On Friday (23 March), commemorative events were held at Shrewsbury and Swansea railway stations to mark the start of a year of celebrations
Guests gathered on Platform 7 at Shrewsbury in the presence of Lord Mayor Jane Mackenzie, Arriva Trains Wales’ Managing Director Tom Joyner and Professor Paul Salveson, while 'Shrewsbury Morris' entertained passengers and staff with traditional Morris Dancing.
Mr Joyner praised the work of station adopters and volunteers the length of the line and described it as "one of the most beautiful lines in the country".
The speeches were coordinated by Martin Wood, Shrewsbury's town crier, who at 7ft 2in is the tallest in the world.
With the Lord Mayor on board, a special train left Shrewsbury at 10:09 on its 121 mile journey to Swansea as guests and passengers enjoyed poetry reading and music along the way.
A large crowd had gathered to greet the train on arrival at Swansea where speeches were made by the Lord Mayor of Swansea Councillor Philip Downing, Professor Stuart Cole and Jan Swindler, the Town Crier for Llandrindod. The Morriston Orpheus Choir performed a melody of popular songs and hymns. Arriva Trains Wales Community Relations Manager Geraint Morgan and Moira Davidson of the Heart of Wales Development Company were instrumental in organising the day.
The Heart of Wales Line was completed in 1868 and links Shrewsbury with Swansea via Llandrindod.
It was narrowly saved from closure in the 1960s, with many suggesting the fact it ran through so many marginal political constituencies being the deciding factor.
There are 34 stations along the picturesque route, which crosses two impressive viaducts at Knucklas and Cynghordy, passes beneath the summit of the Sugar Loaf Mountain and climbs to an altitude of 980ft near Llangynllo.
*And on Tuesday, 27th March at Pontarddulais, Arriva Trains Wales helped celebrate the official opening of the southern section of the Heart of Wales line walking trail. With the summer fast approaching, the Heart of Wales line is an excellent way of getting to some of the best walking trails in Swansea, Carmarthenshire, Powys and Shropshire.
Further events to celebrate the line’s anniversary will be held during the year, details of which will be available at http://heart-of-wales.co.uk/