AN iconic Inverclyde railway station has been awarded a rare plaque in recognition of its illustrious engineering and architectural heritage.

A crowd gathered at Wemyss Bay Station to celebrate the unveiling of a prestigious Red Wheel Plaque by the Transport Trust, a national charity that promotes the preservation of heritage.

Gordon Masterton OBE, Deputy Lieutenant of Renfrewshire, had the honour of unveiling the striking red plaque, which takes pride of place outside the stunning local landmark.

Professor Masterton, past president of the Institution of Civil Engineers and chair of its Panel on Historical Engineering Works, says the plaque is only the third to be unveiled in Scotland.

He told the Tele: "I'm most impressed by the community interest in this piece of engineering and architectural heritage - that's what brings them alive and keeps them alive.

"It's not the building, it's the people who care for them."

Greg Beecroft, from the Friends of Wemyss Bay Station, said it was an important day in the history of the beautiful station.

He said: "We are very pleased to see that this remarkable station has been recognised further and hopefully it will encourage more people to see it for themselves."

John Yellowlees, who is the honorary ambassador for ScotRail, described it as a momentous milestone.

He said: "This is a particularly good choice for the third Red Wheel Plaque in Scotland.

"It's an iconic transport location.

"I hope that it will result in many more ideas for locations that deserve this treatment."

As well as the plaque, the station will now feature on the Transport Trust's website which shows all the Red Wheel sites.

Last year, the station was honoured in the National Railway Heritage Awards following a major £4.5m restoration.

There were 55 entries submitted for the competition and Wemyss Bay was deemed best overall entry.

The combination of its unique curved track, glazed roof, circular concourse and long sloping passageway leading to the ferry to Bute were all highlighted by judges.