Announcing A Special Centenary Celebration

2 Tattoos

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.

Work As The Corris Railway Looks To Extend Southwards From Maespoeth Junction

Southern Extension. Pont y Goedwig Deviation Project. Sunday, 1.3.2020

It was four decades ago that works to improve the A487 Dolgellau – Machynlleth road saw removal of part of the trackbed of the former Corris Railway, closed in 1948, and left a costly problem for the present day revival of the oldest narrow gauge railway in Mid Wales. Although the Corris trackbed is largely intact southwards of Maespoeth Junction there is a need to build a new embankment including a bridge over the Nant Goedwig stream to allow the Southern Extension of the line to regain the original route.

The embankment will be some 440 metres in length and will need to be steeply sided as part of flood protection in the valley of the river Dulas. Many years of work has had to be carried out to obtain various permissions and licences ahead of work commencing and work has been carried out as resources and suitable materials have come to hand. Sections of new embankment have been built but a gap of some 300 metres remains to be filled together with the construction of the bridge over the Goedwig.

A major step forward took place at the end of March when a quantity of suitable material to extend the embankment was located near Dolgellau. Also a local contractor with the required plant and machinery was available and able to work within the current Government restrictions. Construction of the next portion of the Southern Extension has therefore started. It is intended that some of the rock will be used to create gabions (baskets filled with stone) to support the base of the embankment.

Corris Railway Chairman Richard Hamilton-Foyn explained that although this is very welcome progress there is still plenty to do before trains can travel over the new section of line which includes gradients of up to 1 in 30. This will be a good test for the Corris’ steam engines “Tattoo” No. 7 and, when it is complete, “Falcon” No.  10. “We have built up financial reserves for the Southern Extension and thank the many people who have supported us with donations over the years. Although these reserves amount to a six figure sum the present works are costing at least £70,000 and that means that most of our funds will have been spent with more very costly work, including the bridge, still to be done.”

Richard continued “Although this is not the largest proposed extension in the world of heritage railways it is very important for the future revival of the Corris Railway and will take us a good way towards our next target of doubling the length of our operating line. Our ultimate aim is to extend southwards at least as far as the Centre for Alternative Technology. This will provide a splendidly scenic journey along one of the most attractive valleys in Mid Wales with steep gradients and riverside scenery. It will also provide a valuable transport link between the various attractions in the Dulas Valley. We already maintain the former Corris Railway station at Esgairgeiliog and it awaits its first trains since 1948. We now need assistance to get there.”

Donations for the Southern Extension and, if necessary, to help the Railway through the current crisis can be made via the Corris Railway website or cheques payable to Corris Railway can be sent to Corris Railway, Station Yard, Corris, Machynlleth, Powys, SY20 9SH.

Covid-19 And Progress On The Corris Railway

Southern Extension Plant

As with the other British Heritage Railways the Corris Railway has had to suspend its operations, maintenance and restoration work pending the lifting of the lockdown and movement restrictions. On the plus side there has been progress on two of its major projects namely the Southern Extension of the line beyond Maespoeth Junction and the new steam locomotive, “Falcon” 0-4-2ST No. 10.

As its workforce is entirely voluntary the Railway has not had to meet staff wages during the enforced lockdown and with no trains moving and no activity in the workshops or at trackside some costs including coal, fuel and utilities have been greatly reduced. However there are others to be met, often overlooked or unrealised by enthusiasts and passengers, including insurance payments and licensing of online tools such as accountancy packages. With no fares being paid and no retail sales apart from the Corris’ online shop these costs do eat into reserves. In addition, at a time when communication with Society members is crucial, there are the costs of producing the quarterly “Corris-Pondent” magazine. The Railway will also need to have finance available in its general funds ready to cover costs of restarting operations as restrictions ease.

The enforced shut down has been frustrating for the Corris workforce and membership. This is particularly so as materials have been sourced from Dolgellau for another phase of construction of the Southern Extension works, which will see the operating line extending further along the Dulas Valley from Maespoeth Junction, and work is planned with £70,000 earmarked for the start of embankment earthworks. Considerably more will have to be raised, however, for this part of the revival of the oldest narrow gauge railway in Mid Wales.

Continued support for the target of £44,000 to complete the bottom half of new steam locomotive “Falcon” No. 10 at the workshops of Alan Keef Ltd near Ross on Wye has brought that stage of construction into clear sight with less than £14,000 left to raise. Stainless steel for and some work on the loco’s smokebox as an early stage of the “top half” has been costed at a further £1,000.

Fund raising towards to the next stage of construction of the new Corris station was also progressing, the plan there including a new track plan with a traverser and new platform.

Some work has continued away from the Railway in members’home workshops including manufacture of components for the next carriage due to enter traffic, number 23. Hopefully this will take matters forward when access to the carriage shed at Maespoeth Junction is possible once again.

