An Extra Day Of Train Operations on June 16th

Atmospheric look at the Falcon Locomotive at Maespoeth Junction South Platform (AJO)

There will an extra day of passenger train operations on the Corris Railway in June. On Sunday 16th trains will leave Corris station for the round trip along the beautiful Dulas Valley to Maespoeth Junction and back at 11.00, 12.00, 13.30, 14.30 and 15.30. The Museum and shop area will be open at Corris station and passengers will be able to see the workshops at the Junction and the work being carried out by the Railway’s volunteers. This will be the day after the 2024 Gala Day.

 

More Passenger Trains And Three Locomotives In Steam At Corris Railway Gala Day – June 15th 2024

2019 Gala Day 060921.

Photograph shows a scene from the 2021 Gala Day when ex-Corris Railway No. 4 Tattoo Locomotive paid a visit from Talyllyn Railway to join replica Corris Railway No. 7.

This year’s Corris Railway Gala Day, which will be held on Saturday June 15th, will have a couple of changes to previous Galas on the Mid-Wales narrow gauge railway, Past galas have seen demonstration freight and van trains running between Corris station and Maespoeth Junction and some trains headed by diesel locomotives.

Instead this year’s plans intend to see three locomotives in steam. The Corris’ own Kerr Stuart “Tattoo” No. 7, completed in 2005, and its “Falcon” No. 10, delivered from the workshops of Alan Keef Ltd at the end of August 2023 and making its Gala debut. They will be joined by “Falcon” No. 3 “Sir Haydn”, courtesy of the Talyllyn Railway, which will be spending the month of June back on its original route. No. 3 was constructed by the Henry Hughes company in Loughborough in 1878 and is the surviving member of the trio of locomotives that brought steam to the Dulas Valley for the first time.

The lack of freight workings is based on past experience when planned trips for the Railway’s heritage freight stock had to be cancelled on the day in favour of passenger trains to meet the demand of space for people to travel.

One of the features of the day will be some double heading of trains by No’s 3 and 10. Evidence of double heading by “Falcons” during the Corris’ history, even in its “golden age” before the First World War is scanty. One photograph exists of such a working on the bridge over the river Dyfi at Machynlleth but it is not known if this was a set-up for a commercial postcard. With the original route closed in 1948 memories of how trains worked have almost vanished but local tradition says that some trains were double headed at times of high demand, such as on market days in Machynlleth. It is suggested that on these occasions the pairing would work returning trains from Machynlleth as far as Maespoeth Junction. There with the most severe climbing over, including the 1 in 30 gradient on the approach to the Junction, which the current work on the Southern Extension will recreate, one locomotive would detach before the other took the trains on the rest of its journey to Corris and Aberllefenni.

It can be safely said that three locomotives in steam is a sight that has not been seen on the Corris in over a century and beyond living memory.

Visitors to the Gala will also be able to see the work being carried out by the Corris’ volunteer workforce including carriage number 24 which once complete will allow first class travel on the line for the first time in at least 90 years. The Railway’s Museum at Corris will be open, along with the sales area at which drinks and sweets will be on sale. It is a very short walk from the station to the village shop and cafe, and the “Slaters Arms” which until 1948 had its beer delivered by train with the barrels being rolled across the road from the level crossing opposite the pub. The Corris Craft Centre also has an excellent cafe and visitors may park their cars there and walk to the station down the zig-zag path (which is a steep journey on the return). Parking is available at the station and Lloyd’s bus service number 34 stops outside the station yard.

Advance Gala tickets can be purchased via www.corris.co.uk

Advance Tickets For 2024 Corris Railway Gala Day

No. 3 at Maespoeth Junction - 6th June 2003

This year’s Corris Railway Gala Day on June 15th will be a special moment in the history of the revival of the oldest narrow gauge railway in Mid-Wales. For the first time in over a century two “Falcon” locomotives will be in steam and working trains between Corris station at Maespoeth Junction.

Following the completion of our new “Falcon”. No. 10, in August 2023 it has been a priority to see it working with Corris No. 3, the surviving and much rebuilt member of the original trio built in Loughborough by the Henry Hughes company in 1878. Since 1951, and following the closure of the original Corris route by British Railways in 1948, it has worked on the neighbouring Talyllyn Railway where it has been named “Sir Haydn”. It has visited Corris before during the revival period, the photograph shows No. 3 at Maespoeth Junction during passenger services in June 2003, but this will be the first time the two classmates have featured together.

No. 3 is the result of the work of Corris Railway Engineer Alfred Hulme who tackled the problem of the original trio wearing out after four decades of hard work by amalgamating components from No.s 1 and 3, whilst No. 2 stayed serviceable as back up to No. 4, delivered new from Kerr Stuart of Stoke-on-Trent in 1921. More work was done on the amalgamated No. 3 at Swindon in 1929, ahead of the Corris being acquired by the Great Western Railway the following year. No. 2 was then retired and scrapped along with No. 1.

With the Corris and Talyllyn sharing the two feet and three inches track gauge, which is almost unique in Britain, neither “Falcon” will be seen working elsewhere so this is a chance to witness and enjoy a bit of railway history. Why not come to see the event and take a train journey in this beautiful part of Wales with the sun at its annual zenith?

