In the second part of the nineteenth century the first section of railway was built from Llandudno Junction to Llanrwst (North). This first section was completed in 1863 and was further extended to Betws y Coed in 1868. In 1879 with an eye on the booming slate industry a further extension was built extending the railway to Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Before entering Blaenau Ffestiniog the line goes through a tunnel under Moel Dyrnogydd. This tunnel is two and a half miles long, making it the longest single track tunnel in the UK. The railway originally carried passengers, goods, mining materials and slate to and from Deganwy Docks. From the late 19th century up to the mid 20th century the line was very busy with freight traffic. This commercial business began to diminish, and freight traffic ended in 1984.
The line is now mainly a commuter and tourism facility. The twenty eight mile long route, much of which is single track, climbs through spectacular scenery, including river, moorland, mountain, and redundant old industrial scenery. It reaches some 790 feet above sea level at the tunnel near Blaenau Ffestiniog and is a wonderful journey through some of the best parts of the valley. The railway continues to remain a valuable asset to the Valley for both local commuting and tourism.
Further information on the Conwy Valley Railway can be found on Dave Sallerys’ interesting website at hhtp://www.penmorfa.com/Conwy/