Donations towards the Corris General Fund, which will assist with the continuing costs during the shutdown and the eventual resumption of operations, and also for the works on the Southern Extension can be made via Paypal by using one of the links below:

General Funds
The Southern Extension

The Southern Extension

The Tattoo Locomotive
The Southern Extension

The Falcon Locomotive

F.O.C.R.M The Museum
Please consider helping us to develop the Railway? Every penny counts, Thank You!

Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Update – 24/03/2020

COVID-19 250320

The Corris Railway, in common with all other UK organisations and businesses, is monitoring the rapidly evolving situation and following the Government’s guidelines on the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.

The health and safety of our visitors and volunteers is paramount to us, and in light of the statements given by the Prime Minister on Monday 16th March and subsequently on Monday 23rd March we have taken the difficult decision to close the railway until at least Friday 8th May.

We will continue to monitor the situation based on the changing advice from government and health authorities and will issue an update if the current situation changes.

Richard Hamilton-Foyn
Chairman, The Corris Railway Society.

Good Progress With Funding For New Corris Railway Steam Locomotive

The Corris Railway Falcon Locomotive becomes an 0-4-2 for the first time having had the trailing truck fitted.

Having announced in November 2019 a target of £44,000 to complete work on the motion of its new steam locomotive, “Falcon” No. 10, the Corris Railway has seen a very gratifying level of support. £30,000 is now to hand and committed to allow construction to continue at the workshops of Alan Keef Ltd near Ross-on-Wye.

Construction of the engine has, amongst other work on the “bottom half”, seen the trailing pony truck put in place making No. 10 into an 0-4-2 for the first time.

Commenting on the project Andy Cooper of the Corris Railway Society said:

We are very grateful to everyone who has made a donation towards the target of having the driving wheels and motion being moved by compressed air at Keef’s Open Day in September. There have been a number of one off donations, some very generous indeed, many Society members paid “extra” when renewing their memberships and we have a steady cash flow from standing order payments. £14,000 remains to be raised to reach our target but if we can get there in the next few months we will be a major step along our way to having two steam engines based on the Corris for the first time since 1948.

Donations towards the “Falcon” 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 can also supply details of regular payments by standing order and anyone able to pay £20 or more a month for 30 months will receive a limited edition print of No. 10 by Jonathan Clay.

25th Anniversary Of The Corris Railway Society’s Model Railway Exhbition

A quarter of a century has now passed since the Corris Railway Society held its first Model Railway Exhibition in the school at Corris itself. In 2020 the venue will be Y Plas in Machynlleth and the exhibition will take place on August Bank Holiday Saturday and Sunday, the 29th and 30th.

Current exhibition organiser Bill Newton, who has held the reins for the last 15 years after taking over from Steve Parr, took up the story.

“As with many events it doesn’t feel like 25 years have gone by since the Corris Railway Society first staged what was then a Model Railway and Toy Exhibition, but time must be going by quickly when we’re enjoying ourselves! The show has been staged in a number of venues down the years but Y Plas is very suitable for a medium sized (12 to 15 layouts plus sales stands is our usual line-up) exhibition and is handily placed with car parking nearby. We have cut back from a 3 day event to 2 in recent years and profits go towards the revival of the Corris Railway itself”.

Bill continued

“Recent MRE’s have featured at least one layout where children can have a try at controlling the trains which may introduce them to the railway modelling hobby. We have also featured smaller sized layouts which can be fitted into modern, less spacious housing. And if there can be quite a lot of narrow gauge layouts, well the Corris Railway is the oldest narrow gauge railway in Mid Wales so that is where our Society’s members interests lie”.

More information about the Exhibition can be obtained by emailing

Volunteer Involvement In Construction Of New Steam Locomotive For Corris Railway As Funding Reaches Another Milestone

Falcon chassis 271119

Having announced a target of £44,000 to complete the bottom part of its new steam locomotive, so that it can be demonstrated working by means of compressed air in September 2020 during the Open Day at Alan Keef Ltd, the Corris Railway is pleased that funds are now in place to complete the outside motion. This work will cost £8,000 but the next major steps to complete the inside motion and its assembly between the frames of the 0-4-2ST require a further £22,000 so major income is still being sought. Donations can be made online via or cheques payable to Corris Railway, sent to Peter Guest, 38 Underwood Close, Callow Hill, Redditch, B97 5YS.

