Jump on board the narrow gauge Vale of Rheidol Railway for an unforgettable steam hauled trip through 12 miles of scenic Cambrian Mountains countryside.
Most journeys begin from the Aberystwyth end of the railway. The Vale of Rheidol station is right next to the main line railway station. There is a large car park by the station, or you can easily get to Aberystwyth by public transport. The main Booking Office, well stocked shop, engine and carriage sheds are based here.
There are several stations along the 12 mile (19km) line including Llanbadarn, Glanyrafon, Capel Bangor, Nantyronen, Aberffrwd, Rheidol Falls and Rhiwfron. The journey takes around an hour to get to Pontarfynach (Devil's Bridge), in the beautiful Cambrian Mountains, an "Area of Astounding Natural Beauty".
The welcoming team at the Vale of Rheidol are doing their best to ensure a heritage steam railway is accessible as possible. Facilities include:
- hearing loops and accessible loos at Aberystwyth and Pontarfynach (Devil's Bridge)
- level access to buildings where possible
- free travel for assistance dogs
- pre-bookable wheelchair accessible carriages
More information is available on the Vale of Rheidol website.
Welcome to the Vale of Rheidol!
Loco No 7 Owain Glyndŵr at Aberystwyth station
Views from the train include meadows, native woodland and mountains
One of the railway's pre-bookable accessible carriages at Devil's Bridge Station
Treat yourself to a journey in complete comfort in the luxurious First Class carriage
Once you arrive in Devil's Bridge Station, there's normally an hour there before the train heads back towards Aberystwyth.
There are lovely woodland trails around Devil's Bridge Falls
Opened in 1902, the railway was originally built to transport timber and lead ore down to Aberystwyth. Most of the current steam engine and carriage fleet was built during the 1920s, when the Vale of Rheidol was taken over by the Great Western Railway. Find out more about the Vale of Rheidol locomotives, including their recently acquired Garratt No.60, "Drakensberg". The carriages are a mixture of enclosed and open carriages. The latest addition to the Vale of Rheidol Railway's carriage fleet is a luxurious First Class carriage. It has been exquisitely finished by the railway's team of carpenters, and features stylish seating and beautiful artwork.
The railway meanders along the verdant Rheidol Valley. You'll see wide meadows, native woodland and wonderful mountain views as you head uphill along sharp curves and steep gradients towards Pontarfynach (Devil's Bridge). There are several stations along the route where you can get off and visit local attractions or go for walks, then catch the train back.
Pontarfynach, also known as Devil's Bridge, is the end of the line. The train normally waits an hour here before heading back to Aberystwyth.
It's a quiet village centred around the Afon Mynach, a tributary of the Rheidol river. On certain days during the summer season, you can have a go driving a steam engine along a short bit of track at the station. If you've got a sweet tooth, head to the village where Sarah Bunton's Chocolate Shop is a must visit. The wider Cambrian Mountains area is well worth exploring, so if the timetable allows, book onto a Cambrian Safaris Tours off-road adventure trip from Pontarfynach.
If you're after a quick bite to eat, Two Hoots Tea Room at Devil's Bridge Station does delicious sandwiches, drinks, hot food and snacks. If the timetable allows you to catch a later train back to Aberystwyth, wander into the village, where The Hafod offers a variety of freshly prepared food made with local produce. A short walk along the A4120 is the idyllic Woodlands Caravan & Camping Park, where you'll find the lovely Woodlands Tea Rooms. You can choose to sit inside or outside, and enjoy lunch or afternoon teas with home-made cakes.
Not far from the station is Devil's Bridge Falls, in a beautiful woodland setting with challenging trails providing views of the fantastic waterfalls, and of course, the famous bridges. The trails are very steep, with many steps and uneven surfaces, so check if it's suitable for you before attempting. You won't have time to walk the longer trail (45mins) if you've arrived by train, unless you can catch a later one back, however the Short Punchbowl and Three Bridges walk is do-able in 10-20 mins, and costs £2 entry.
You can travel to Aberystwyth by mainline train, and the town is well served by buses. Traveline Cymru is a helpful public transport journey planner.
Find out more things to do and places to stay around Aberystwyth and Pontarfynach (Devil's Bridge).
The Vale of Rheidol is one of the Great Little Trains of Wales. If you're planning on travelling on a few of our world famous narrow gauge railways, it might be worth buying a Great Little Trains of Wales Discount Card.