The Corris Railway is not the best known “heritage railway” in Britain by any stretch of the imagination as it goes about the revival of the oldest narrow gauge line in Mid Wales. It was therefore something of a surprise for the volunteer workforce to learn that it had featured in the “The Times of India”, a leading English language newspaper in the sub-continent.
The newspaper contacted the Corris Railway Society because of another planned heritage railway scheme, this one being based in the state of Kerala. The state government is working with Tata Corporation to revive the Kundale Valley Light Railway which was constructed in 1910 to move tea in chests out of the valley and on to the markets. The motive power used a century ago was a Kerr Stuart “Tattoo” class narrow gauge steam engine and via the internet the Indian revivalists discovered that the Corris had had a new version of the original design constructed at the start of the 21st Century. They got in touch and obtained information about the construction and subsequent history of CR No. 7 from CRS member Richard Shipman. Information about the Corris’ “Tattoo” locomotive can be found on the website at www.corris.co.uk and its story up to starting work on the Corris can be found in the booklet “The Tale of a “Tattoo”” by Peter Guest which can be purchased from the website online shop and at the Railway’s museum when train are running.
No. 7 is in turn a recreation of part of Corris Railway history. The inspiration for its building was the original CR No. 4 which arrived in the Dulas Valley from Kerr Stuart’s Stoke-on-Trent workshops in 1921 and having worked until the original line up the Dulas Valley closed in 1948 is now a valuable member of the locomotive fleet on the Talyllyn Railway, named “Edward Thomas”.
The Corris welcomed some South Asian visitors during its May Gala Day and hopes that its mention in “The Times of India” may generate some more interest and visits. Meanwhile work continues with the next steam engine for the revival:- “Falcon” No. 10 will recreate a design dating back to 1878.
Editors notes: The article in The Times Of India can be viewed here: Times Of India article – June 23rd 2019.