If you cannot make it on the 15th No. 3 will be in action on the Corris on the 8th, 22nd and 29th.

Advance tickets can be purchased online now.

Two Corris Railway Publicity Stands At Once – April 27th 2024

2023 saw Ian with very clued-up visitor Tommy Morely Yates who has an astounding knowledge of the Corris Railway.

The Corris will have publicity stands at two different events simultaneously on Saturday April 27th.

One will be at Narrow Gauge South, an annual event organised by the 009 Society and featuring some 30 layouts in the most popular of the narrow gauge modelling scales. There will also be trade stands with items to tempt the wallet to open or the card to be wielded. The venue is Barton Peveril College, Chestnut Cottage. Eastleigh, S050 5ZA and the doors will be open from 10am to 5pm.

The other is the National Garden Railway Show which is taking place at the National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, CV8 2LG. It is between Coventry and Warwick. This is large scale modelling and is organised by the 16mm Society. 17 layouts are due to appear plus trade support. Opening hours will be 9.30am to 5pm.

A Talk About The Corris In Shrewsbury

Shropshire Railway Society

Overcoming adversity in re-establishing a much loved line. Corris Railway Society member Chris Smith will be giving a talk about the Corris to the Shropshire Railway Society on Thursday 11th April 2024.

The venue is The Gateway Education and Arts Centre, Chester Street, Shrewsbury, SY1 1NB. The start time is 19:30 and the finish time 21:30 with a break for refreshments.

Guests are welcome but are expected to make a donation of at least £3.00 to help defray costs.

The Corris Railway Makes Progress With Its Southern Extension As Construction Material Becomes Available

The embankment has received another layer of stone at the far end.

The first quarter of 2024 has seen rapid progress made with the construction of the new embankment that is a key part of the Southern Extension of the Corris Railway. Once completed the Extension will double the length of the journey along the Dulas Valley and mean that one and a half miles of the original six and a half mile route between Machynlleth and Aberllefenni will see train operations once again. All extension work will be south of Corris as post-closure development has been built over the trackbed north of Corris station.

The key factor in the acceleration of progress was the completion of the new road bridge crossing the river Dyfi at Machynlleth. In order to work on the banks of a river whose flow varies considerably as rain comes and goes in Mid Wales hard standing had to be created for the machinery to be used and with the completion of the bridge this is being removed to allow nature to re-establish itself.

Large tonnages of this material has been making its way up the A487 to the works site south of Maespoeth Junction. At one point in February a lorry was arriving every fifteen minutes although the pace slackened after that. After unloading the material was laid and new “benches” were cut in the hillside climbing towards the A487 ready for the next phase of building up the new embankment. These were then filled. Apart from drainage and embankment stone and material the new structure also has layers of geotextile laid.

The main enemy to progress was the wet weather continuing as winter moved into spring and some off loaded material had to be left to dry out after delivery. However the pace kept two diggers, a dumper truck and a roller at work on the 100 metres long section of embankment.

It was gratifying that by the end of March the new earthworks had risen by five metres and at the southern end of the site was coming tantalisingly close to a remaining section of the original railway fence which survived closure of the Corris in 1948 and the re-routing of the A487 which has made the new works necessary. At this point in the project the embankment is laid level level along its length but later works will be necessary to raise the northern end to the same height as the original route and the existing railhead south of Maespoeth Junction. That will reinstate a 1 in 30 gradient, and the prospect of the Corris’ steam locomotives climbing that will delight many enthusiasts.

Before that however the Nant Goedwig stream will need to be crossed followed by final grading and track laying.

View the progress here on the Southern Extension April 2024, available now on YouTube.

It goes without saying that this progress is expensive. The Corris has a healthy Southern Extension Fund fund but payments for the material, machinery and operators are quickly eating into that. Any donations toward these costs and keeping the project moving forward will be very welcome and can be made online via www.corris.co.uk. Alternatively cheques, payable to Corris Railway, can be sent to Corris Railway (SE), Station Yard, Corris, Machynlleth, SY20 9SH.

The Corris Will Be At Narrow Gauge North On March 9th

NGNShow2023

The Corris Railway will have an information stand at the 2024 Narrow Gauge North exhibition on Saturday March 9th giving an opportunity for visitors to learn more about the revival of the oldest narrow gauge railway in Mid Wales. Corris Railway Society members will be pleased to talk about the completion of the new steam locomotive “Falcon” No. 10 which entered traffic last year and the work currently in progress on the embankment which is a vital part of extending the running line southward from Maespoeth Junction. Visitors can also hear about volunteering at the Corris.

Narrow Gauge North is a major showcase for narrow gauge railway modelling and there will be a variety of layouts across the scales from 009 to 16mm including some of the less common ones such as 5.5mm and 0n2. There will also be trade stands and modelling demonstrations including one by Peter Kazer whose past layouts have included a large scale one of the Corris.

