A new project titled 'Wales to the World' will see the current terminus at Park Avenue, Aberystwyth transformed into a Great Western Railway style station suitable for the modern tourist together with the creation of a multifunction display and entertainment facility within the station's former steam locomotive shed.
Alongside these visitor focused developments, a new carriage storage shed will be built allowing the priceless collection of historic railway carriages to be stored in a protected environment and aid their long term conservation.
Building the new station to authenticate the 1930's Great Western Railway era is a key goal of the project. It will include the correct pattern gas style lamps and posts, and the right shade to enhance the visitor experience.
The project which commenced in 2018 is due to finish at the end of 2020.
New buildings will include:
A new ticket office: The project will recreate a Great Western style booking office offering a dry and spacious entry to the railway. Expanding this space will offer visitors a more efficient area to buy tickets, while offering retail opportunities.
New carriage storage and conservation store: A three road storage shed to house the Heritage fleet of carriages will be developed. Alongside this, it will store future exhibits as the new Museum develops.
New platform and toilets: The station platform will be expanded over 180 metres (200 yards) from the existing terminus to give visitors less distance to walk from the car park and accessible access to the new multifunction display facility. The new platform will also have a Great Western style lavatory block with a pagoda appearance.
New display space: The journey begins! The original Great Western shed is being converted into a multifunction facility. This will offer the railway 5000 sq ft of space to display some of its priceless collection and also host events and entertainment. Displays will include international and operational engines, the story of the railway and a collection of original artefacts.
New café: Matching the style of the heritage station, a new fully functional café will be built to service visitors and to cater for events in the new multifunction display facility.
All new railway servicing facilities: A dedicated servicing and coaling area will be constructed together with new water cranes and water storage tanks to help maintain the smooth operation of the trains.
With all the works listed above, also being built is a whole new track layout in Aberystwyth and moving and rebuilding all the signalling within the station site.
This will be complimented with improvements to the current car parking arrangements.
At the heart of the Vale of Rheidol’s business is sustainability. As part of the project a solar roof will be installed to complement the current system sited on the new storage shed. This will provide power for both the storage shed and the new ticket office. A new water system will allow captured rain water to be fed into the new water system feeding the engines.
Visit the Vale of Rheidol Railway website to keep up to date with all the latest news and to find information for group visits.
Published 11 June 2019