Footplate Sections Fitted To New Corris Steam Locomotive As Volunteers Produce Further Components

Following the resumption of work on the new build Falcon locomotive for the Corris Railway at Alan Keef Ltd, sections of the footplate have been made and were being fitted in April. This is a prelude to the mounting of the smokebox.

In addition the handbrake screw had been machined and connected up to the rest of the mechanism to complete that part of the brake assembly. Also, a decision had been made on the type of air brake cylinder that will be used so that suitable mountings could be made. This was not strictly part of the planned work prioritised at this stage of construction but as with many interconnected parts really needed to be done to establish clearance on other components.

With the locomotive’s inside motion, and overall small size, accurate measuring of components and clearances is crucial. This consideration means that a volunteer has constructed a wooden ashpan for trial fitting before the same volunteer commits to producing one in steel that will be fitted to the engine. Elsewhere another volunteer has made the firebox doors and opening mechanism.

The new steam locomotive will be the second to enter service on the revived section of the oldest narrow gauge railway in Mid Wales, situated in the beautiful Dulas Valley between Machynlleth and Dolgellau. The Falcon is a 21st Century evocation of a trio of engines built in 1878 at the Falcon Works in Loughborough. One of these is now Sir Haydn on the Talyllyn Railway. The new build will differ from the originals in some respects, most visibly a higher cab to accommodate drivers and firemen who are taller than their Victorian predecessors. The new cab does however have a similar outline to that carried by the original trio during their time at the Corris.

The target, for the first steaming of the locomotive, subject to continued successful fund raising, is September 24th 2022 when it is planned to appear as the centerpiece of a charity open day at the workshops of Alan Keef Ltd. Further work including painting will follow with a further target of entry into service on the Corris in the first part of 2023. Again this is dependent about the rate of fundraising.

Donations for the new engine are welcome in order to meet this timescale and can be made online at 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.

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