The Welsh Highland railway (part 1)


Early start, too early..........

Emlyn the Dragon woke up really early. Far too early! The sun was just rising as Emlyn yawned. Gosh it was early.  He looked out from his mountain ledge and saw a shooting star. His ledge was high up on Tryfan mountain. In fact so high that he was above the clouds that covered the valley far below. He felt the warmth of the sun as he sat on his ledge wondering what adventure he was going to have today. He knew it was going to be a hot day. It was going to be a perfect day in Snowdonia. 

As it was so early he knew he had enough time to fly to Porthmadog and help drive a steam engine on the Welsh Highland Railway before the visitors arrived for their day trips. He had met the driver of one of the engines before and the driver had promised him that he could drive it through the deep Welsh gorge called Aberglaslyn.  But he would have to be there early for steam up. With that in mind Emlyn stretched his wings and leapt from his high ledge and started his journey to Porthmadog, home of The Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway in Snowdonia. 


Ready to go.....

It took Emlyn longer than he thought to fly to the railway station at Porthmadog where the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway starts. As he looked down beneath him he saw  the railway station next to the harbour and the sea. He could see the engine driver climbing in to the steam train and the guard waving the flag for departure. Was he too late? He had to fly down quickly to catch the steam train and engine driver before they left the platform behind. He landed and skidded to a halt next to the steam engine.  

The engine driver looked at him with some surprise as he didn't see many dragons in Wales now. He shouted from the cabin "Bore da, Emlyn." Emlyn replied "Bore da, Mr Davies." Emlyn hesitated for a moment and then shouted to Mr Davies, "Mr Davies, can you teach me how to drive the steam engine today?" "Yes, of course Emlyn, jump aboard."  replied Mr Davies. Emlyn did and soon they were at full steam, heading deep into Snowdonia.  Mr Davies was actually very excited that Emlyn had asked to learn how to drive a steam engine and he shovelled more coal into the firebox. The steam engine hissed as the pressure built up and the train gathered speed as it headed into the mountains. 


The deep Aberglaslyn gorge and the hare...

Soon the train was speeding along, pulling empty passenger carriages to its destination at Caernarfon. Along valley bottoms, into dark tunnels and through deep gorges they sped. They soon entered  the Aberglaslyn Gorge, surrounded by steep mountain slopes, large boulders and a rushing river below them. Emlyn was now driving the engine while Mr Davies boiled his kettle in the firebox of the steam engine so he could make a cup of tea. It was hot work in the steam engine. 

Emlyn suddenly spotted a hare standing on a boulder as the train thundered out of a tunnel. Emlyn waved but he was not sure if the hare had seen him.  Emlyn thought "I might come back one day and find that hare." Emlyn didn't know it yet but he had just seen Derek the Hare who lived in the gorge.  With his big eyes Derek had noticed Emlyn but was so surprised to see a dragon driving a steam engine he forgot to wave back.  But then he thought, maybe I can catch up with the train and meet the dragon.. 

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Do you want to know more about Ffestiniog and West Highland Railway?

Click the link below to take you direct to the Festiniog & Welsh Highland Steam Railway.