Looking at other areas of the project it is estimated that a sum in excess of £30,000 from the final overall bill will be saved by reason of Corris Railway volunteers constructing some parts of No. 10, a 21st century version of one of the “Falcon” locomotives that served the Corris in its independent, GWR and BR days. Following a meeting at Alan Keef’s at the end of November 2019 it has been agreed that a team of volunteers with engineering skills and facilities will construct the brake gear, smokebox, bunker and cab. The cab will have a profile similar to that of the original engines, aided by parts of the original from No. 3, which are on display in the workshops at Maespoeth Junction, that can serve as templates. However the cab will stand somewhat taller to cope with larger 21st century footplate crews. The visit to Keef’s also saw the pony truck complete with trailing wheels delivered to the works following construction and assembly by Corris volunteers. As the Maespoeth workforce are also engaged in carriage and waggon construction plus maintenance work on other locos and rolling stock more hands will be very welcome and they should contact as a starting point.

Waggon Construction And Restoration At The Corris Railway

In the carriage shed at Maespoeth Junction a small team of Corris Railway volunteers continue to construct and restore waggons for use in special events, photo charters and demonstration gravity train runs.

Working mainly on Tuesdays the team’s most recent completed job is a 2-plank vehicle at the end of November, which was immediately put to use for storage of presents ahead of the Santa Train operations, while work is continuing on repairing and straightening the bodywork of a metal bodied vehicle before it is ready for reassembly and linking with the wooden chassis.

Plans for 2020 include the recreation of a vehicle that once ran in the Dulas Valley and was characteristic of the Corris, a four wheeled trestle waggon used to move slate in slabs on an arrangement that resembled two easels back to back placed longitudinally on the chassis. Also due to arrive at Maespoeth is the metal body of a former waggon from the Aberllefenni slate quarries which is believed to have worked on the CR. The vehicle, which is to be restored to operating condition, has been kindly loaned to the Corris by its owner. A necessary related project will be construction of covered accommodation for the waggons as although the Maespoeth carriage shed is large it is not in the Tardis class and wooden stock left out in the open in the Dulas Valley tends to fall prey to damp and associated fungi in short order. Agreement on the design of this shelter for the waggons and its construction may have to precede further waggon work and will be another task for the volunteers to tackle.

The “Tuesday Gang” has also been working on progressing the new carriages, numbers 23 and 24 alongside the waggon work and new volunteers with wood and metal working skills will be welcome to help with the continuing revival of the oldest narrow gauge railway in Mid Wales. Potential new volunteers should contact

**”waggon” is the correct CR spelling.

Santa Special Steam Trains On The Corris Railway (2019)

Corris Railway 2019 Santa Trains

The Corris Railway will be running its annual Santa Special Steam Trains on December 7th and 8th and as usual the volunteers will be travelling from near and far to dress up and make the families welcome as they enjoy a steam train ride to meet Santa in his grotto.

The trains will leave Corris station (which can be found in the village by turning off the A487 Machynlleth- Dolgellau road at the Braich Goch Inn) at 11.00, 12.00, 13.00, 14.00 and 15.00. Steam locomotive Number 7 and its train will take the passengers to meet Santa who will be greeting them at Maespoeth Junction and will, of course, have a present ready for all the children. There will also be some seasonal refreshments available for children and adults alike.

The trains are not pre-bookable, passengers simply turn-up and pay on the day of travel. Tickets cost £8.50 for children aged 1 to 15, £6 for adults and seniors and £25 for families (2 adults/seniors plus 2 children).

The Santa Trains are always an enjoyable end to the operating season for both the Corris’ volunteer workforce, who take a break from winter work on restoration and maintenance, and for the younger passengers for which it is often their first train ride, enjoying the unique sounds and aromas of a steam engine at close quarters as part of their day out.

Progress With New Corris Railway Steam Locomotive

Falcon chassis at Keefs

With progress continuing on the construction of the new “Falcon” steam locomotive for the Corris Railway at the works of Alan Keef Ltd a financial target of £44,000 has been announced to complete work on the chassis, valve gear and motion. If this can be achieved before September 2020 it will be possible to see the wheels and motion moving by means of compressed air at the Open Day at Keef’s workshops near Ross-on-Wye.

Andy Cooper of the Corris Railway Society commented:

“Progress on number 10, the “Falcon”, has been going well and if we can raise the £44,000 sum we not only have the loco complete as to frames, wheels and motion but will also be getting closer to the point where we can unite this phase of the work with the boiler which we have already had constructed by Israel Newton. Our first target is to raise £8,000 by the end of January to complete the outside motion. The slidebars and mounting brackets for this element are completed, and the next stage is machining of the crosshead castings, gudgeon pins machining to suit, and a set of bronze slippers machining to suit. Finally all components will need assembly onto the cylinders and motion brackets which are already in place. After that work will turn to the inside motion. Many components for this have been manufactured already but even so completion will cost a further £22,000.”

Donations towards the “Falcon” 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 can also supply details of regular payments by standing order and anyone able to pay £20 or more a month for 30 months will receive a limited edition print of number 10 by Jonathan Clay.