The Vale of Rheidol Railway has been awarded a £250,000 grant from the Coastal Communities Fund to support a new project that aims to give access to all.
The project – ‘Views for all, accessing new markets, our past is their future’ – will deliver the restoration of the long derelict Vista car, a carriage which hasn’t run for more than 25 years. This carriage, alongside three others, will be rebuilt to provide accessibility for wheelchair users on-board the railway’s historic steam trains.
In addition to the funding for the carriages, two new apprentice positions will be created, carrying on the tremendous work of training young people within the new workshop at Aberystwyth.
The funding will also see an improvement in the first class accommodation to bring a new level of comfort to railway visitors. This exciting project will be carried out in-house and further expand the skill base on the railway.
Robert Gambrill, Vale of Rheidol Railway’s chief executive, said:
“This is one of the most important awards we have received. It will see the long-term investment in young people continuing on the skills which are so vital to our survival.
“Add to this the achievement of our long-term ambition of seeing access for all on our trains and this funding offers us a really strong sustainable future.
“We would like to thank the Coastal Communities Fund for helping us with this grant. We now look forward to the challenge of delivering access to all on our railway.”
Opened in 1902, the railway is a masterpiece of engineering and has been delighting passengers for generations. Although the line no longer carries lead ore from the mines, it has been carrying tourists to the beauty spot of Devil’s Bridge for more than a century.
The journey starts in Aberystwyth and runs for 12 miles to Devil’s Bridge, home of the famous Mynach Falls in the Cambrian Mountains. Passengers enjoy the views and the sound of the narrow gauge steam engine on a nostalgic journey through some of Wales’ most spectacular scenery.
For more information, please contact Allison Cadoret at the Vale of Rheidol Railway, at [email protected]