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“VERY DISAPOINTING”
Review of Gwili Railway

Gwili Railway
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Take a step back in time at the Gwili Steam Railway, a delightful preserved railway just outside Carmarthen in West Wales. Running steam train services every day of local school holidays and selected days throughout the remainder of the year, this is the perfect trip for all ages to enjoy. Experience a typical country branch line from the 1950s with a stop off at Llwyfan Cerrig Station in a beautiful spot alongside the River Gwili.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Wheelchair access, Stroller parking, Activities for young children
Monmouth
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“VERY DISAPOINTING”
Reviewed July 7, 2014

Visited Saturday 5th July, after checking in their brochure & on web site that they would be operating. Arrived to catch the 11.50 train, only to be told that due to staff shortage no trains were running that day. This was after a special journey of over 75 miles to this railway, we will most certainly not be returning.
They obviously have so little customer care, that cancellations are not advertised on their web site and it would appear to be a matter of luck if you turn up and find that trains are indeed running. My advice would be not to waste your time on this one, but to visit one of the more reliable preserved railways.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Tony G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fiona E, Front Office Manager at Gwili Railway, responded to this review, September 4, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to leave a review on Trip Advisor and I am sorry that you were disappointed when you visited us.

We are a volunteer run attraction and on occasions we do not have sufficient volunteers to run steam trains. This was the case on 5 July. To run a steam train, we require a driver, fireman, guard and signalman as a minimum. On that day we were unable to get a complete crew.
However, we accept that we should have put something on the website to advise potential visitors that we could not operate on that day, which we failed to do.

As a result of your comments, we will try to update the website whenever there is a disruption to our planned schedule.

I hope that your disappointment will not prevent you from visiting us again. We have extended the Thursday Strawberry Cream Tea trains until the end of October and are also busy getting ready for the Santa's Magical Steamings which are running every weekend during December and every day in the week leading up to Christmas Eve.

We hope to see you again.

Fiona
(Volunteer)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • English first
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English first
Cheddar, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
125 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Fun train ride.”
Reviewed July 4, 2014 via mobile

Don't expect the Gwili railway to be like the Dart or Bluebell, it was a fun ride but defiantly second division of preserved railways.

The ride was short and slow, the cream tea was excellent, the staff were friendly. We had trouble parking and several of us ending up shuffling cars to make space, guess it shows how popular the rides are.

Worth the visit if you're staying local, but I would not want to travel a long way.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank 320TimL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fiona E, Front Office Manager at Gwili Railway, responded to this review, September 4, 2014
Thanks for taking the time to leave a review on Trip Advisor and for giving us a great score. As a volunteer run attraction, we work very hard to make a visit to the railway as pleasurable as we can.

We are a small Heritage Railway which is run by volunteers. Our steam trains are maintained on site and the carriages are restored here by very enthusiastic volunteers.

I am sorry that you had trouble with the car parking.
During the summer season, Thursdays is our Strawberry Cream Tea trains which are very popular. Such is their popularity, we have extended the Cream Tea trains every Thursday until the end of October. However, we are aware that with the popularity of the cream tea's this does have an impact on the car park. Normally there is enough room but there have been times when we have had to shuffle cars around to get sufficient space for everyone.

The extension work is almost completed with the last part of the track to be laid and the finishing work alongside needs to be completed as its not just about laying track to run trains. All this work is being carried out by volunteers. We hope to have the formal opening of the extension early next year. This will then double the length of the train ride and offer the opportunity to see more of the very picturesque River Gwili. There will also be additional parking which should relieve some of the congestion at Bronwydd Arms.

We are also busy getting ready for the Santa's Magical Steamings. These trains run every weekend throughout December and every day in the week leading up to Christmas Eve. We are advising everyone to book early as these trains are very popular.

I hope that the problem with the car parking will not deter you from visiting us again.

