The Great Little Trains of Wales

Bala Lake Railway
The Station,
Llanuwchllyn,
Gwynedd,
LL23 7DD

Telephone 01678 540666
Fax 01678 540535

Web:www.bala-lake-railway.co.uk
Email:: info@bala-lake-railway.co.uk
Map Link: Here


Bala Lake Railway occupies the trackbed of the former Ruabon Barmouth line of the Great Western Railway between the peaceful village of Llanuwchllyn and what was Pen-y-Bont Halt on the opposite side of Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake) to the market town of Bala. Opened as a narrow gauge railway in 1972, we are one of the youngest of the narrow gauge railways, although the steam locomotives we normally use are over 100 years old.

The railway, whilst being relatively young in narrow gauge terms, uses the original standard gauge station buildings and signal box. Whilst there have been considerable changes the character of the buildings remains. The smaller scale of the railways operation and the old buildings and locomotives means the railway has all the charm of the old fashioned narrow gauge railway, and it remains a place where the staff and volunteers have time to deal with passengers on an almost individual basis.

The railways base is just off the A494 in the village of Llanuwchllyn, where there is adequate car parking, and of course café/gift shop. From Llanuwchllyn the line descends to almost lake level and is never far from the lakeside. Picnic sites at Llangower provide the perfect spot for a break in the journey on a summers day. From here short walks along the foreshore will provide stunning views over and along the lake. At the Bala terminus a short walk into the town for the shops and cafes will provide entertainment for the more active passenger.

Our steam locomotives are all ex-quarry engines, all but one from the slate quarry at Llanberis. Four of the loco's were built by the Hunslet Engine Company and are all over 100 years old. The odd one out is a Peckett built locomotive from 1911 and was used by Rugby Portland Cement at Southam.


Based as we are in a village, and not having a station in the town at Bala can make us difficult to find. Travelling along the A494 you need to turn into the village of Llanuwchllyn. Towards the end of the village look carefully for the brown tourist sign and turn left into Station Road, cross the river bridge and the entrance is in front of you. If you prefer to travel from Bala Station, you must find the junction of the B4391 and B4403 and park on the road. The path across the field to the small station is near the corner, look for the signs by a gate. The time taken to find us will be rewarded by a trip on one of the friendliest little railways in Wales.

Whilst you are in the area, why not visit some of the other nearby places of interest:-

  • Based nearby, the first commercial white water rafting operation in the UK was developed in 1986, and since then it has grown to become the largest and most well-respected rafting organisation in the UK.The river Tryweryn is a dam released, so water is often flowing when other British rivers are dry, thus producing a unique year round white water venue.

 

 


  • Bala Adventure and Watersports is one of the UK’s top specialists in outdoor activity,on water and land.They have some of the most qualified and experienced coaches in Britain, with all the latest equipment for courses and hire to make your time both enjoyable and unforgettable. Based on Bala Lake itself, activities inlude sailing, windsurfing, rock climbing, hill walking, mountain biking and archery.

 




  • For the less adventurous, there is an excellent local golf course, and plenty of good fishing in the area. The town itself is well worth a visit, witha range of interesting shops, inns, restaurants and a historical Town Walk. A market is held on Mondays from Easter to September.





    Railway photos © Roger Dimmick

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