LLANGOLLEN railway station has turned back the clock to give its trackside tea room a stylish new look.
And it’s proved to be such a big hit with customers that it now stays open even when the trains are not running.
The revamped facility on platform one is named Victoria’s to mark the fact that Queen Victoria once used the station on her way through the Dee Valley.
New equipment and a modern coffee machine have resulted in an extended menu and a range of coffees which have been a real success with the public.
Demand has been such from local residents, students and out-of-season tourists that instead of closing for the winter, the tea room has been kept open.
Staff, normally laid off at the end of the season, have been retained albeit on reduced hours.
And such is its growing popularity, station bosses reckon the arrangement could become permanent.
The tea room is being hailed as one of the biggest successes on the railway in 2010, with takings having increased by about 90 per cent over a similar period in 2009.
Opening at 8am, the tea room begins with a breakfast service for students and local workers and then later a snack lunch service offering home-baked produce.
Cream teas are also available for those who just want a snack.
Supervisor Steve Wright said: “The new decor is very warm and friendly, we have a lovely big coal fire and we have had a really enjoyable time with our customers.
“The students are very well behaved and are a credit to Dinas Bran School.
“Our own engineers call in and often chat to local residents and tourists about what is happening on the railway.”
He added: “The railway, after its first investment in early 2010, has continued to invest in our facilities and now I have been given a further sum to improve the amount of home baking we do and also improve food presentation.”