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The Red Dragon Appeal

Supporting the extension of the Bala Lake Railway
to Bala Town Station

The Bala Lake Railway Trust has ambitious plans to extend the Bala Lake Railway by over half-a-mile to a new station serving the town of Bala, The new railway and station will bring huge economic benefit to Bala, revitalising the town and the railway.


The proposed route will take the railway across the River Dee on the existing B4403 road bridge and then on a new trackbed to Bala Town Station. Building a new railway is an expensive business and the projected cost of the extension is £2.5million.


This is why we need your help!


The Red Dragon Appeal has been launched to help raise funds for the construction of the extension. The appeal operates in two ways; general donations or on a subscription basis. If you become a subscriber, in return for a regular monthly donation you will receive a range of benefits as a "thank you" from us for supporting our vision. The benefits are accrued as you make your donations but you can, of course, choose to pay the full subscription amount as a one-off payment..


There are three fantastic subscription packages to suit all budgets:

Bronze Package

£20 per month for 5 years or
one-off £1,200

The benefits of Bronze subscription are:

  • 5 years' membership of the Bala Lake Railway Society.
  • A round trip ticket for a family of two adults and two children on the first public passenger train to run over the extension.
  • A round trip on the locomotive footplate of a service train for the subscriber.

Silver Package

£50 per month for 5 years or
one-off £3,000

The benefits of Silver subscription are:

  • 5 years' membership of the Bala Lake Railway Society.
  • A round trip ticket for a family of two adults and two children on the first public passenger train to run over the extension.
  • A photographic A4 print of the first train to run over the extension.
  • A standard footplate experience course.

Gold Package

£100 per month for 5 years or
one-off £6,000

The benefits of Gold subscription are:

  • 5 years' membership of the Bala Lake Railway Society.
  • A round trip ticket for a family of two adults and two children on the inaugural, invitation-only passenger train to run over the extension.
  • A photographic A3 framed print of the first train to run over the extension.
  • A premium footplate experience course.
  • Either a one-hour private flight over the railway in a light aircraft or a private evening charter train on the railway with a locomotive of your choice and using the railway's heritage rolling stock.

In addition, all subscribers will be recognised on a plaque to be erected in the new Bala Town Station.


The next step to becoming a subscriber is to download the application form, complete it, and return it to us at the address given. If you would like any further information about the Red Dragon Appeal or the Bala Lake Railway Trust, please contact Julian Birley or email appeal@balalakerailwaytrust.org.uk.

We always greatly value one-off donations of any size for those unable to commit to a subscription package. Some suggested donations are set out below:

£10

20 Track Spikes

A donation of £10 will allow us to buy 20 track spikes, which are used to secure the rail to the sleepers.

£20

4 Fishplates and Bolts

A donation of £20 will allow us to buy 4 fishplates and matching bolts, which join the rails together.

£50

3 Sleepers

A donation of £50 will allow us to buy three sleepers, on which the rails are laid. It takes 12 sleepers to make a complete track panel.

£100

A Length of Rail

A donation of £100 will allow us to buy a length of rail; we need two rails for a complete track panel.

£500

Complete Track Panel

A donation of £500 will allow us to buy a complete track panel of rail, sleepers, spikes, fishplates and bolts.

We will gladly include your name on the plaque in the new station if you wish; please just let us know when you make your donation.

The Red Dragon Project - Extending the Bala Lake Railway

Why we need to raise £2.5milliion - with your help!

Crossing the River Dee

An innovative solution

To reach the town of Bala, the railway has to cross the River Dee.
The current proposal is to use the existing road bridge with a tramway section.

A New Station

To meet the expectations of the 21st century visitor

The proposed station at Bala Town will be designed to meet the exacty standards expected by the 21st century visitor, offering a cafe, shop and toilet facilities.

A Route with a View

The views down the lake will be magnificent

This aerial view shows the proposed route from the existing terminus at Pen-y-Bont to the new station in the town. The views of the lake and the mountains beyond as the train makes its way along the foreshore will be simply stunning.

Thank you!