Bala Lake Railway has surpassed itself once again.

With a week of normal service left to go, the narrow gauge railway has already steamed ahead of last year's record setting attendance of more than 28,000 -enjoying its best season to date.

The railway line, which was constructed alongside Llyn Tegid in 1972, has enjoyed runaway success once again this year, growing its total passengers by 13 percent in September alone and achieving a 5 percent increase across the whole season.

David Jones, general manager of the railway, responded: “It’s been a fantastically busy season for us, and I’m pleased that we’ve reached this landmark with a week of normal services still to go, as well as our popular Santa Trains in December.”

The railway continues to go from strength to strength, gauging a 50 percent growth in total passenger numbers over the past four years as plans to extend the line also gather momentum.

Plans for the existing four mile route from Llanuwchllyn to Pen-y-Bont station to cross the B4403 and the River Dee have been included in National Resources Wales' flood line defence provisions and now have detailed plans in place.

The £2.5 million extension - funded entirely by donation to date - is projected to bring more than 35,000 tourists to Bala and buttress the attraction's track record, while creating 12 jobs for the town.

Julian Birley, chairman of the Railway Trust, said:"The railway continues to grow with unprecendented support, a new group of engaged volunteers and visitors returning to us every year. The future is looking bright and we're very excited for what's next."

Normal service ends this Sunday, and bookings for the Santa Trains on December 8 and 9 are open now at