Although it was unable to run its planned 2020 train services after assessing the potential problems caused by Covid-19, progress has been made on the Corris Railway with both ongoing projects and maintenance.
On the maintenance front the running line has seen attention to sleepers and rail joints and the removal of the former LNER lever frame from Corris station for refurbishment. A very welcome development has been the “Sundae Gang”, a group of generally young volunteers, who have tackled both trackwork and lineside vegetation including opening out some views. Working on Sundays they have acquired their name from “refuelling breaks” that involve cake consumption.
A spell of dry weather in September, after a disappointing August, allowed more construction work on the embankment south of Maespoeth Junction and utilisation of more of the material available from Dolgellau. With the new-build steam locomotive “Falcon” number 10 a volunteer based in the East Midlands has produced patterns for the brake blocks and the brake column stem.
At Maespoeth Junction volunteers have continued to bring new build carriage number 23 closer to being able to enter traffic when services resume and there has been work on heritage waggons. A “working week” by a number of other volunteers greatly advanced the construction of the shelter for the waggons which will free valuable space in the carriage shed.
However in the latest edition of the Corris Railway Society magazine the “Corris-Pondent” Chairman Richard Hamilton-Foyn advised members that should the pandemic enforce restrictions on running passenger trains and “Railway For The Day” experiences continuing into 2021 then hard decisions may have to be made both to safeguard what has already been achieved with the revival of the Corris and its future. The lack of operations has cut out fares, on-site donations, and on day sales and although there have been generous donations from members and others, plus useful income from sales via the online shop this has not fully compensated. Richard emphasised his reluctance to “go cap in hand” to members and supporters but there is uncertainty ahead and help is appreciated.
Any donations to specific projects or general funds will be welcome. They can be made via www.corris.co.uk or cheques payable to “Corris Railway” can be sent to the Corris Railway, Station Yard, Corris, Machynlleth, SY20 9SH.