RAIL passengers passing through Prestatyn now have an eye-catching reminder of the resort’s status as a “Walkers are Welcome” town.

In 2007 it became the first town in Wales to earn the title and each year scores of people walk the 170-mile long Offa’s Dyke trail which starts – or finishes – on the seafront.

Four years ago two sculptures of ramblers by Wrexham-based wood artist Simon O’Rourke were installed at the Hillside Gardens overlooking the town.

Rhyl Journal: Simon O’Rourke with representatives of the sponsors and others involved in the project.Simon O’Rourke with representatives of the sponsors and others involved in the project.

Now his latest work – also of a rambler - can be seen on a disused platform at the railway station, a prominent spot visible to the 22 million people who pass through the station along the main North Wales coast line each year.

The initiative for the lifesize sculpture came from the Friends of Prestatyn Railway Station, who have won awards for their work in keeping the area tidy and maintaining floral displays.

Chairman Ian Lifford said they were delighted with Simon’s piece which, along with signage, further emphasised Prestatyn as a destination for walkers.

“We are an official Network Rail Community Group and Station Adopters for Transport for Wales, and appreciate the excellent working relationship and support provided by both companies as we work to enhance the station for the benefit of local residents and visitors,” he said.

He also praised the volunteers who were out in all weathers to ensure the floral displays were maintained.

Other sponsors of the sculpture were Prestatyn and Meliden Community Partnership and the town’s popular annual Walking Festival.

Sue Ward, chair of the Community Partnership, said: “It is a very impressive work of art and we congratulate Simon who has captured the stance of a walker as he stops for a rest.

“We admire the work the dedicated team of volunteers in the Friends of Prestatyn Railway Station undertake throughout the year and believe that their efforts have enhanced this important gateway tour town.”

Malcolm Wilkinson, one of the founders of the Walking Festival, said he felt the novel artwork would encourage people to visit the town and experience what it has to offer.

“We are indebted to the Friends for their dedication and commitment to making it happen,” he said.

Ian Smyth, scheme interface manager at Network Rail said: “The Friends of Prestatyn Station are one of our longest standing community rail license holders and we were delighted to support them with this latest project.

“I would like to thank the volunteers for all of their hard work to make the station more welcoming to visitors travelling by train to the area.”