A host of innovative projects to boost rail-related tourism have been announced in a million pound competition, funded by the UK government.
The projects, based across England, Wales and Scotland, will create great new opportunities for UK and overseas tourists to enjoy the hidden gems of the country’s heritage and community railways.
Examples of the innovative projects funded by the competition include:
- extending the heritage line from Chinnor to its former terminus at Princes Risborough station
- expanding the luxury Pullman services on the North Yorkshire moors, and adapting them for wheelchair users in Sussex
- developing a new ‘velorail’ in Kidwelly, creating a new tourist attraction, giving visitors the chance to drive a train by pedal power
The competition offers grants to rail operators for innovative ideas and trials and is aimed particularly at heritage railways and community rail partnerships. It hopes to encourage more tourists and make it easier to explore the UK by rail.
The competition has generated 17 winners, who will receive grants ranging from £25,000 to £75,000 to develop their ideas. It is part of the government’s 5-point plan to boost tourism across the UK.
Rail Minister Claire Perry said:
“We want to show the best of British to our visitors, and heritage and community railways are part of that package.
Thanks to this competition, 17 railways organisations right across Britain will be able to invest in promoting and boosting what they have to offer to visitors.”