This is a beautifully preserved steam railway in the heart of Llangollen. Its station boasts a most picturesque setting and was once used by Queen Victoria. The route the train follows is short, but impressive and Carrog is a most splendid location and, although it is devoid of any substance, the thirty minute turn around allows one to savour and and enjoy the Weslsh coutryside.
What I liked: The station and is so well presented and cared for; a distinct reminder of what it is to have pride in one's ventures - a time when we believed in ourselves. The locomotive was fantastic and the smell of the smoke and the sound of the engine working hard to pull us along at a leisurely 25mph were just great. Staff were friendly, helpful and courteous. The trip is rather short - but for a family with small children, its just long enough. Scenery is excellent - and the view from from the bridge at Carrog simply melts you away into the landscape.
What I didn't like: The rest rooms (toilets) were awful and in need of a deep clean from top to bottom. Catering at the cafe is a disappointment: Childrens meals are either chicken nuggetts or suasages (in this day and age?) and coffee comes from one of those infernal machines that can make every known drink. Sadly, there appears to be a rationale that everyone using the railway is simply a rail enthusiast and will accept this type of catering: Nothing could be further from the truth with families, adults and young persons all seeking a ride back in time. The exhibition coach could have been so much more and someone on hand with a passion for the railway and good knowledge to speak to would have been an advantage. The gift shop is very poor and in need of some serious marketing and merchandising skills. This is a business - not a game of trains on a Saturday morning for boys old enough to recall the days of steam; the company should remember that.
That aside, I loved the ride, scenery is fab and the station set and the folk who work hard to keep it running were just great. Recommended.
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