Volunteer Work Begins As Progress Continues With Construction Of New Steam Locomotive For Corris Railway
Following the departure of the boiler and smokebox of the new build “Falcon” 0-4-2ST from the carriage shed at Maespoeth Junction work will soon be getting underway there on the brake gear for the locomotive. This will be carried out by two or three of the team who have previously made brake components for the carriages constructed in the workshops at the Junction. Meanwhile another Corris Railway Society volunteer will be working in the East Midlands to produce patterns for the brake blocks and the cast iron brake stand to support the shaft and handle. This work will save money as construction proceeds.
Meanwhile in late August at Alan Keef’s workshops near Ross-on-Wye, as the boiler and smokebox were arriving, work was continuing on the motion for the “Falcon”. Castings for the eccentrics had arrived from the foundry and the crossheads had been trial fitted. Most recently the righthand sidepiston rod was in place so that the slide bar alignment could be checked. Once the slide bars have beenfinally aligned and bolted the crosshead slippers would be machined to suit. The valve buckles had beenexternally machined and some weeks earlier sent away for the insides to be wire cut out.
Thoughts are now turning towards other fittings and offsite work is underway also on the Salter Spring Balances which will control the safety valves in due course.
Discussions are ongoing about boiler fittings for the loco. Some are straightforward but others requirecareful consideration so that the parts which will not only do the job well but also look right. Theaim is to put together a definitive list so that best prices can be sought.
The work being carried out and the raw materials required for it are of course consuming funds and donations will be gratefully received. These can be made online via the “Falcon” section of the website www.corris.co.uk or cheques payable to Corris Railway can be sent to Peter Guest, 38 Underwood Close, Callow Hill, Redditch, Worcs, B97 5YS
Following some co-operation over low-loader movements the boiler and smokebox for the new Corris Railway steam engine “Falcon” No. 10 have left storage and display in the carriage shed at Maepsoeth Junction for the workshops of Alan Keef Ltd near Ross-on-Wye.
It was intended that this phase of the new build project would take place once the construction of the “bottom half” of the locomotive was complete and with this point now approaching it was fortuitous that there was a lorry movement looking for a return load due in Mid Wales on August 12th and 13th. The lorry was bringing Talyllyn carriage number 17, one of two survivors of the original Corris fleet (the other is an exhibit in the Railway Museum at Corris), back from overhaul at Haltwhistle to Tywyn.
Andy Cooper of the Corris Railway Society was contacted about any item that might require movement and it was quickly agreed that the displayed components should make the move, with Corris volunteers acting quickly to shunt them from the carriage shed to the collection point ready for their onward journey to Herefordshire.
The relocation will also free up some space in the carriage shed where volunteers are continuing to work on new build carriages 23 and 24 and on waggon restoration.
Any contributions towards the movement costs will be welcome and can be made online via the “Falcon Locomotive” section of the corris.co.uk website or cheques payable to Corris Railway can be sent to Peter Guest, 38 Underwood Close, Callow Hill, Redditch, B97 5YS.
In the latest edition of the Newsletter sent out to current and previous subscribers to the construction of No. 10 Andy Cooper asked if anyone had a whistle available to donate to the project and who would like to hear it in due course echoing in the Dulas Valley. He can be contacted via email@example.com
The Corris Railway has reluctantly had to join the list of lines that will not be re-opening for normal passenger trains in 2020 due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. However with the easing of restrictions in Wales the volunteer workforce has been able to progress various projects on the line to further improve the Railway ahead of 2021.
The problems with reopening are threefold. The recreation of the bogie coach carriages from the Corris’ first incarnation has led to an internal layout of open saloons accessed by a shared entrance in the centre of the vehicle. Possibilities of social distancing are further reduced by the tight loading gauge.
Social distancing is also a consideration with the talk and sheds tour which is offered to passengers arriving at Maespoeth Junction, and for passengers in the shop and refreshment area at Corris. During wet weather, not exactly unknown in the Dulas Valley, passengers tend to use this as a waiting area until the train arrives.
However the volunteer workforce has pressed ahead with various projects. Construction of the new shelter for the heritage waggons at Maespoeth Jnc. is underway and once the waggons are in their new home more space in the carriage shed will be available. Carriage No. 23 is approaching completion and should be available for traffic in 2021, assuming no new restrictions on work inside the shed are imposed. Clerestory roofed carriage No. 24, which will eventually bring First Class travel to the Corris for the first time since 1930, is also progressing on both metal and wood working fronts.
Between Corris and the Junction work has also been carried out with vegetation clearance and track maintenance being undertaken.
The newly manufactured smokebox for new-build “Falcon” steam engine No. 10 has been taken to Maespoeth Junction and temporarily united with the boiler. Both will be taken to the workshops of Alan Keef near Ross-on-Wye when work on the bottom half of the locomotive is complete.
Donations towards the Corris General Fund, which will assist with the continuing costs during the suspension of operations and their eventual resumption, and also for the works on the ongoing Southern Extension can be made via Paypal at www.corris.co.uk.