Earlier this month, Regional Assembly Member Eluned Morgan paid a visit to the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway.
Opened in 1903 to link the market town of Welshpool to the rural community of Llanfair Caereinion, the charming 2-foot 6 inch narrow steam railway is now a wonderful tourism destination in the heart of Mid Wales.
Immaculately kept, the station houses a quaint, traditional tea room, a variety of locomotives and a museum exhibiting historic carriages, wagons and artefacts – all with intriguing stories. From colonial use in the West Indies, to a means of transporting gold in Johannesburg, this railway’s fleet has fascinating origins on the world’s tracks.
Within the workshops, a team of team of dedicated, skilled volunteers work hard to restore and preserve the much-loved collection.
Widely appealing, captivating attractions are integral to attracting visitors to Wales – the Welsh Government recognises this and is committed to boosting the tourism sector.
Earlier this year, the station received a £89,000 Welsh Labour Government grant towards a variety of improvements, including the installation of on-site TESLA recharge points, as the use of environmentally friendly electric continues to rise.
Commenting on the investment, Eluned said:
“This scheme is an excellent way for us to assist the tourism sector to make the improvements to local facilities and amenities.
It was fantastic to visit and see the charging points in action. As someone who has long advocated for more recharging posts to be available across rural areas, I was delighted to see visitors from Shropshire and further afield making use of the facilities.” These points complement a recently completed environmental programme, which has seen the installation of solar panels, setting up full recycling facilities, the elimination of single-use plastics in the tearoom, LED light conversion and composting.
The Welsh language is also prominent across the improvement plan, with all new signage provided in bilingual form to emphasise the railway’s roots in the community.
“We hope that our investment in these amenities will benefit locals and visitors alike, making it easier for residents and sightseers to become more active in Wales’ natural environment.
“As for the destination itself – you really don’t have to be a steam train enthusiast to appreciate the experience of visiting this fantastic tourist spot – there’s plenty to see and to do and I’d thoroughly recommend a visit!”
Many thanks to local Labour member, Paul and station manager, Charles for the fantastic behind the scenes tour.