With the cancellation of many events in 2020 the Talyllyn and Corris Railways are delighted to announce a series of special celebrations in 2021 to mark the centenary of Ex-Corris, and current Talyllyn Railway, locomotive No. 4 ‘Edward Thomas’. The first celebration will be on the Corris Railway over the 8/9th May 2021 Gala Weekend when No. 4 will return to its old haunts to work alongside new build sister, Corris Railway locomotive No. 7. Then at the beginning of June both locomotives will travel to Tywyn and the Talyllyn Railway where a special gala will be held on the weekend of 12/13 June 2021.
Both celebrations will offer special photographic and other opportunities to mark the centenary of locomotive No. 4. During the Corris celebration No. 4 will be seen hauling a rake of recreated Corris carriages and also some vintage waggons, including some double heading with No. 7. It is also hoped that there will be other attractions for visitors to enjoy.
On the Talyllyn Nos. 4 and 7 will be seen alongside the other surviving original Corris locomotive, the Talyllyn’s No. 3 ‘Sir Haydn’. There will also be photographic opportunities to see all three locomotives along with, the then newly back in service, original Corris carriage No. 17. This is currently undergoing restoration work at Stanegate Restorations, and also the original Corris Brake Van now Talyllyn Van No. 6, also currently being restored. This event will also include model ‘Tattoos’ and other attractions.
This will be a second visit to the Talyllyn for Corris No. 7. Its previous visit highlighted the need for improvements to be made to some of its original front end design. Therefore, it will be interesting to see how the locomotive performs on its return visit and when it is able to ‘stretch its wheels’ again.
Built by Kerr Stuart as one of their ‘Tattoo’ class locomotives No. 4 was delivered new to the then independent Corris Railway in early June 1921. It subsequently passed into the hands of the Great Western Railway when it purchased the Corris in 1930. When Nationalisation came it was transferred to British Railways, and it and No. 3 were sold to the then fledgling preserved Talyllyn Railway for £25 each. No. 4 entered service on the Talyllyn in 1952 following a rebuild at Hunslet works in Leeds, and was able to take on most of the train services from the then ailing No. 2 ‘Dolgoch’, thus playing an important role in the early history of Railway preservation.
Corris Railway No. 7 is a 20th Century version of the Kerr Stuart “Tattoo” design and entered CR service in 2005.
2021 also marks the 70th Anniversary on 14 May 1951 of the first train to be operated by a Railway Preservation Society following the Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society taking over the operation of the line. The Talyllyn will be marking the anniversary with some special celebrations over the weekend of 14/15/16 May 2021, further details of which will be announced later.
Of course at this time one has to add the caveat that all these celebrations will be subject to the current crisis having passed, but hopefully they will mark the triumphant return to full operations for both Railways.