A journey along the Snowden Mountain Railway.

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Snowdonia National Park, the second largest after the Lake District National Park in England, covers an area of 1,352 square kilometers from North Wales. The majestic Snowdon Mountains, covering a fairly small area in its northern part, are undoubtedly impressive. This is a real mountain and the highest peak in the UK, south of the Scottish Highlands. Its height is 1085 meters.

Snowden Railway

In addition to the impressive mountains, the park has rivers, lakes, waterfalls, forests, wastelands and glacial valleys. Remnants of former slate mining and mining, once a major industry, there are also Stone Age burial chambers, Bronze Age burial pyramids, Roman forts, Welsh and Norman castles.

About half a million people annually make ascents, walks or trips on the Snowdon Mountain Railway on a small train that runs from Llanberis in the Welsh county of Gwyneth with the summit of Mount Snowdon. This is a narrow-gauge railway on which trains move. They represent the only red cars that are pushed uphill by steam locomotives or diesel locomotives, and when descending they restrain the movement down. This is due to the fact that the locomotive is not attached to the car. The line is owned and operated by Heritage Great Britain Plc., operator of several tourist sites in the UK.

Railway traffic is seasonal due to severe weather conditions, so it is often closed in winter. The optimal time when you can ride on such a train is from November to March. Nevertheless, even since its operation since 1896, this extremely ambitious feat of engineering remains to this day a very popular tourist attraction.

The weather on Snowdon is unpredictable, changing very quickly with fogs and rain. Therefore, sunlight and clear visibility cannot be guaranteed, and wearing weatherproof clothing is essential. Even on fine days in Llanberis, the weather uphill can be very different. It is always recommended to check the forecast. From the train and from the top (more than 30 minutes on the peak) with views of the Isle of Man and the Wicklow Mountains, Ireland is breathtaking.

The train then begins its descent, returning to Llanberis 2.5 hours after the start of the journey (one hour to the top and an hour downhill at an average speed of 5 mph or 8 km/h with stops). The first departure is at 9 am, trains run at frequent intervals until late in the evening. On holidays and in summer, when the service is very popular and most tickets are sold out, the departure is carried out for half an hour with the last one at 5 pm.

Therefore, it is advisable to book a room in advance or arrive early to avoid disappointment. Trains run on condition that at least 15 passengers are transported. Trains cannot continue to the top when weather conditions become severe. In this case, there are lower stopping places in Clogwin (three-quarters of the point) and halfway, then preferential fares are offered.

Most passengers do not care whether the trains run on steam or diesel fuel. The use of diesel locomotives allows for a larger number of trains with the same number of cars by reducing operating costs and thereby significantly prolongs the operating season. To increase safety, each vehicle is equipped with an automatic brake, which is triggered if the vehicle exceeds a certain speed, the carriage runs away or the locomotive fails.

For guests' convenience, Llanberis and Summit Hotel has souvenir and toiletry shops. Drinks and snacks can be enjoyed at Llanberis's cafe. Here you can also buy a return ticket for £18 (£15 for students). Most of the passengers who are tourists use the train there and back; they are not allowed to leave or join the trains halfway. Down-only trips for those who want to go down can be made from the top and Clogwyn on a backup basis. Bulky luggage is not allowed. The Administration also reserves the right to close, temporarily withdraw or change any facility at any time without prior notice for technical and operational reasons or adverse weather conditions.

At first glance, it will seem that the Snowden Railway is like a toy. In fact, it is the prototype of the fictional Caldifel Railway, which appeared in the book "Mountain Engines", part of the "Railway Stories" by Wilbert Oudry. If you are familiar with the animated series "Thomas and his friends", then it was from this book that the images of the main characters were created. This is an unusual and fascinating place to travel, which is breathtaking and one of the most visited places in the UK.

Based on materials from the website: tourism-review.com

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