Another Landmark For New Steam Loco As The Corris Railway Targets September Steaming

Corris Railway Falcon locomotive. The smoke box is on and the ashpan fabricated.

The project working to see a new steam locomotive for the revived section of the Corris Railway in Mid Wales took another very significant step forward when the boiler passed its hydraulic pressure test. The test took place in the last week of July at the workshops of Alan Keef Limited in Lea near Ross-on-Wye although the boiler was constructed by Israel Newton and Sons, then based in Bradford, in 2012. Before being taken to Keef’s in August 2020 it had been displayed at Maespoeth Junction on the Corris Railway as part of the fund raising towards the overall four hundred thousand pounds cost of building the locomotive which will become No. 10 in the Corris Railway’s fleet.

No. 10 is a 21st century evocation of a trio of steam engines built originally for the Corris Railway in 1878 by the Hughes Company in Loughborough. One survives and works on the Talyllyn Railway.

Apart from the boiler testing other important work carried out included the mounting of the control springs for the pony truck and work beginning on fitting the smokebox. With the boiler out of the frames for the hydraulic test it was possible to look to mounting the ashpan, made by Keef’s from a wooden pattern constructed by a Corris Railway volunteer. Volunteer work is continuing with the construction of the saddle tank.

Although the plan is to steam the engine at the end of September as part of Alan Keef’s Annual Open Day on the 24th there will still be completion work to be done in order for the locomotive to enter Corris Railway service in 2023. This will include such tasks as fitting the buffers and sanding gear and of course painting, followed by delivery to the loco shed at Maespoeth Junction. This work is estimated to cost forty eight thousand pounds with the Corris Railway still needing to raise twenty thousand pounds to reach this target.

As a further incentive to see No. 10 completed and in service next year, 2023 will mark the 140th Anniversary of the introduction of steam services to the Corris Railway, headed by the trio of locomotives which were the ancestors of the new-build engine.

Donations for the new engine are very welcome in order to meet the timescales and can be made online at www.corris.co.uk or cheques, payable to Corris Railway, can be sent to Peter Guest, 38 Underwood Close, Callow Hill, Redditch, B97 5YS. Peter is also able to provide standing order payment forms. There will be a fundraising stand for the loco at the Corris Railway Society’s Model Railway Exhibition which will be held at Y Plas in Machynlleth on August 27th and 28th.

Information About The Alan Keef Open Day – Saturday September 24th

A good view of what will be inside the smokebox.

For anyone thinking of visiting the Alan Keef Open Day on September 24th the following information has appeared in the Hereford Diocesan Magazine as part of the village notes for Lea near Ross-on-Wye. As can be seen the new Corris locomotive No. 10 should be in steam, although its entry into traffic on the CR will depend on continued fund raising to complete the construction work including fitting of buffers, sanding gear etc.

Alan Keef says:

“It’s been four years since the last steam-up and so this year’s event is going to be very special, especially as we also celebrate our company’s 50th Anniversary! For everyone that is new to the village or new to this event, it’s when Alan Keef Ltd open their doors, steam their own and visiting locomotives, welcome hundreds of visitors to see what they’ve been working on and invite you to enjoy a ride or two behind one of the engines. Alongside ‘Woto’, one of our other engines, ‘Taffy’, is currently being worked on and will be returning to steam for the first time in over 12 years. We’ll be welcoming the steam engine ‘Peter Pan’ too, alongside a brand-new steam engine that we’ve been building for the Corris Railway and which will be ready for its first public steaming. Steam trains to ride behind, a look around the workshop,  trade stands to browse; garden to relax in, hot and cold food and, hopefully, a fine and sunny day – come along and enjoy the Steam-up and help us to raise funds for Lea Church. You can’t miss us at the top end of the village – parking in the field alongside, or why not enjoy a walk up the new footpath through the fields to reach us?

Please – no dogs though!

The address is Alan Keef Ltd, Lea, near Ross-on-Wye, HR9 7LG.

Corris Railway Modelling News – July 2022

Model Railway Exhibition

In a new venture for the Corris Railway Society this year it will be possible to buy tickets for the 2022 Model Railway Exhibition being held on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th August in advance via this website. This doesn’t mean visitors can’t pay on the day but the advance ticket option is also available.

Don’t forget, the Corris Railway will be running steam train rides along the Dulas Valley on both days plus the Bank Holiday Monday (29th) and tickets for a train ride in Corris can be purchased at the same time as tickets for the Model Railway event in Machynlleth.

Tickets can be purchased online by following this link: Book Now!

