"Big Train meets Little Train" is inspired by the Bradshaw’s Guides of years gone by, and 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, 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. 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 your visit to this proud little country.
Rail Minister Paul Maynard said: "I am delighted that The Great Little Trains of Wales is one of 17 national winners across Britain in our Heritage and Community Railways competition. This new guide for visitors and tourists is a great way of showing the best that Britain has to offer. I look forward to seeing the scheme thrive and be of real benefit to tourists visiting Wales."
In May 2016, a £67,000 UK Government funding boost was awarded to the Great Little Train of Wales (GLTW) from the Department for Transport (DfT) to work together with Arriva Trains Wales to attract tourists from London to Wales. GLTW, which represents eleven railways across Wales, put together an entry for the DfT Heritage and Community Rail Tourism Innovation Competition and secured the grant to implement the plan. And GLTW have not let the grass grow under their wheels – the pilot edition of their guide and website is being launched at King’s Cross station from 1200 on Tuesday 2nd August. Traveller and Storyteller, Gavin Young, will be telling stories found during his family’s visit to Mid Wales. The exhibition will remain in place until 7th August for people to collect their guide.
Newly appointed Chair of North Wales Tourism, Clare Britton, comments: "We are very pleased indeed to be working closely with GLTW and Arriva Trains Wales to promote this excellent venture. 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."
The new guide can be read online here.