RAIL commuters in Powys will have more of an input in how a scenic route running through the heart of the county is managed amid changes in the coming months.

Communities in Radnorshire and Breconshire served by the picturesque Heart of Wales Line will be better connected thanks to the appointment of Owen Griffkin as the new community rail development officer for the Heart of Wales Line Community Rail Partnership.

Owen’s appointment is part of plans to refresh the partnership over the next few months. He will engage with communities across the network, covering 12 Powys stations and 34 in total from Shrewsbury to Swansea.


The role will connect people to their line and bring communities together. Owen will be working with the Community Rail Partnership which will be supported by Transport for Wales (TfW) and the Community Rail Network.

“I want to give communities a voice in the services they use and the projects we do,” said Owen.

“The line is beautiful and a real asset to Wales and Borders’ tourism. It has a unique walking trail in place, the Heart of Wales Trail, which weaves its way from Craven Arms down to Llanelli and I will be making full use of this, and encouraging others to do the same.”

Owen comes into the role with experience working in mental health co-production in Powys, giving him a strong background in community-led initiatives, and he has also worked for the Arts Council of Wales on the Lead Creative Schools Project.

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He added: “My work has always involved connecting communities and making sure that projects I work on get to the heart of what people need and want.

“The Lead Creative Schools Project was a good example of designing work from scratch that included the involvement of different groups like learners, teachers and parents and bringing their needs together and delivering on the national curriculum in a creative and innovative way.

“I will be focusing on wellbeing, active travel and connecting communities through creative projects.”

TfW is part-funding the Heart of Wales Line Community Rail Partnership to deliver its wider vision for community rail. The partnership is hosted by Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations (PAVO), supporting the third sector in Powys for over 25 years.

“We know community rail can drive real change for the better across our network, helping make rail travel more accessible and inclusive, which in turn creates a real economic benefit and an opportunity to support the health and wellbeing of people in our communities,” said Melanie Lawton, of TfW.

“The Heart of Wales line is one of the most scenic journeys and we’re delighted to welcome Owen and PAVO into the community rail family.”

Michele Muireasgha, interim chair of PAVO, said: “PAVO is delighted to have taken over as the host organisation for the Heart of Wales Community Rail Partnership.

“We are looking forward to refreshing the partnership so that it is representative of the Heart of Wales line communities, and to support Owen in his role as he engages with communities along the line.”

If you would like to know more about getting involved in the partnership contact Michele via email on michele.muireasgha@pavo.org.uk. You can keep up to date with all that is happening on the line by checking out https://www.heart-of-wales.co.uk/.

The Heart of Wales Railway Partnership covers the entire network, including 34 stations over 121 miles (195km) of this beautiful rural line. The 12 Powys stations served by the Heart of Wales Line include: Knighton, Knucklas, Llangunllo, Llanbister Road, Dolau, Penybont, Llandrindod Wells, Builth Road, Cilmery, Garth, Llangammarch Wells and Llanwrtyd Wells.