The Vale of Rheidol Railway has been shortlisted for the prestigious Heritage Railway of the Year category in the British Coach Tourism Awards for the third year running.
The awards recognise excellence and innovation among coach tour operators, destinations, visitor attractions, and tourism industry suppliers.
“We are thrilled to have been shortlisted for this award,” said marketing manager Allison Cadoret. “We have worked hard over recent years to improve the railway to provide a warm, friendly welcome to all of our visitors. Coach tourism is very important to us and we welcome groups from all over the UK and worldwide.”
The winners will be announced at an awards presentation at the National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham on March 22. Other finalists are the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway and Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway, both in the Lake District.
After being a finalist in 2015, the Vale of Rheidol Railway then beat off the competition to win the category last year.
Event organisers Diversified Communications said:
“This year saw a record breaking number of entries, with the crème de la crème of the tourism industry showing us exactly what they have got!”
Prizes will be presented in front of 400 industry professionals and guests from across the tourism community.
The Vale of Rheidol Railway consistently achieves top reviews. As well as scoring highly in Visit Wales Quality Assurance assessments, it has obtained the certificate of excellence from TripAdvisor for the last three years and World Host business status in 2015, recognising excellence in customer service standards.
The railway has built up a rapport with many repeat itinerary coach companies, who have included visits in their annual programmes for many years.
Opened in 1902, the railway has been operating a passenger service for tourists for more than 100 years. The line, which runs from Aberystwyth to Devil’s Bridge, is well known for its scenery, sharp curves and steep gradients and is a popular choice with holidaymakers in the region.
For many years, the railway “Y Lein Fach” was part of the national rail network and rose to fame being the only steam on British Rail before the line was sold in 1989, becoming the first part of BR to be privatised.