Fiona
(Volunteer)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Exeter, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Lovely family day trip”
Reviewed July 3, 2014

We arrived a little after 10.45. Bought our tickets and had a quick cuppa in the cafe which is run by a team of very helpful, friendly volunteers. We boarded the 11.50 and thoroughly enjoyed our trip. Our 2 year old daughter had an absolute ball, got to have a look at the foot plate while we were back at the station and met the nice gentleman who operates the signal box.
Will be back to see how the line extension is coming along when we are up this way again.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank Cath653
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fiona E, Front Office Manager at Gwili Railway, responded to this review, September 4, 2014
Thanks for taking the time to leave a review on Trip Advisor and I am so pleased that you enjoyed your visit to us.

Our tea rooms are very popular with visitors and the staff of the railway, particularly the home made cakes. My favourite is the fresh cream lemon cake - delicious.

I am so glad that your daughter was able to see the footplate. Next time you visit us, ask the driver to let your daughter pull the whistle. It is so nice to see youngsters enjoy the magic that steam trains evoke.

The extension is coming on. The track is almost completely down but there is still a lot of work to do around the track bed before we can run trains on it. We hope to have the formal opening of the extension early 2015 and we are all looking forward to that day.

In the mean time, we have extended the very popular Thursday Cream Tea trains right up to the end of October and are also busy getting ready for Santa's Magical Steamings. The trains run every weekend throughout December and every day in the week up to Christmas Eve. Bookings are being taken already so we are encouraging everyone to book early. Check the website for details.

Hope to see you again soon.

Fiona
(Volunteer)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paignton, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
77 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Needs a lot of work.”
Reviewed July 3, 2014 via mobile

Interesting half day spent here, picturesque but short train ride - hopefully line is to be extended soon. A lot of old rolling stock in various stages of restoration seen but there's a long way to go before GR gets to the standard of eg. Dart Valley Railway . Hope all the very friendly volunteer staff can keep things going , as the number of visitors seemed rather low for a bright sunny day

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank WA6076
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fiona E, Front Office Manager at Gwili Railway, responded to this review, September 4, 2014
Thanks for taking the time to leave a review on Trip Advisor.

I am glad that you enjoyed your visit to us and that you found it interesting. We are fortunate that we retain a cosy atmosphere, with us being a small attraction and our volunteers are very enthusiastic.

We are an attraction that is not really weather dependent but find that on a hot summers day, we sometimes lose out to the beach which is not really that far away. However, come rain or shine, wind and hail, you will find us trying very hard to make our visitors feel welcome. On the more inclement days, our tea rooms which serve home made cakes and snacks is a pleasant place to while away an hour or so.

Work on the extension is continuing and we hope to have the formal opening early next year. We are extending the Strawberry Cream Tea trains which run every Thursday until the end of October and we are also getting ready for the Santa's Magical Steamings. These trains run every weekend in December and every day during the week leading up to the Christmas Eve. We are already taking bookings so book early to avoid disappointment.

Thanks again for the review and we hope to see you again soon

Fiona
(Volunteer)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scunthorpe, England, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
46 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“WW2 weekend”
Reviewed June 27, 2014

We visited the Gwili Hertiage railway for the second time on the 1st of June 2014 a lot of work has been carried out since our first visit in 2012 it only gets better cannot wait for the next extension of the Railway into Carmarthen. It was the World War two weekend and we enjoyed ourselves wish we had known in advance and we could have been in our Mr & Mrs Mainwaring Costumes

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Dennis Arthur J... B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fiona E, Front Office Manager at Gwili Railway, responded to this review, September 4, 2014
Thanks for taking the time to leave a review on Trip Advisor and for giving us such a great score. As a volunteer run attraction, its by people leaving us reviews that we know what is working well and its great to see that you had a grand time.

We have been really busy this year working on the extension to Abergwili Junction. Work was delayed as we had to take the newly laid track up for work to be carried out on one of the bridges but the track bed has been relaid and has been tampered down so its full steam ahead to re lay the rails and carry out all the other work that needs to be done as its not just about laying a track. We hope to have the formal opening early 2015.

We have been very busy with the Strawberry Cream Teas which have been very popular this year. So popular that we are extending the Thursday cream tea trains right up until the end of October.

We are also well on the way getting ready for the Santa's Magical Steamings which are running every weekend in December and everyday in the week leading up to Christmas Eve. We have already taken bookings for the December trains so book early to avoid disappointment.

We hope to see you again very soon and thanks again.

Fiona
(Volunteer)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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