With the latest easing of Covid 19 restrictions Corris Railway Society volunteers have been able to resume socially distanced working in the workshops at Maespoeth Junction. One of the first tasks undertaken was completion of the braking system for new build carriage 23 ahead of its planned entry into traffic at the start of the 2021 operating season.
Carriage No. 23 is the third of four new carriages being constructed for the Corris and recreates the appearance of the Victorian/Edwardian era vehicles that once carried passengers in the Dulas Valley. There are however differences to meet 21st Century safety requirements, most notably steel being used in place of wood for the framing of the bodywork. As with carriage No. 21 it has an arc roof, whilst carriage No. 22 has a clerestory. Internally passengers sit on longitudinal seats in two compartments per coach with each compartment seating up to eight adult passengers.
Construction of Carriage No. 24 is advancing in the Maespoeth Junction carriage shed. It will have a clerestory roof and will incorporate a first class observation car portion. Although construction is carried out at the Junction members of the team produce some components in their home workshops ready for final fitting.
It is planned that by the end of 2022 the Corris carriages will be headed by new build steam locomotive Falcon 0-4-2ST No. 10, providing that income from supporters can allow work to progress. At the end of April Corris Railway Society volunteers had completed work on the hinges and opening mechanism for the smokebox door and these were fitted to the door pressing. Volunteers had also begun work on the brake gear.
The main locomotive construction is being carried out at the workshops of Alan Keef Ltd near Ross-on-Wye and there the eccentrics and expansion links were among parts that had been machined and fitted to take the bottom half of the loco closer to completion and demonstration running by means of compressed air. When the inside motion is complete the plan is to make the slide block and fixings to mount the pony truck on the loco then some necessary sections of foot plate followed by a start on mounting the boiler.
Donations towards the cost of constructing locomotive No. 10 can be made via www.corris.co.uk or cheques, payable to Corris Railway, can be sent to Peter Guest, 38 Underwood Close, Callow Hill, Redditch, B97 5YS.