THE station building at Furnace Sidings was officially opened yesterday.

The station building has been built using modern construction techniques with the platform side clad in stonework acquired during demolition of Pontypool Crane Street Station.

Improvements at Furnace Sidings started in February 2011, costing an estimated £100,000. The money was a part of a Heads of the Valleys grant of £460,000, that also paid for a branch line up to Big Pit, and disabled access at Big Pit.

Trustee and branch secretary of the Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway said: "This is the end of the project using the grant money and we have used a lot of volunteer labour, so it’s great for everyone to see it complete."

The Mayor of Torfaen, Wayne Tomlinson and the Mayor of Blaenavon, Gareth Davies jointly opened the new building.

The highlights for rail enthusiasts included visiting engines, including the diminutive Port of Par Twins, Alfred and Judy and Pannier 9466.