Seeing as 2021 is almost over with I turn my thoughts towards 2022. I made a bucket list for 2020 and I didn’t manage all of it. I managed some during 2021 but I’ve still got some I want to do and some extras to add to the list.
Cambrian Coast Line
The Cambrian Coast Line starts at Pwllheli and takes you along the scenic coast to Machynlleth where you can either head further down the coast to Aberystwyth or turn inwards towards the mainland to Shrewsbury. With scenic views of mountains one one side and Cardigan Bay on the other, there is no wonder it’s considered one of the World’s Most Scenic Railway Journeys*.
(* I’m not joking! There was even a programme about it!)
Highlights of the journey include the Mawddach Estuary, Barmouth Bridge (pictured above) and the Dyfi Estuary. Also look out for two castles and some little steam trains (*cough* Ffestiniog Railway in Minffordd!) .
Despite the fact that I pass the Northern terminus of this line (Pwllheli) on a daily basis, I have never taken a train along this line. That’s something I intend on rectifying in 2022. Might drag my Dad along with me as he has never travelled along the whole length of the line either… Taid has of course! I am fully aware that the older I get the more like Taid I become.
Conwy Valley Line
Ah now this line I have travelled along the Conwy Valley Line a fair few times in my childhood/teenage years. This line travels from Blaenau Ffestiniog through Dyffryn Conwy Valley to Llandudno. I’ve not travelled it for years but after one recent visit to Blaenau and seeing the train arrive I thought yes, that’s something I want to do next year. Ideally if I can travel along behind a steam charter it would be perfect!
Snowdon Mountain Railway
Photo courtesy of Chris Parry
I am ashamed to say that I have never been to the top of Snowdon! I have been up to approx 3/4 way on the train once but had to stop at Clogwyn station because of snow. So yes next year I intend on travelling all the way to the summit on a train. Aaaand better still, Snowdon Mountain Railway have announced that steam trains return for 2022! Happy days indeed!
Rheilffordd Ffestiniog Railway
My goal for 2022 is to spend as much time as possible on the Ffestiniog Railway… become an utter nuisance basically! No in all seriousness, I want to experience it all! 2022 is a big year for the Railway – various celebrations by my reckoning including 40 years since the line was reopened to Blaenau Ffestiniog (1982 – before I was born!!), the beautiful Double Fairlie that is “David Lloyd George” turns 30 years old and a possibility of a new Double Fairlie being completed. A good year ahead!