JUST 80 yards now separates the ground-breaking planned £2.5 million Bala Lake Railway extension from its town centre goal.
As previously reported, the 2ft-gauge line is to be extended by 1200 yards from its current terminus at Pen-y-Bont into the heart of Bala – giving a major boost for both visitor numbers and the local economy.
Until recently, essential land negotiations had stalled with the trust unable to agree land values for the acquisition of the land to link the new station with the lake foreshore.
Following a slight realignment of the intended route, discussions have been held with Bala Rugby Club and a local farmer, resulting in an agreement in principle to purchase a strip of land along the very edge of the rugby field and a small piece of the adjacent field.
The railway’s trust has just agreed to purchase the strip at the rugby club for £42,800. The track will run alongside the pitch on a low embankment – and there are plans to cut into the sides of it to create seats for spectators! In turn, the money will allow the rugby club to buy another parcel of land that it wants.
However, a final purchase of 80 yards of land leading to the foreshore of the lake is now needed, and talks are underway with the local farmer who owns the land.
Natural Resources Wales is looking at carrying out improvements to the town flood defences, and within those works it is looking to accommodate the railway enabling it to get to the B4391 bridge over the River Dee.
Read more in Issue 235 of HR – on sale now!