Following the significant easing of social distancing restrictions in Wales on Saturday 7th August 2021, we have taken the opportunity to revisit our current services and facilities.
After reviewing the latest Welsh Government social distancing regulations, studies suggesting the low risk of COVID-19 transmission on public transport, and feedback provided by our visitors, from Monday 9th August 2021 we will be making several changes to our operating arrangements.
These include the resumption of services to Big Pit Halt, longer round-trips, greater on-the-day ticket availability and more seats for travellers. By making these changes, we aim to further improve your time with us whilst maintaining the safety of our customers and volunteers.
The full list of alterations is as follows.
Resumption of trains to Big Pit Halt:
Trains will once again serve Big Pit Halt for the first time since September 2019. Services will call at the station as part of the first leg of the round trip, arriving approximately three minutes after departing from Furnace Sidings.
Station calling pattern changes:
To allow passengers to enjoy a longer journey, the calling pattern of our trains will now be as follows: Furnace Sidings to Big Pit Halt, Big Pit Halt to Whistle Inn Halt, Whistle Inn Halt to Blaenavon High Level via Coed Avon, and finally Blaenavon High Level to Furnace Sidings.
Each round trip will now last for approximately an hour, inclusive of a fifteen-minute stop at Blaenavon High Level whilst the locomotive runs around.
Although intending visitors remain strongly encouraged to purchase tickets in advance of their visit, a greater number of on the day tickets will be available for turn-up-and-go passengers.
Visitors who travel on the 11:00 and 12:30 departures are welcome to enjoy more than one ride, subject to there being space available on a later train - please check with our volunteers prior to departure from Furnace Sidings.
The last round trip departs Furnace Sidings at 14:00.
Those wishing to alight at Big Pit Halt, Blaenavon High Level and Whistle Inn Halt and return are advised to contact us in advance for information.
SOCIAL DISTANCING AND HYGIENE ARRANGEMENTS
A greater number of tables will be available for use in our ‘open’ carriage.
Private compartments remain available for those wishing to travel only in the company of their own group.
Visitors are asked to respect their fellow passengers and our volunteers at all times, keeping as much distance between each other as possible, particularly in busy areas.
The wearing of face coverings remains compulsory whilst travelling aboard public transport (including heritage railways and on station platforms) and in indoor spaces in Wales unless medically exempt.
Face coverings remain compulsory for passengers travelling aboard our ‘open’ carriage, buffet car, and the vintage train. Those visitors who are travelling in private compartments only with members of the group that they are visiting with are permitted to remove face-coverings during their journies.
Hygiene and cleanliness:
Frequently touched surfaces will continue to be cleaned regularly throughout the day.
Passengers are encouraged to leave carriage windows open to improve ventilation, thereby helping to reduce the possible risk of airborne transmission of COVID-19.
Customers who are displaying COVID-19 symptoms or are generally unwell should not attend our railway. Instead, please contact us for information about ticket transfers and refund options.
Please be aware that the above may be subject to alteration at any time and without warning, should circumstances dictate. We will be monitoring the impact of the above changes over the coming weeks and may make further alterations where necessary.
Those who would like to know more or have any questions are invited to contact us via the website contact form. Copies of all relevant risk assessments can be provided upon request by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.