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Bilingual Audio Guide – Cambrian Railway Partnership

Concept and aims

The Window Seater app connects rail travellers to the world outside their window, free of charge, with place-based audio guides. Guides draw on stories from communities along railway lines, covering a wide variety of subjects from history and geography to art and culture.

The Cambrian Line is one of the world’s most scenic railways and a renowned tourism destination. With the aim of enhancing the rail journey experience, the Cambrian Railway Partnership collaborated with Window Seater to take rail passengers beyond the view from the window and directly into local communities through stories of local history, culture and language.

What happened

With support from the Community Rail Development Fund and Transport for Wales Challenge Fund, the project entered development in early 2023. Local storytellers were sought through social media and Window Seater’s research team, and a narrator and approved translator were engaged to ensure authenticity of the language used in the guide.

The Cambrian Line audio guide was to be bi-lingual, encouraging all those travelling to learn snippets of the Welsh language, with the guide providing help with pronunciation of place names and the meaning of notable words.

The CRP also partnered with Heritage Railways, Mid Wales Tourism and other local third sector organisations on the project. One example included working with the Cors Dyfi nature reserve, which integrates the Cambrian Line into its conservation efforts for rare bird protection and promotes sustainable living solutions with a 300% carbon negative visitor centre.


The resulting audio guide, launched in summer 2023, brought local stories of history, culture, and language to life, all whilst promoting sustainable travel.

The result of this project has enabled visitors to feel more connected to the Cambrian Line communities they are passing through, with many users reporting that it has encouraged them to visit other destinations in the area.

The audio guide is inclusive, providing transcripts of the audio for those who are d/Deaf or hard of hearing, and it has also proved to be popular with users who are blind or visually impaired.

The project won first place in the Tourism and Leisure Award category of the 2024 Community Rail Awards. Click here to visit the Hall of Fame and hear Claire Williams, Cambrian Railway Development Officer, and Marcus Allender, Window Seater Business Development Director, talk about the winning project.