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“All Aboard!”
Review of Llangollen Railway

Llangollen Railway
Ranked #2 of 16 Tours in Llangollen
Certificate of Excellence
Type: Rail Tours, Tours
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Llangollen railway will re open on Saturday 11th of February 2017, please see our website for full timetable details
New York
Level Contributor
83 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“All Aboard!”
Reviewed June 9, 2013

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.

Visited June 2013
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Thank mickeymodem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Liverpool
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“A day out with Thomas (the tank engine)”
Reviewed June 5, 2013

I am reviewing this event, as prior to our visit, I couldn't find much information about it.
We visited Llangollen on Saturday with our 2 year old for 'a day out with Thomas'.

First things first, parking in Llangollen is very limited, so be prepared for this. We arrived at 10ish and just about got a space relatively close to the station. It was £3.50 for all day. The town obviously gets very busy on days like this, do be early or be prepared to walk in from another area.

When we got there Thomas was already in the station and as we queued you could see the train and track over the wall, which kept the little one happy till we got in the gate. Don't worry about getting a ride on Thomas, he chugs back and forth into the station all day with minutes apart for each ride.

The fat controller was there and was very good at having photos taken with any children that wanted one. He also acted as a bit of a 'pa' at the event - shouting out over the mic what was happening, what people could do and light entertainment.

The imagination station was the bit that was a teeny bit disappointing. The room is tiny (but it is an old building so can't be changed) and has a face painter, play dough table, jigsaw table, 2 train tables and a small tv showing Thomas DVDs. It's a bit of a squash to say the least. Our little one did a colouring though to bring home.

There are about 5 rides on daisy or Donald out to Carog throughout the day. The first one was jam packed. The second, we went on at 12pm was a little bit of a 'scrum' to get on and get a seat. You don't get a time or a seat number, so it's every man for himself which is difficult with a excited 2 year old, a picnic and a husband trying to fold and store a stroller. That said, the ride was very pleasant and we enjoyed it.

At Carog, there is a puppet show in a marquee when the train arrives. The marquee is tiny and about 300 kids get of the train, so if you want to see it, be quick. We had our picnic instead. There is a tiny tea room at the station and just 2 toilets. So be prepared to queue for the loo and a cuppa. Picnic is advisable!

Back at Llangollen 'diesel' the grumpy engine also chugged in and out all day. He was our little boys favourite, as he 'raced' with Thomas and did a bit of cheating!

All in all, we enjoyed a magical family day out. We were blessed with beautiful weather and had a great time. Our little boy will certainly remember it!

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
12 Thank Angela M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bromsgrove, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Excellent and scenic railway journey”
Reviewed June 3, 2013

I spent a lovely Saturday on the railway. The railway was operating two different types of train, a diesel multiple unit (DMU) and a steam train. Whilst there is always the lure of a steam train, the DMU offers fantastic views of the line ahead and behind the train, and you are able to see the driver working all the controls right in front of you. An upgrade for £1 was available which enabled seating in the DMU's first class section....a very novel idea and far greater comfort than most trains operating on the national network! A large steam engine was hauling the steam trains during the day; although the train was fairly full, one does wonder how much of the engine's power was going to waste hauling just 5 coaches.

For the first two miles out of Llangollen, as far as the tunnel, the best views are to be had from the right hand side of the train. The River Dee winds its way deep below in the valley prior to Berwyn station, which is very beautifully restored to an Edwardian appearance. The tea room here is open during most weekends and it may sound strange, but it is worth visiting the toilets as these are a historic gem and arguably the best on any preserved line I've visited. The line continues to climb until the very narrow Berwyn tunnel; very pleasant staff kindly asked us all to close the windows in the carriage prior to the tunnel.

After the tunnel, the valley appears completely different and widens before the seemingly impossible to pronounce station, Glyndyfrdwy, is reached (Glyn-dove-er-doo-ee so I'm told!). Then it is just a short trip on to Carrog, a 1950's country station time capsule. For railway enthusiasts there are some shops selling railwayana in carriages at the side of the station, raising money for various loco restoration groups. The Carrog tea room is small but serves excellent cakes (the carrot cake is a must!).

I had read on here comments about the price being excessive but at £14 for a day's rover, this is in line with most other heritage railways I have visited. One way of expressing this is by using the standard adult return of £12. This ticket option equates to 80p per mile, and compares favourably to other lines in the North Wales; Bala Lake Railway is £1.05/mile for example.

Overall a very scenic railway which offers an all weather attraction at a decent price. It really needs to be visited if you're in the area! I'm already planning my next visit to the line.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Peter D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Stunning views”
Reviewed May 31, 2013

Excellent if your looking for a cheapish steam train through the Welsh countryside. Plenty of views of the river Dee. Clean train and beautiful nostalgic stations.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Ruth C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
83 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Lovely”
Reviewed May 25, 2013

As I live a short distance away in Chester, I've been on this railway several times. Despite it being a relatively short 20 minute trip, it's very enjoyable, especially behind a steam locomotive. The scenery along the trip is gorgeous too. Recommended

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank illusiveTV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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