Rugby club breakthrough for Bala Lake Railway extension

JUST 80 yards now separates the ground-breaking planned £2.5 million Bala Lake Railway extension from its town centre goal.

The proposed extension of the Bala Lake Railway over greenfield sites into the town centre, from the old GWR Wrexham-Dolgellau formation on which it currently runs. BEN ABBOTT

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.

This will be the view from the train as it crosses the north side of Lake Bala and is set to be one of the finest on any heritage line in the UK. JULIAN BIRLEY

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.

Talks underway

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.

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