In Sunshine And In Shower – The 2024 Corris Railway Gala

Saturday June 15th was a day of variable weather in Mid Wales with good spells of sunshine interspersed with some very heavy, albeit generally of short duration, showers. Despite the downpours this year’s Corris Railway Gala was a successful day with full trains and good sales in the Railway’s shop.

It was a day of historic events. The schedule of trains leaving Corris station at half hourly intervals was the most intensive timetable ever to operate over the section of line to Maespoeth Junction and for the first time in living memory three locomotives were in steam. Expecting a good turn-out for the event the Corris had decided not to run any demonstration freight trains and to concentrate on its passenger services. There had been a spate of online bookings during the day and on the evening of the 14th as well as walk-up sales on the day.

For most of the visitors the major attraction was the visit of “Sir Haydn” from the neighbouring Talyllyn Railway and its initial appearance alongside its much younger classmate Corris No. 10. It was the first time two “Falcons” together had worked trains in over a century and the lunchtime double-headed pairing was a highlight of the day. No. 3 was very much at home on the railway where it ran between 1878 and 1948, its green livery contrasting with No. 10 in its Corris red paint.

The visiting engine had to come to the rescue in mid-morning when the “Tattoo”, Corris No. 7, failed in section with a steam leak on its way up the line. The 2005 built loco was returned to the Junction and spent the rest of the day on the headshunt while the pair of “Falcons” worked turn and turn about.

A number of Corris Railway Society members took the opportunity to walk down past the headshunt and onto the new embankment which has now linked up with the earthworks supporting the existing head of rail. Looking ahead to the next phase of the line’s Southern Extension plans a new appeal leaflet to raise funds for the Nant Goedwig stream had been printed and a number of visitors had picked one up and were reading it (copies can be obtained by sending an s.a.e. to CRS 42 Bluebell Close, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 3XQ or donations to the Southern Extension Fund can be made online at www.corris.co.uk). Hopefully donations may follow.

Overall it was a very satisfactory day for the Corris and thanks go to the visiting crew from the Talyllyn who worked No. 3 during the event.

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