Another proud member of the Little Trains of Wales lines is the Bala Lake stop that runs from the town of Llanuwchllyn in Gwynedd which is situated in North Wales. The original incarnation of this particular line was the “Rheiffordd Llyn Tegid” which just happened to be the first and only railway named in the original Welsh dialect. The very first season saw the railway operate only 1.5 miles between the towns of Llanuwchllyn and Pentrepoid.
It actually took only another two years for the railway to expand to encompass the towns of Pant-yr-hen-felin and then in another year of effort they were able to get the tracks laid and the line open to the majestic site of Bala Lake where the line currently ends. The company that runs this line and operates it under the Great Little trains of Wales is the holder of the most narrow gauge quarry locomotives that were built by the Hunslet Engine Company.
These miniature locomotives were originally designed specifically for bringing the product from the great slate mines of Wales to the urban centers where it was loaded aboard standard gauge trains and taken to the end users in Great Britain and beyond. The twisting turning mountainous regions of Wales where the slate was located made it very difficult for standard gauge track trains to operate safely so the Hunslet Engine Company designed and manufactured smaller locomotives to fit smaller gauge track and thus be able to make the turns and switchbacks that the terrain required.
If you are contemplating a vacation to Wales, Bala Lake is a great spot to visit! When you think of the gamble that the owners of the railways took when deciding to service remote locations it puts you in mind of the great gambles throughout history. While it may not be the same as playing jackpot city bonus it is still a a very big gamble when you think about it. After visiting the site you will be glad to have gambled!