Published: 31st August 2016
A newly produced free guide describing how to visit the Great Little Trains of Wales, (GLTW) and many other Welsh attractions, by public transport was launched at London King’s Cross station in August.
The 100 page guidebook published by the Welsh narrow gauge railways, working with Arriva Trains Wales, is the product of the Department for Transport’s £1 million Heritage and Community Rail Tourism Innovation Competition. The May list of 17 winners included The Great Little Trains of Wales marketing consortium which won a £67,000 grant towards producing the guide aimed at attracting tourists from London to Wales.
Entitled ‘Big Train meets Little Train’, the book is inspired by the Bradshaw’s Guides of yesteryear. It suggests a range of trips into and around Wales, encouraging the novice public transport user or overseas tourist to get out and about by rail. There is a feature on each of the eleven little trains, (the narrow gauge lines), plus two of Wales’ beautiful community lines, run by Arriva Trains Wales.
In addition, there are some real travellers’ tales to whet your appetite, including BBC ‘Antiques Roadshow’ expert, Paul Atterbury and there are suggestions on places to eat, journeys to make and places to stay as well as some local tips to get the most from a visit to Wales.
“This new guide for visitors and tourists is a great way of showing the best that Britain has to offer,” commented Rail Minister, Paul Maynard. “I look forward to seeing the scheme thrive and be of real benefit to tourists visiting Wales."
"We are very pleased indeed to be working closely with GLTW and Arriva Trains Wales to promote this excellent venture,” said newly appointed Chair of North Wales Tourism, Clare Britton. “It is great to see all the railways working together and we are impressed to see the guide out this summer so the tourism business in Wales can benefit this year. We, at North Wales Tourism, firmly believe that joint working and bringing related products together to make planning easier for visitors is the way forward for a stronger tourism offer in Wales."
Alongside the printed guidebook, a new website has been set up at www.bigtrainlittletrain.com where the guide can be read on-line or downloaded. Copies of the printed guide are available on request from firstname.lastname@example.org .
The Great Little Trains of Wales are: Talyllyn Railway, Llanberis Lake Railway, Ffestiniog Railway, Welsh Highland Railway, Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway, Vale of Rheidol Railway, Brecon Mountain Railway, Bala Lake Railway, Welsh Highland Heritage Railway, Snowdon Mountain Railway and Fairbourne Railway.
Gauges range from 12.25in (Fairbourne) to 2ft 6ins (Welshpool & Llanfair).
Of these, Talyllyn, Ffestiniog, Vale of Rheidol, Welsh Highland Heritage Railway and Fairbourne railways are directly served by national network stations.
You can book your tickets to Wales via www.redspottedhanky.com/trains/trains-to/