As a reminder, if you are thinking of modelling the Corris a number of drawings & plans can be downloaded from the Online Shop. Alternatively if scratch building is a bit daunting and you wish to work in a larger scale than 009 the following may be of interest.

One of the trade exhibitors at the recent Annual General Meeting and Exhibition of the Association of 7mm Narrow Gauge Modellers was Iconic Rail who have a quartet of Corris kits for sale. These are the brake van and three carriages;- Falcon, Clerestory and Metropolitan. The bodies are plastic, as are the wheels and axles, whilst the bogies, or the frame for the van, are white metal which puts the weight in the right place. Glazing and transfers are included and the gauge is set at 16.5 mm. The coaches are priced at forty five pounds and the van at twenty five pounds.

Orders can be placed online from Iconic Rail from their website.

The postal address is Iconic Rail, 21 Hill Street, Haverfordwest, Dyfed, SA21 1QQ and further information is available from info@iconicrail.co.uk

Saddle Tank And Cab Roof Production As New Build Steam Locomotive For The Corris Railway Targets September Steaming

With footplating work well advanced at the workshops of Alan Keef Ltd some other larger and visible components are being progressed as work continues towards having the new steam locomotive for the Corris Railway steaming in September. If targets are met the first public steaming of No. 10, the Falcon, will take place at Keef’s open day on September 24th.

The steel for the saddle tank has been cut by Optimised Metal Fabrications of Rochester and some of the laser-cut parts were delivered to Barnshaws Plate and Section Rollers in Wolverhampton for shaping. Once this is done the tank is to be assembled by Corris Railway volunteers in the East Midlands before delivery to Keef’s. This will save some money but the tank will still cost two thousand five hundred pounds.

The cab sides and front and rear plating for the loco’s cab was produced by Optimised Fabrications previously and have been trial-assembled and fitted to No. 10. The steel for the roof is being obtained to allow final completion and together with rolling the angles is estimated to cost a further five hundred pounds.

During June work was due to get underway at Keef’s on completion of the smokebox and associated parts and staff from Keef’s have visited the Talyllyn Railway at Tywyn to check details of Corris No. 3, particularly the blast pipe arrangement.

The mechanical lubricator has been purchased and delivered to Keef’s. The firebox door assembly produced by a Corris volunteer with engineering skills is in place on the boiler.

Although the plan is to steam the engine at Keef’s at the end of September there will still be completion work to be done in order for the loco to enter Corris service in 2023. This will include such tasks as fitting the buffers and sanding gear and of course painting, followed by delivery to the loco shed at Maespoeth Junction. This work is estimated to cost forty eight thousand pounds with the Corris still needing to raise twenty thousand pounds to reach this target.

As a further incentive to see No. 10 completed and in service next year 2023 will mark the 140th Anniversary of the introduction of steam services to the Corris, headed by the trio of locomotives which were the ancestors of the new-build engine.

Donations for the new engine are welcome in order to meet the timescales and can be made online at www.corris.co.uk or cheques, payable to Corris Railway, can be sent to Peter Guest, 38 Underwood Close, Callow Hill, Redditch, B97 5YS. Peter is also able to provide standing order payment forms. There will be a fundraising stand for the loco at the Corris Railway Society’s Model Railway Exhibition which will be held at Y Plas in Machynlleth on August 27th and 28th.

The Return Of The Corris Railway Society’s Model Railway Exhibition

Model Railway Layout

After a Covid enforced two year break the Corris Railway Society’s Model Railway Exhibition will be held at Y Plas in Machynlleth on August 27th and 28th. That is the Bank Holiday weekend so visitors will also have a chance to visit the revived section of the Corris, running along the Dulas Valley from the station in the village of Corris.

Once again the event has been organised by Bill Newton and visitors will be able to see 11 layouts in action ranging in scale from N to 16 mm. There will also be a static display of models courtesy of the Mid Wales Gauge 1 Association. Visitors will be able to try their hand at operating one of the layouts.

Among the layouts nostalgia will be stirred for some visitors by Trix Twin and Tri-ang Big Big trains at work, now over half a century since those marques were generally available.

There will be a variety of sales stands selling books, models and railwayana with one dedicated to fund raising sales for the Corris’ new build Falcon steam locomotive. Kate Packham will make a welcome return with her stand selling decorative items and jewellery which she makes from recycled glass.

Refreshments and light snacks will be available and the doors are open between 10.00 and 4.30 on both days. Car parking is available nearby.

Admission will be £4.00 for adults and £2.00 for children with a family ticket, covering 2 adults and 2 children available for £10.00.

TICKET OFFICE: Pre-booking is advisable! Tickets are limited, passengers are advised to book in advance through our websiteBook Now