The venue is Pudsey Civic Hall and the doors will be open from 10.30 to 4.30. Admission is £10 for adults and £1 for accompanied children under the age of 16. After 1.30pm a family admission will cost £15.00 which will cover 2 adults and accompanied children. There is disabled access to all areas of the exhibition area, except the stage in the hall.

The Corris Railway Society’s own model railway exhibition will take place on August 24th and 25th at Y Plas in Machynlleth.

Material Delivery Allows Progress With Corris Railway Southern Extension

Tuesday, 13.2.2024. Further deliveries are tipped, which Cai spreads ...

The beginning of February brought welcome news for those awaiting progress with the building of the embankment that will eventually see the doubling in length of the revived section of the Corris Railway, south of Maespoeth Junction.

The works have been awaiting the availability and delivery of suitable material to allow the construction to proceed. With the completion the new road bridge over the River Dyfi at Machynlleth the Corris has been able to take delivery of material from the project and it was hoped that the first deliveries would mean that there would be more lorries making their way up the A487 to the unloading point. This turned out to be the case with up to twenty lorry loads a day arriving and discharging in mid-February.

Once the load has been discharged from the lorry it requires spreading and moving to allow work on raising the height of the new embankment. This means the deployment of suitable plant and machinery plus people to operate it and progressing apace to allow more material to be delivered.

On receiving the material, the first move is to prepare the ground on which it is to be tipped. This requires the topsoil and sub-soil to be excavated to sound material to form a level bench in the steep sidelong sloping ground. These benches form a series of steps along the hillside, upon which is placed drainage stone replicating the steps. Over this foundation/drainage layer geotextile is laid, upon which the general fill being delivered can be tipped, spread and rolled in.

In anticipation of an influx of very suitable material such as this, the Corris’ contractors had cut benches above the level of the general fill then available, over the past year or so, so that the embankment could come up almost a metre before having to cut any further benches. With a few loads to begin with, followed by a week of intensive operations, this pretty much reached the limit of what what could be coped with until new benches were cut. As a result, 4 loads were stock piled elsewhere on site. More benching was planned for the third weekend of February ahead of more loads of material being delivered.

This news has other wider implications for the Corris revivalists in 2024. The material has to be paid for and there will be other bills to be met arising from the use of the plant and machinery. The Corris has accumulated a good sized fund to meet the costs of the Southern Extension but with more work to be done including providing a crossing over the Nant Goedwig stream more money will need to be raised via trading and donations. Anyone who feels able to help and to eventually enjoy a longer journey by narrow gauge train in the Dulas Valley can donate via www.corris.co.uk or by sending a cheque, payable to Corris Railway, to Corris Railway (SE), Station Yard, Corris, Machynlleth, SY20 9SH.

Two Steam Locomotives On Corris Railway As “Tattoo” No. 7 Approaches “10 Year Mark”

Number 7 and 10 at Maespoeth

With the arrival of the new “Falcon” 0-4-2ST locomotive in August 2023 the locomotive shed at Maespoeth Junction on the Corris Railway houses two steam engines on a permanent basis for the first time since 1948 and both should be available to head steam trains from Corris station in 2024. It should be noted that normally only one locomotive will work on each operating day.

However the Corris’ older steam loco, “Tattoo” No. 7, which entered service in 2005 will fall due for its second “10 Year” overhaul during the winter months. As with all of these stoppages it is uncertain how much this work will cost and its likely duration. Both will depend on how much of the work can be carried out by the railway’s own volunteers.

Winter work has been carried out on both Nos. 7 and 10 at Maespoeth. For those who saw No. 10 working in September and October a pair of visible differences will be the lining-out of the paintwork and less obviously adjustments to the buffer fittings.

Public train services on the Corris will resume on Good Friday and will then run on selected days until the end of October. As always the number of days is limited by the number of volunteers available to operate the trains and staff the Museum and Shop at Corris. Anyone interested in joining in can contact the Railway via volunteering@corris.co.uk or 07785 765874.

Falcon No. 10 – Up For A “Steam Railway” Award For The Second Year Running

Falcon locomotive No. 10 leaving Maespoeth Junction.

For the second year running the Corris Railway’s new Falcon steam locomotive is in the running for a Heritage Railway Association Award which is chosen by the readers of “Steam Railway” magazine. In 2022 the locomotive was nominated following its initial steaming at Alan Keef Ltd and for the 2023 awards it is again on the list following its entry into traffic in September, meaning that there are now two steam locomotives permanently based on the line for the first time since 1948.

There are nine other projects that were completed in 2023 up for voters’ consideration. These include the Ffestiniog Railway for their new steam locomotive “James Spooner” and the Llangollen Railway for completing their extension of the running line and construction of a new station at Corwen.

The Corris members are delighted that the Falcon has made the nominations list twice in two years and hope that people will vote for them via www.steamrailway.co.uk/read/hra-awards

Voting will close on January 8th 2024.

The Corris Railway has produced a 36 page booklet, illustrated throughout in colour, telling the story of the “Falcon” locomotive from its beginning to its completion. It costs £3.00 and can be purchased from the online shop at www.corris.co.uk.

Public service trains on the Corris will resume at Easter but the volunteer workforce will be busy with maintenance and restoration work ahead of the new season.

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