Statfold Engineering To Construct Traverser For Corris Station As Cab Parts Are Delivered For New Steam Locomotive

Following successful ongoing fund raising and planning there are significant landmarks with progress for two major projects in the revival of the Corris Railway.

At the end of March the decision was made that the work on the new track layout and platform at Corris station will be carried out between the end of December 2021 and the end of March 2022, the Railway’s closed season. The shortfall in funding of the traverser previously reported has been recovered thanks to generous donations and it will be constructed by Statfold Engineering before moving to the Dulas Valley where it will serve as a very distinctive part of the operations of the Railway. This will be located at the north end of the station site whilst a new point is being ordered for the southern end. Once complete the new loop will allow locomotives to run around their trains at both Corris and Maespoeth Junction. The cost of the winter work will be just short of fifty eight thousand pounds of which fourteen thousand pounds is still required to be raised.

Meanwhile cab components for new build Falcon 0-4-2ST No. 10 have been laser cut by Optimized Metal Fabrications Ltd in Rochester and delivered to a volunteer’s workshop in Nottingham. These will form the main parts of the structure and some sub structures will be temporarily bolted together so that at an appropriate time they can offered up on the loco and checked and trimmed as necessary before riveting. This trial fitting will take place at the workshops of Alan Keef Ltd where the main construction of No. 10 is proceeding as funds are raised. Also at the erection stage plans can be finalised for the bunkers inside the cab which as well as carrying coal will also have to accommodate air brake and communication parts.

Donations towards both the “Falcon” and Corris Station funds can be made online via www.corris.co.uk. Alternatively cheques can be sent to Peter Guest, 38 Underwood Close, Callow Hill, Redditch, B97 5YS for the locomotive or to Corris Railway, Station Yard, Corris, Machynlleth, SY20 9SH for the Station Fund (cheques should be payable to Corris Railway and please indicate for which purpose they are payable).

After A Year’s Absence The Corris Railway Society’s Model Railway Exhibition Is Scheduled For The End Of August

MRE 2019

After Covid-19 led to its cancellation in 2020 the Model Railway Exhibition organised by the Corris Railway Society is scheduled to return on August 28th and 29th, the Saturday and Sunday of the Bank Holiday weekend. This is, of course, subject to the degree of pandemic related restrictions then in force.

Organiser Bill Newton has been able to include a number of exhibitors who were scheduled to attend in 2020 and there will once again be a variety of layouts in different scales and filling different amounts of space in the Hall at Y Plas in Machynlleth. The largest will feature 16mm scale live steam locomotives and derives its inspiration from the world famous Darjeeling – Himalaya Railway.

At the other end of the narrow gauge modelling scales there will be two 009 layouts, one of which occupies a minimal space of four square feet. These minimum size layouts have become a feature of the Corris’ Exhibition and another visitor is a GWR layout in the ever popular OO scale which is designed to fit onto a window sill.

Two other OO layouts, one steam era and one featuring diesel locos, are due to appear whilst O gauge will be present with a layout representing the former LNWR/LMS lines in North Wales. Another part of the North/Mid Wales railway scene will be represented by an N gauge layout including a slate mine, and a further N gauge visitor will depict the North German scene.

Visitors of an older vintage will have toy shop window memories stirred by a Triang TT layout featuring the model range which was in the catalogues between 1957 and 1964. There is a further TT layout due to appear which will also feature vintage equipment from the Margate factory. And as another nod to nostalgia there will be a static display of no less than 50 model lawnmowers.

Trade wise the show will welcome back Nick and Dee Lowe selling railway ephemera and Martin Parry’s huge selection of models both new and second-hand with the majority being OO scale. Kate Packham also returns with her wide selection of jewellery and decorative items made from recycled glass (the organiser’s lady wife usually makes a bee-line for this). The Corris will have a sales stand selling new items relating to the Railway as an extension of the sales counter housed in the Museum building at Corris station where trains should be running along the Dulas Valley on the two days of the Exhibition. A new Corris stand this year will sell a variety of second hand goods, some earmarked for specific projects in the revival of the oldest narrow gauge railway in Mid Wales and some where the purchaser can nominate which part of the project they would wish the purchase price to support.

Refreshments and light snacks are sold and there is a large car park close by. Admission costs £4.00 for adults, £3.50 for seniors £2 for children and £10 for a family (2 adults and 2 children).

