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Julian Birley B.E.M.

- Chairman of the Bala Lake Railway Trust
- Director of Rheilffordd Llyn Tegid Ltd
- Chairman of the North Norfolk Railway plc

Julian has been involved with railway preservation for twenty years all over the UK.
Responsible for capital projects such a station development and moving heritage buildings, and fund raising for restoration projects such as coaches and locomotives.

Repatriated three locomotives from the USA that worked the slate quarries of North Wales. Now living in Gwynedd to be “above the shop” in ensuring the success of the extension of the Bala Lake Railway into the town.

Awarded the British Empire Medal in 2015 Queens birthday honours for services to railway heritage.

Steve Davies M.B.E.

- Founder of the National Railway Museum of Sierra Leone
- Director of the National Railway Museum York
- Responsible for bringing all six A4 express locomotives together from USA and Canada and UK for the first time.
- Founding CEO of Surf Snowdonia

"After being introduced to the charm and delights of the Bala Lake Railway by Julian Burley, and having been briefed on the plans to extend the line by 1200 metres in order to reach the town of Bala, it seemed obvious to me that the considerable skills, contacts and extensive understanding of the Welsh political, planning and tourism landscape I have developed bringing Surf Snowdonia to fruition in Dolgarrog could be put to good use helping the Railway to realize this important project. I therefore look forward to playing my part in helping the Bala Lake Railway to achieve this ambitious goal, which of course will have significant benefits both for the Railway and the people and businesses of Bala."

Roland Doyle

- Driver on the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways since 1983
- General Manager of Welsh Highland Light Railway Ltd (Caernarfon - Rhyd Ddu) and Welsh Highland Railway Construction Ltd (Rhyd Ddu - Porthmadog)
- Founder of Highrail Systems Ltd

Roland has been apppointed as the Project Manager for the Red Dragon Project.

Narrow-gauge railways are not new to Roland; he became a fireman on the Ffestiniog Railway when he was 15 in early 1971, progressing to Driver by 1983. From 1991 he lead the project to complete the rebuild of Palmerston, an original Ffestiniog Locomotive. Taliesin, a single Fairlie, on the FfR was one of Roland's next projects, completed in 1999.

Roland was the General Manager of Welsh Highland Light Railway Ltd (Caernarfon - Rhyd Ddu), then Welsh Highland Railway Construction Ltd (Rhyd Ddu - Porthmadog), which were wholly owned subsidiaries of the Ffestiniog Railway Company and setup solely to build the Welsh Highland Railway.

In 2006, Roland started Highrail Systems, making certain items of infrastructure and equipment for the WHR and other railways. This included Train Operated Trailable Points, RRM's (Roland's Rail Movers), trap-point actuation equipment at Cae Pawb (the WHR/Network Rail Flat Crossing) and the conversion to Coal Firing of Merddin Emrys. MicroETS is a 9-year project approaching completion. This system allows electric token machines to be connected by the internet rather than miles of vunerable and expensive lineside cabling. 

There are many other people involved with the Bala Lake Railway Trust and the Red Dragon Project to deliver the extension of the Bala Lake Railway:


  • David Jones, General Manager, Rheilffordd Llyn Tegid Ltd
  • Rob Houghton, Chief Engineer, Rheilffordd Llyn Tegid Ltd
  • Christina Kennedy, Trustee, Bala Lake Railway Trust
  • Roger Hine, Trustee, Bala Lake Railway Trust
  • Squadron Leader Toby Watkins, Trustee, Bala Lake Railway Trust
  • Benjamin Abbott, IT Specialist and volunteer driver on the railway


The Bala Lake Railway Trust is a charity registered in England and Wales, registration number 1151841. Please contact the Trust via Julian Birley:



The Bala Lake Railway is operated by Rheilffordd Llyn Tegid Ltd, a company registered in England and Wales, registration number 01055353: