© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011 It is perhaps a good thing that my wife has little or no sense of direction. A sunny Sunday meant a trip into Wales, a run along the shores of Lake Vyrnwy (in the car, that is...) and a picnic at Bwlch-y-Groes, high above Dinas Mawddwy. "Let's take the road down to Bala Lake". The road in question leads unerringly to Llanuwchllyn, headquarters of the railway. "What a surprise." There was a little time to kill before the train, so we had a look around the site, checking out the residents of the shed and one or two other locomotives. "Holy War", almost 100 years old, and due for celebrations shortly, was undergoing some light maintenance, while Peckett "Triassic", a mere 91-year-old, sat in need of some TLC. Meanwhile, out on the line was "Maid Marian", whose centenary will be next year. Maid Marian and Holy War both saw service in the slate quarries of North Wales in their youth. The line was built on the trackbed of the former Ruabon - Morfa Mawddach line - same route as the Llangollen Railway, some miles to the east. The run beside the lake was very pleasant - there was much activity on the water of Wales' biggest natural lake, while buzzards wheeled in the air above, and herons stalked the streams beside the lake. The 4¼ mile line ends at Bala station, at the opposite side of the valley to the town of the same name. This is not one of those "keep off, out-of- bounds" railways. The fine signalbox is open to visitors, and there were no objections to my requests to visit the shed, and to cross the line to get to the "right side for the light" ("don't cross while the train is moving though"). The friendly staff at the station and on the loco were happy to chat for a minute or two. Altogether a very enjoyable couple of hours, rounded off by tea and home baked cakes in the station buffet. Rheilffordd Llyn Tegid is recommended! Link: Bala Lake Railway "Triassic" Peckett 1270 of 1911 "Holy War" Hunslet 779 of 1902 "Bob Davies" BD / YEC L125 of 1993 It's a Ruston - I've no idea which one... "Chilmark" Ruston 194771 of 1939 Maid Marian arrives at Llanuwchllyn Maid Marian HE 822 of 1903 at Llanuwchllyn Maid Marian and train at Bala station A view down the line, Llanuwchllyn Llanuwchllyn box