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The Vale of Rheidol Railway's efforts to repaint an entire seven carriage train in full 1920s Great Western Livery are nearing completion. Summer car No.9, originally GWR No.4151 , is one of the second batch of open-sided summer carriages built for the VoR by Swindon Works in 1938. No.4151 is the sixth carriage to receive the full GWR treatment from the VoR's dedicated staff in Aberystwyth , each repaint taking on average 400 hours . The attention to detail has even included returning the communication cord flags to their traditional white from the red inherited from BR. Other work has included replacing door frames, end bulkheads, flooring and side panels as well as attention being given to the unusual reversible tramway style benches . The VoR will have an entire GWR train set available for the 2014 season , complete with three summer cars, two closed carriages and a first class observation carriage .
Meanwhile the Vale of Rheidol Railway's ambitious project to restore its historic stations to their former glory is rapidly progressing. Many of the stations are being restored with replica buildings and traditional fencing to give visitors a flavour of how the local railway appeared in the 1920s . New raised platforms and an enlarged picnic area at Aberystwyth Station will also improve the railway experience for its passengers .
Hours of work go into sign writing the carriages
Marketing Officer Will Smith said: "This project makes the Rheidol Valley more accessible and helps people to appreciate this part of Mid-Wales' rich industrial history." The project is being funded through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013.
The railway is on the look out for any local donations of Vale of Rheidol, Great Western or British Railways railwayana from the public to adorn the newly restored stations . Much of the work, from construction to gardening, is being undertaken by volunteers from a mix of backgrounds, so it's a great chance to get involved if you're interested in doing something different! Get in touch at email@example.com or by phone on 01970 625 819.
The newly built station building at Nantyronen
The Vale of Rheidol Railway is a Great British Railway Journey
Visitors to an to the railway on 18th September were surprised to find a celebrity travelling amongst them.
Former MP Michael Portillo was filming an episode of the popular BBC series 'Great British Railway Journeys' following his 'Bradshaw's Guide' and taking in the spectacular scenery of the Vale of Rheidol. The programme is due to be shown during 2013.
The train called at the newly restored Capel Bangor station where volunteers were hard at work painting the replica station building and local primary school children were busy tending the new allotment and gardens.
During the journey, Michael interviewed Vale of Rheidol Railway Chairman Peter Rampton about the history of the line and the extensive restoration work that has been undertaken since the railway was privatised by British Rail. He also interviewed a number of passengers on board the train.
Whilst at Devil's Bridge, there was time for photographs and a few autographs before Michael and the team headed to the Mynach Falls.