Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to travel on your trains?

Yes, it is as safe as we can possibly make it. We have adapted our trains and stations to meet the current Welsh Government’s Covid-19 regulations and guidance. Whilst social distancing is no longer a requirement it is still advisable. We are currently only booking one group into each bay of seats on our trains. You may be seated back-to-back with other groups, but you will be at least 1.5 metres (5ft) away from facing the nearest person that is not in your group.

We provide hand sanitiser to use before boarding the train and entering any buildings. We also have enhanced cleaning measures in place including the application of a long-lasting sanitiser (Zoono) to surfaces which kills any new virus and lasts for up to 28 days.

At our stations we have marked out 2m safe distances and have introduced separate doors for the café and toilet queues, with a one-way system through the café / shop.

Do I need to wear a face covering/mask?

Yes, since July 27th 2020 it has been a requirement of the Welsh Government to wear a face covering when travelling on public transport in Wales which includes travelling on the Bala Lake Railway. Face coverings are also required in all indoor areas. There are exceptions for children under 11, those that are exempt and also when eating or drinking.

The wearing of face coverings on our trains and in indoor areas remains in force even after other restrictions have been relaxed on the 7th August 2021.

How far ahead can we book tickets?

We are releasing tickets a few weeks at a time enabling you to book at least a week ahead. We are currently operating to our published timetables, but we do advise checking on our website that there have been no changes before you book.

When will my tickets arrive?

We are not currently issuing tickets for online or in person bookings, all you need to enjoy your trip is to give the guard your order number when you board the train.

Do I need to book tickets for my under 3 year old?

No, under 3’s don’t need a ticket, but they travel free on the basis that they are not allocated a seat and may have to sit on an adults lap. Our seating is allocated per bay so there may be a spare seat for them within your bay.

However, if you want to make sure that they have their own seat you can purchase a normal child ticket for them.

Can dogs travel on your trains?

Yes, dogs are welcome on our trains, provided their owners are well-behaved!

Dogs should be kept under control at all times and are not allowed to sit on the seats. It is your responsibility to make sure that your dog(s) do not cause a nuisance to other travellers.

A flat fare of £1.00 applies to dogs (except Assistance Dogs who travel for free).

Can we join the train at any station?

You can start and finish your journey at Llanuwchllyn (LL23 7DD) which is our main station with toilets, café and free parking or from Bala (LL23 7BS) which has very limited roadside parking or at Llangower the mid-way station along our line where there is a small public car park with toilets.

Please note: a break of journey is only allowed at the destination to which you have booked. For example, if you have booked a return journey from Llanuwchllyn to Bala you can choose to book a later train back from Bala but you cannot break your journey at Llangower and continue on a later train.

Please check carefully which station you want to use before booking your tickets.

Can we do single journeys?

Yes, you can purchase tickets for a single journey.

Note: There is a minimum transaction charge of £12 when buying tickets, this is per booking and not per ticket.

Are you honouring discount tickets?

Yes, but our minimum transaction charge of £12 per booking will still apply.

Holders of HRA cards, GLTW cards, ATOC cards, Rail Riders members, Bala Lake Railway Society Members etc, should contact the railway for a discount code before purchasing tickets.

We regret that the reciprocal travel arrangements between the Talyllyn Railway and Bala Lake Railway have been temporarily suspended.

Can I come back on any train?

No, you must travel back on your booked train.

Do we have reserved seats?

Yes, your booking guarantees you a set of seats socially distanced from others although we do not reserve a specific set of seats for you.

On arrival you can choose your seats in either an enclosed or open carriage according to availability on a first come first served basis.

I arrived late at the station and missed my train, can I get the next one?

No, unfortunately not.

Please allow plenty of time to get to your departure station. Aim to arrive at least 15 minutes early and check that you are heading for the correct station for the start of your journey.

Can I purchase tickets at the station?

Yes, but only at Llanuwchllyn and Bala and if there is still availability. You must book tickets online if you are starting your journey at Llangower.

To avoid disappointment please book your tickets in advance. If you arrive at the station without tickets we will ask you to book your tickets online if you can. There are discounts for most tickets when you book them yourself.

Our Guard will be able to sell you tickets when the train arrives (this does not apply at Llangower) if there are spaces remaining. The guard cannot offer you tickets at the reduced online price.

Please note with social distancing requirements, an empty seat on the train does not mean that we have space available.

Can we bring a pushchair or a bike with us on the train?

No, unfortunately due to the limited capacity on our trains we are currently unable to accommodate bikes, prams or pushchairs.

Is your café open?

Yes, our café is open every day when trains are running. We have a limited number of tables inside the café to allow for some social distancing, and there are a few tables outside. We also offer takeaway food and drinks. There is a one-way system through the café / shop with socially distanced queueing. Please pay by card, if possible, for any transaction above £3.00 to minimise cash handling. We are disinfecting all cash on receipt, so any change given will have been previously disinfected.

Are your toilets open?

Yes, our toilets at Llanuwchllyn station are open.

There is a one-way queueing system in place. Please do not crowd the toilet areas and please allow some space for social distancing. Face masks must be worn in the shared spaces in the toilets.

Note: There are no toilets at Bala station

Are your Heritage Centre and Signal Box at Llanuwchllyn open to the public?

The Heritage Centre is open every day that our trains are running but the Signal Box is closed to the public due to the Social Distancing that we have in place.

If the weather is poor, can I cancel or change my booking?

Unfortunately not, our trains run in all weather and your booking is only valid for the specific trains that you have booked. If the weather is an important factor in your decision you can always make your booking closer to your planned date of travel provided we still have availability.

Please note that to maintain seating capacity our open carriages will be in use in all weathers, and as compartments are filled on a first come basis you may be seated in an open carriage even in inclement weather and you should dress appropriately. Refunds will not be given should you choose not to travel in these circumstances.