Summits by train

Following my successful and enjoyable activation of G/WB-009 by train a while ago, I’m continuing the theme by trying Walton Hill from Hagley station today, plan to be on about 1200z - another “ad hoc 2m ssb” expedition. Last minute decision thanks to the sunshine so apologies for the short notice.

Hope to catch a few of you later :slight_smile:

Anyone else with thoughts/ideas/info on activations by train please feel free to post here !

73 de Paul G4MD/G6GGP


Shining Tor - Train to Macc then bus. Good fun.


Others I have done by train include Arnside Knot and Muncaster Fell.

I have done Billinge Hill by train and bus but I can’t really recommend that.

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Easy. By Ffestinionog and Welsh Highland Railway, here are some (there are others) you might consider:

  • GW/NW-026 Mynydd Mawr – alight at Snowdon Ranger or Rhyd Ddu
  • GW/NW-030 Moel Cynghorion – alight at Snowdon Ranger or Rhyd Ddu
  • GW/NW-014 Moel Hebog – alight at Beddgelert
  • GW/NW-016 Moelwyn Mawr – alight at Tanygrisiau

Timings are such that you might have to find another means of getting back though (e.g. S4 bus service runs up Cwm Gwyrfai). Steam (mostly) train plus SOTA - hard to beat!

BTW, Tanygrisiau could be familiar to viewers of Hidden / Craith series 2.


Congleton station is close to the Gritstone Trail, which you could follow up to The Cloud G/SP-015. (Congleton station is remarkably unclose to Congleton!)

Great Orme GW/NW-070 is a nice walk from Llandudno. Holyhead Mountain GW/NW-069 would be feasible from Holyhead.

Pen-y-ghent G/NP-010 and Ingleborough G/NP-005 from Horton-in-Ribblesdale.

My top pick would be Whernside G/NP-004 which can be done as a fabulous circular route from Ribblehead station, beside which is a fantastic pub - The Station Inn.

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Many years ago Richard G3CWI got the train to Church Stretton and then walked up both Long Mynd Pole Bank G/WB-005 and Caer Caradoc G/WB-006 and then walk back to Church Stretton to get the train home.

The obvious SOTA summits to activate by train are Snowdon G/NW-001, Great Orme GW/NW-070 and Snaefell GD/GD-001 as they have trains all the way to the summits.

Jimmy M0HGY


In HB Land, you may reach almost every SOTA summit by public trasnportation. Check this site, German only, Google might help you.

73 de hb9fvk (ruedi)

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A while back I read a report of someone (non SOTA) walking Tarrenhendre GW/NW-036 and Tarren y Gesail GW/NW-033 starting from Machynlleth station. I can’t find the reference just now, and it would be quite a slog, I think.
It would also be possible to approach those summits from the other side using the Talyllyn steam railway
I can’t comment on either walk from personal experience.


Years ago in pre-SOTA days I decided to backpack the Welsh fourteen three thousands over a Bank Holiday weekend. I took the train from Birmingham to Llanfairfechan. Behind the hospital there a minor road and then a landrover track led up to the summit of Drum. From there crossing the col led to the first summit, Foel Grach and then an easyish ridge walk to Carnedd Llewellyn, GW/NW-002. I camped overnight between Carnedd Llewellyn and Carnedd Dafydd, the next day was foul, wind and heavy showers, so I just crossed Tryfan and the Glyders to camp in Nant Peris, and the final day was devoted to the Snowden Horseshoe before getting a bus back to the trains. I couldn’t do it now, the hills seem to double in size once you pass 70, but it would make a super SOTA trip with seven major summits and 62 points available.


Not merely many years ago, but all the way back to the dawn of history - well the first day that SOTA existed anyway, 2nd March 2002.

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Had a look at this and I reckon you could do it with about 22km to walk and 1100m ascent. Maybe if I get a lot fitter :-s

That’s much more likely :slight_smile:

Note - The Tal y Llyn railway is accessible from the mainline network at Towyn

Thanks to everyone for the input :slight_smile: Definitely some ideas there I’d like to try. Further input welcomed!

Today’s expedition went well, if anyone’s interested I took a route looping to the South through West Hagley village, along Western Road and via the bridleway past The Field House then to the roundabout under the A491, and continued on to turn right at The Fountain into Odnall Lane and on to Clent village. A public footpath starts just beyond the church and leads directly to the summit of Walton Hill. I returned to Hagley station by the same route. 12.8km total walk, 290m of ascent. I think the above makes sense read in conjunction with the 1:25000 OS map!

The radio was satisfying if unspectacular. I set up in my usual VHF position against the split timber fence running approx. E - W across the summit, bungeeing the pole with SB3 atop to the fence. Just four contacts including Rod M0JLA (many thanks for the spot!) and a nice chat with Brian G8ADD. There was a brief snow shower as I set up, but the sunshine that had spurred me on to do the trip in the first place soon returned and it was very pleasant feeling the warmth on my face as I operated :slight_smile:

All in all very enjoyable and a worthwhile extension to the SOTA experience, I hope to be doing more! Watch this space…

73 de Paul G4MD/G6GGP


Not too many trains but quite a few possibilities between Settle & Carlisle

Nine Standards Rig - Do-able from Krkby Stephen
Great Knoutberry from Dent Station
Wherneside from Ribblehead Station
Pen-Y-Ghent from Horton Station and Inglebourough from Horton or Ribblehead - or as a linear walk.
Long wait between trains but stunning railway journey!


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Looking outside of the UK,
The classic 10 pointer by train has to be the highest mountain in Germany, the Zugspitze DL/WS-001.

  • ICE (Inter-city-express) from other European capital cities to Munich image
  • IR (Inter-regio) from Munich to Garmisch Partenkirchenimage
  • Zugspitzbahn cog-railway from Garmisch up the mountain to the plateau image
    Bavarian Zugspitze Railway - Wikipedia
  • “Gletscherbahn” cable car to the actual summit.image

It’s not a cheap trip though!

73 Ed DD5LP.


My train just wouldn’t make it to the top. Didn’t do to well off the tracks!

Just another day at the office!

73, Todd KH2TJ
UP Hogger



I have been inspired by train/bus activations as well! Coming from an area (Idaho, USA) where there isn’t much public transportation, it is fun to figure out the local transit at remote destinations especially when you can combine with SOTA.




Fun stuff!

73 Jim/K7MK

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Wow thanks Ed that’s one for the bucket list :slight_smile:

(Just had “Raspberry Pi Explained For Radio Amateurs” from my daughter as a birthday present most excellent :slight_smile: )

73 de Paul G4MD

Thanks Jim, great to hear of your exploits :slight_smile:

One issue here is the eyewatering cost of some rail journeys :-s Concatenating various suggestions on this thread I’m thinking of putting together an expedition based on using a (relatively) cheap “rail rover” ticket for Wales which gives you four days train travel in an eight day period. By linking with some of the heritage steam narrow gauge railways there are lots of attractive possibilities including linear walks. Given plans already in place, more likely to be next year rather than this though…

73 de Paul G4MD

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Settle/Carlisle is very cheap - a ticket from my local station ( Kirkby Stephen ) to Bradford was slightly less than the cost of car parking in Darlington … :wink:

Around Dublin I can think only of EI/IE-072 Ben of Howth - DART line to Howth harbour and walk up by the former tram route. The bus takes you to higher elevation and closer though.