Llanuwchllyn Bala Lake Railway North Wales Railways Attractions

Llanuwchllyn Railways Bala Lake Railway North Wales

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Bala Lake Railway

Bala Lake Railway ~ Railways ~ Llanuwchllyn

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Bala Lake Railway
The Station
Llanuwchllyn
Gwynedd
LL23 7DD
T: 01678 540666
F: 01678 540535



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Bala Lake Railway

The railway between Bala and Dolgellau was built by the Bala & Dolgelley Railway Company (which used the English spelling for the latter place), and opened in 1868. The railway joined the Corwen and Bala Railway at Bala and with the Cambrian Railways at Dolgellau. The line was operated by the Great Western, which absorbed it in 1877. In 1896 the GWR enlarged Llanuwchllyn station, with an extended building and a new signalbox. A long passing loop and second platform were also added. The signalbox and its lever frame are still in use today.

After nationalisation in 1948, most of the railway's traffic was diverted to the former Cambrian Railways line between Welshpool and Machynlleth. Passenger services through Bala ceased on 15 January 1965 and the line from Llangollen to Barmouth was closed.

Rebirth came in 1971. A local engineer, George Barnes, saw the potential of the lakeside section for both local and tourist traffic. With the help of the late Tom Jones CBE, then Chairman of Merioneth County Council's Finance Committee, Rheilffordd Llyn Tegid Cyf (Bala Lake Railway Ltd) became the first company to be registered in the Welsh language.

The station buildings still survive, the buffet being the former waiting room and the seating section was once a waiting room at Morfa Mawddach (Barmouth Junction). The main building has been extended on the site of the old toilets to provide a booking office and store room. The waiting room on platform two is now an office. The canopy supports were built for the Cambrian Railways station at Pwllheli, but were taken down when the station was moved in 1907. They were then used at Aberdovey until 1979 when they were moved to Llanuwchllyn. The cattle dock is now the picnic area, and the stone goods shed a woodwork shop.

Bala Lake Railway

Every effort is made to ensure visitors are made welcome, and where possible visitors are allowed to visit the signal box and workshop.

Steam Engines
Hunslet works No.779 was supplied new to the Dinorwic Slate Quarry in 1902, and worked up to 1,860 feet above sea level. Holy War was the last steam locomotive to work in a British slate quarry finishing at Dinorwic in November 1967, ending 120 years of steam in the quarries. After leaving Dinorwic she was taken to Quainton Road, near Aylesbury, for preservation. In 1975, she was purchased by Rev. Alan Cliff, then Minister of Wrexham Methodist Church, and arrived at Llanuwchllyn that December. Following overhaul she entered passenger service in 1979, and has worked regularly ever since, except for extensive boiler repairs in 1985-1987. The locomotive was purchased from Alan Cliff by the railway company in 1989, securing its long term future at Llanuwchllyn.

Diesel Locomotives
The Railway owns three diesel loco's, the oldest of these is 'Chilmark', a Ruston Hornsby 0-4-0 of 1940. This is at present out of commission with a smashed gearbox housing. however some work has been carried out with a view to restoring it to working order.


Location Map for Bala Lake Railway

This location is based on the Post Code provided and is an approximate representation of the providers actual location, not recommended for detailed route planning.

Location Map, use the "+" and "-" to zoom in and out.

1047 Click Throughs, 6282 Page Views Since 13/May/2013

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