With footplating work well advanced at the workshops of Alan Keef Ltd some other larger and visible components are being progressed as work continues towards having the new steam locomotive for the Corris Railway steaming in September. If targets are met the first public steaming of No. 10, the Falcon, will take place at Keef’s open day on September 24th.
The steel for the saddle tank has been cut by Optimised Metal Fabrications of Rochester and some of the laser-cut parts were delivered to Barnshaws Plate and Section Rollers in Wolverhampton for shaping. Once this is done the tank is to be assembled by Corris Railway volunteers in the East Midlands before delivery to Keef’s. This will save some money but the tank will still cost two thousand five hundred pounds.
The cab sides and front and rear plating for the loco’s cab was produced by Optimised Fabrications previously and have been trial-assembled and fitted to No. 10. The steel for the roof is being obtained to allow final completion and together with rolling the angles is estimated to cost a further five hundred pounds.
During June work was due to get underway at Keef’s on completion of the smokebox and associated parts and staff from Keef’s have visited the Talyllyn Railway at Tywyn to check details of Corris No. 3, particularly the blast pipe arrangement.
The mechanical lubricator has been purchased and delivered to Keef’s. The firebox door assembly produced by a Corris volunteer with engineering skills is in place on the boiler.
Although the plan is to steam the engine at Keef’s at the end of September there will still be completion work to be done in order for the loco to enter Corris service in 2023. This will include such tasks as fitting the buffers and sanding gear and of course painting, followed by delivery to the loco shed at Maespoeth Junction. This work is estimated to cost forty eight thousand pounds with the Corris still needing to raise twenty thousand pounds to reach this target.
As a further incentive to see No. 10 completed and in service next year 2023 will mark the 140th Anniversary of the introduction of steam services to the Corris, headed by the trio of locomotives which were the ancestors of the new-build engine.
Donations for the new engine are welcome in order to meet the timescales and can be made online at www.corris.co.uk 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. There will be a fundraising stand for the loco at the Corris Railway Society’s Model Railway Exhibition which will be held at Y Plas in Machynlleth on August 27th and 28th.