The Bala Lake Railway – Narrow Gauge
The Bala Lake Railway ( Rheilffordd Llyn Tegid) is a preserved railway at Bala Lake in Gwynedd, North Wales, which runs for a distance of 4 1⁄2 miles (7.2 km) using 2 ft (610 mm) gauge rolling stock.
It was built on a section of the former Ruabon – Barmouth GWR route which was closed in 1965. This section runs along the south-eastern shore of Bala Lake. Another section of the former trackbed is today used by the Llangollen Railway .
The railway runs from Llanuwchllyn railway station, where the main railway buildings, workshops and offices are located, to Bala (Llyn Tegid). The station at Bala is outside the town, and there have been various plans to extend the railway into Bala itself, but none have been realised.
Steam locomotives on the line include Maid Marian, Holy War and Alice all built by the Hunslet Engine Company . The railway also has a passenger diesel engine, Merioneth.
The railway is a member of the Great Little Trains of Wales .
The 2ft narrow gauge steam trains give excellent views of the lake amid its surrounding pastoral and woodland scenery, and of the nearby mountains, Arenig Fawr, Aran Benllyn and Aran Fawddwy.
Start your Visit
Llanuwchllyn (the village above the lake) is the Railway HQ and regular trains link the village with the delightful market town of Bala. At Llanuwchllyn, visitors can see the steam locomotives being serviced prior to coupling onto the train, can view the 1896-built Signal Box in operation and can enjoy light refreshments in the Station Buffet. Often, visitors can visit the railway’s other engines in their shed.
Perfect Day Out
All trains start and finish their day from Llanuwchllyn and early visitors can see the locomotives being prepared for their day’s operations. There is free car parking at Llanuwchllyn Station as well as a buffet, souvenir shop, toilets and picnic tables.
Bala (Penybont) Station
At Bala Station there is limited roadside car parking with large Car Parks in the town centre, about half a mile walk away.
The railway provides an ideal centrepiece for a day’s visit to Bala Lake (Llyn Tegid). A round trip of about 1 hour can be broken at any of the stations to enjoy other activities – a pleasant 10 minutes walk into Bala town for shopping or merely browsing. Access is available to the lake shore at various points for swimming, fishing or simply lazing by the waterside.
Bala Lake Railway / Rheilffordd Llyn Tegid, at Llanuwchllyn
Showing the line at the north eastern end of the station, as it heads for Llyn Tegid. © Copyright Nigel Brown and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License .