Our first full day in Wales – riding the Cog Railway to the top of Snowdon Mountain 4


Sterling met us at the train station in Llandudno Junction and after the exchange of Krispy Kremes, gave us a ride to our home for most of the next week, Siabod Cottage. It’s the house next to Sterling’s house in Llan Ffestiniog, so it’s very convenient for visiting.Â

These are the two houses, Sterling’s is on the left ( wood door ) and ours is on the right ( white door ).

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That night we had a delicious dinner with Sterling and Teresa and tasted a few of the local beers. The next morning, after a healthy breakfast of Krispy Kreme’s we headed out to go ride the Snowdon Mountain Railway, a rack and pinion railroad that climbs to the top of Mt. Snowdon. Rack and Pinion railroads are meant for climbing steep inclines, like those found on mountains. Essentially, there’s a third rail in the center of the tracks that has gear teeth on it that fit a big gear mounted on the underside of the train. Thanks to the gears, the train can’t slip if it gets poor traction in steep or slippery areas. The Cogs look like this:

Snowdon Mountain Cog Railway display

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The train moves very slowly, about 6 mph and takes an hour to get to the top of Snowdon. The trip up is filled with amazing scenery, though sometimes it’s a little freaky how close to the edge you are, and it’s a long way down. As we got to the top of the mountain the clouds closed in, so we were unable to see all the way to the bottom. It was cold and windy up there ( not a shock, really ) so we walked up the steps to the croweded summit, then back down to the shelter on the top.

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The forest is quite lush at the bottom of the mountain, but was cleared of trees over a century ago higher up and hasn’t regrown. Instead, it’s all grass, which is kept in well-mown condition my thousands of sheep. Sheep outnumber the people in Wales, and judging from the number you see around here, they do it by a fairly large margin.

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Here’s the summit on google earth.

After the mountain, we headed for Electric Mountain . The tours there were full for the rest of the day, so we’ll try that later in the week. The rain closed in, so we headed for dinner early at a pub.Â

We’re having a great time!


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4 thoughts on “Our first full day in Wales – riding the Cog Railway to the top of Snowdon Mountain

  • Julie Wraithmell

    Thanks for letting us all vacation vicariously through you! Can I put in a request for chough sightings please? Their little Atari space invaders sound effects-like call is AWESOME!!! Have fun!

  • kyle mason

    The “kids” are fine. No criseeeeees from the JenEric home. They miss you tho. America is still in tact. Obama has not succeeded in destroying it YET. I’ll let you know if you should not come home.

  • Mark S.

    Very cool seeing your vacation while its unfolding. Makes me want to take a trip to the UK. Maybe. Sounds like its allot of fun.
    Keep writing, keep posting photos. Very scenic.

  • Kelly

    AAAH Haaa Ha Ha ha,,
    You brother keeps his hair just like you do. I’m peein’ my pants , I think it so funny. Laughing out loud even……. A Pear of Apples under that tree, eh?