North West Wales

Bala Lake Railway bid to extend line to town

Steam engine on Bala Lake Railway
The last train left Bala town in 1965 although part of the line reopened alongside Llyn Tegid (Bala lake)

Passenger trains could return to a Gwynedd town almost 50 years after the last departed.

Bala Lake Railway volunteers want to extend it the town itself as it currently stops half a mile short.

The heritage railway was set up in 1972 after the line shut seven years earlier. An attempt to reconnect with Bala in the 1980s was unsuccessful.

Now, rail enthusiasts are hoping to win support for their £2m plans.

Manager Roger Hine said the group wanted to seek the views of local people as they start to take their plans forward, but he said it could take years before they came to fruition.

The narrow gauge line runs steam trains and passengers on a nine-mile (14km) return route towards Bala from Llanuwchllyn.

It travels along the former standard gauge route which ran between Ruabon in Wrexham and Barmouth on the north Wales coast.

The section was reopened as a narrow gauge line to utilise smaller steam engines which became available from slate quarries in north Wales as the industry changed.

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