the Landscape, both from my own personal discovery of Snowdonia as well as the railways own raison d’etre. My images in this series focus on the original engines and rolling stock that would have run on the line since Victorian times, to try and capture some of that original magic…

Prince, the oldest working steam locomotive in the world rounds Dduallt tank curve.
Taliesin heading to Tan-y-Bwlch with a goods train
Raising steam at Boston Lodge ready for a days work.
David Lloyd George rounds Whistling Curve with a Victorian train.
Prince heads to Tan-y-Bwlch with a Vintage train.
David Lloyd George heads a train of slate wagons towards Dduallt