Bringing a Welsh beach to Birmingham won an award for the Great Little Trains of Wales at a recent ceremony in Glasgow.

The Community Rail Awards are staged by the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP) to showcase the achievements of the community rail partnerships around the country. We’re really pleased to hear that the Great Little of Trains of Wales (GLTW) group won an award at the event, held in Glasgow on 4 October.

2018 is Visit Wales’ themed ‘Year of the Sea’ and this theme was at the heart of the promotion. GLTW designed and delivered an eye-catching display at Birmingham New Street Station. It came complete with a Welsh Beach situated beside a small seaside narrow gauge railway halt. The background was the iconic Barmouth Bridge with views up the Mawddach estuary and an Arriva Trains Wales unit crossing the bridge. They were joined by the Community Rail Officers of Wales & The Borders for the ‘Community Rail in the City Day’.

GLTW Beach at Birmingham New St 2018.
GLTW Beach at Birmingham New St 2018


The display coincided with Wales Tourism Week and was part of a promotional package by GLTW to raise the profile of the constituent railways in Wales. The stand was staffed by volunteers from the eleven railways from 8am to 6pm over the seven days.

The event was awarded second place in the ‘Best Marketing or Communications Campaign’, being praised for the high engagement rate with the travelling public – many of them not realising that the beach was just a train journey away via the Cambrian Coast line.

Commenting on the award, Stuart Williams, the Talyllyn Railway’s General Manager said,

‘We are delighted to be recognised with the award. The promotion was a real success, and we certainly raised the profile of the Railways and Wales as a whole. We were also pleased with the number of people who participated in our daily competition with nearly 1200 people in total entering to win a weekend away.’

Community Rail Award winners 2018.
Community Rail Award winners 2018


This project received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government

The GLTW is a marketing consortium incorporating eleven of the narrow gauge railways in Wales. The members are: Welsh Highland Heritage Railway (Porthmadog); Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways (Porthmadog); Llanberis Lake Railway; Bala Lake Railway; Snowdon Mountain Railway (Llanberis); Talyllyn Railway (Tywyn); Fairbourne Railway; Vale of Rheidol Railway (Aberystwyth); Brecon Mountain Railway (Methyr Tydfil); Welshpool and Llanfair Railway (Llanfair Caereinion).

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