2021 Corris Railway Gala Moved To First Weekend Of September

2 Tattoos

With the Governmental announcements regarding plans for the easing of Covid-19 lockdowns the Corris and Talyllyn Railways have rescheduled their 100th Anniversary Gala events for Kerr Stuart locomotive No. 4 from May to September.

The Corris Railway’s Gala Weekend will move from May 8th & 9th to September 4th & 5th.

The Corris Railway had intended beginning its 2021 operations at Easter with crew training refreshers and examinations taking place in March, following no public train services between Corris and Maespoeth Junction in 2020.

However many of the Corris volunteers stay in local hotels and bed and breakfasts when working at the Railway and with Mid Wales accommodation providers not scheduled to open until Easter the training will take place in April. The Corris Railway management felt it unwise to begin the season with a weekend of intensive operation and the need to follow safe distancing in play. Public services, with pre-bookable tickets will begin in May.

The Gala Weekend will be part of the return visit of the original Corris Locomotive No. 4 “Edward Thomas” to its original line and will be the first time that it has headed passenger trains there since 1930. It will work a mixture of passenger and freight trains over the two days of the event in company with the Corris’ own No. 7, a 2005 recreation of the 1921 design. (historical information about the locomotives can be seen below).

Following the Corris Gala Nos. 4 and 7 will make the journey to Tywyn for a special birthday event on the Talyllyn Railway on September 11th and 12th. The Railways hope to be able to announce further dates when the locomotives will run before September 17th when No. 4 is due to be taken out of traffic for statutory boiler work.

Ticketing arrangements will be announced in due course and are dependent on progress with the combatting of the pandemic. Announcements will be made via www.corris.co.uk and the Corris’ Facebook page.

Historic Background Information:-

No. 4 is a Kerr Stuart “Tattoo” 0-4-2ST built for the Corris in 1921 and it worked on the Machynlleth to Aberllefenni line until it was withdrawn in 1948. Shortly afterwards the Corris Railway Line, apart from the horse worked Ratgoed Tramway, closed in August of that year. Passenger services had ceased at the end of 1930 after the Great Western had acquired the 2 foot 3 inch narrow gauge railway. Fortunately the locomotive was not reduced to scrap after withdrawal and, after being stored in the yard at Machynlleth station alongside the other extant Corris engine (Hughes 0-4-2ST No. 3 of 1878) it was purchased and moved to the Talyllyn Railway in 1951. Since 1952 it has been a mainstay of Talyllyn Railway operations.

As the revival of the Corris has progressed No. 4 has made one visit to its original haunts in 1996 but as the Corris Railway was not then passed for passenger trains it worked demonstration freight trains at the head of some surviving Corris waggons kindly provided by the Talyllyn Railway. This was part of the launch of the appeal to fund the build of a 21st Century “Tattoo” for use on the Corris. The new locomotive, No. 7, entered traffic in 2005.

Alan Keef Ltd And Corris Railway Set Completion Date For New “Falcon” Steam Locomotive

Following the ordering and cutting of the metal for the cab of the new Corris Railway “Falcon” 0-4-2ST the project has taken another step forward. Talks between the Corris and Alan Keef Ltd, as the builders of the new locomotive, took place at the end of January and as a result a target completion date has been agreed.

Alan Keef Ltd holds Open Days in late summer/early autumn every two years at its works near Ross on Wye with the proceeds going to charity. The next will be in 2022 and it will mark the firm’s 50th Anniversary since it was first established in Oxfordshire. As part of this celebration the aim is to have the newly completed “Falcon” as the centrepiece. After this it would be moved to its new home in the locomotive shed at Maespoeth Junction and subject to successfully being run in could enter traffic on the Corris before the end of the 2022 season.

When the engine is in service it will be the first time since 1930 that two steam locomotives owned by the Corris will be in service in the Dulas Valley, north of Machynlleth. It will be partnered by the 2005 built “Tattoo” 0-4-2ST No. 7 (The Corris was acquired by the GWR in 1930 and closed by British Railways in 1948).

However the crucial factor in this plan is the need to finance the construction in the remaining time and the figure required for completion is £100,000. For a small group like the Corris Railway Society this will be challenging and all support and donations will be very welcome to reach the target.

Donations for the “Falcon” can be made online via www.corris.co.uk. Alternatively cheques can be sent to Peter Guest, 38 Underwood Close, Callow Hill, Redditch, B97 5YS (cheques should be payable to Corris Railway). Peter can also supply Standing Order forms for those who are able to make regular payments which greatly help progress with the project.