The Corris Railway is planning to hold its 2021 Gala over the weekend on May 8th and 9th and the undoubted highlight will be the chance to see, and travel behind, Corris Railway No. 4 working its first passenger trains between Corris Station and Maespoeth Junction since 1930.
No. 4 is a Kerr Stuart “Tattoo” 0-4-2ST built for the Corris Railway in 1921 and it worked on the Machynlleth-Aberllefenni line until it was withdrawn in 1948.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 line. 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 operations.
As the revival of the Corris has progressed No. 4 has made one visit to its original haunts 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. This was part of the launch of the appeal to fund the build of a 21st Century “Tattoo” for use on the Corris Railway. The new locomotive, No. 7, entered traffic in 2005.
Further events will take place on the Talyllyn with No. 7 making its second visit to the Talyllyn where amongst other attractions it will be joined by a further “Tattoo”, “Stanhope”.
The Corris Railway did not run any passenger trains during 2020 because of Covid-19 but plans are being produced to allow at least a basic service to operate in 2021 with time to clean and sterilise trains between trips. Depending on restrictions this may begin at Easter. Further information will be circulated and will appear on the website. Ticketing arrangements are also being worked on.
Despite disruptions and some “stop/start” episodes inevitable in the Covid 19 affected world of 2020 work has continued with the construction of the new Falcon locomotive 0-4-2ST for the revival of the Corris Railway.
Following the movement of the boiler and smokebox components to the workshops of Alan Keef Limited near Ross-on-Wye these are now in position to be mounted when work on the chassis, motion and valve gear is completed. At the start of November the castings for the eccentric sheaves and eccentric straps had been machined. This was part of component production including:-
|Casting for one eccentric strap including supplying the pattern||4 No. in total
|Machining one pair of cast iron eccentric straps||4 No. in total
|Machining an eccentric strap special bolt||8 No. in total
|Machining a pair of eccentric sheaves||4 No. in total
|Machining and fabrication of draincock linkage, brackets and rod||1 set
The cost of the above including VAT was just over £10,000.
Away from the Keef’s workshops Corris Railway Society volunteers have been progressing work on some components. An East Midlands member, Ian Cross, has produced patterns for the brake blocks and the brake stem in his home workshop. These have been cast at the Manor Foundry in Ilkeston at the start of November and will be taken to Ross in due course for final machining as required. These components have cost £800. Steel has been delivered to the Maespoeth Junction workshops where other engineering volunteers will produce the brake gear.
In the middle of November CAD drawings for the new cab were completed by Graham French and this will be manufactured by CRS volunteers. The cab will have an outline similar to that of the original trio of “Falcons” in their final form on the Corris. But will be taller than the original to accommodate 21st century footplate men who are physically larger than their predecessors who drove and fired locos in the Dulas Valley between 1878 and 1948.
As always the date of the entry of No. 10 into traffic in the Dulas Valley and on the extended section of running line depends on the rate of fund raising. Online donations can be made via www.corris.co.uk or cheques payable to Corris Railway can be sent to Peter Guest, 38 Underwood Close, Callow Hill, Redditch, Worcestershire, B97 5YS
Following the making of a pattern for the brake column for the new Falcon locomotive by a Corris Railway volunteer based in the East Midlands the images below show the start of the casting process at the Manor Foundry in Ilkeston. Further machining & finishing will be carried out by Alan Keef’s near Ross on Wye.