The Corris Railway Makes Progress With Its Southern Extension As Construction Material Becomes Available

The embankment has received another layer of stone at the far end.

The first quarter of 2024 has seen rapid progress made with the construction of the new embankment that is a key part of the Southern Extension of the Corris Railway. Once completed the Extension will double the length of the journey along the Dulas Valley and mean that one and a half miles of the original six and a half mile route between Machynlleth and Aberllefenni will see train operations once again. All extension work will be south of Corris as post-closure development has been built over the trackbed north of Corris station.

The key factor in the acceleration of progress was the completion of the new road bridge crossing the river Dyfi at Machynlleth. In order to work on the banks of a river whose flow varies considerably as rain comes and goes in Mid Wales hard standing had to be created for the machinery to be used and with the completion of the bridge this is being removed to allow nature to re-establish itself.

Large tonnages of this material has been making its way up the A487 to the works site south of Maespoeth Junction. At one point in February a lorry was arriving every fifteen minutes although the pace slackened after that. After unloading the material was laid and new “benches” were cut in the hillside climbing towards the A487 ready for the next phase of building up the new embankment. These were then filled. Apart from drainage and embankment stone and material the new structure also has layers of geotextile laid.

The main enemy to progress was the wet weather continuing as winter moved into spring and some off loaded material had to be left to dry out after delivery. However the pace kept two diggers, a dumper truck and a roller at work on the 100 metres long section of embankment.

It was gratifying that by the end of March the new earthworks had risen by five metres and at the southern end of the site was coming tantalisingly close to a remaining section of the original railway fence which survived closure of the Corris in 1948 and the re-routing of the A487 which has made the new works necessary. At this point in the project the embankment is laid level level along its length but later works will be necessary to raise the northern end to the same height as the original route and the existing railhead south of Maespoeth Junction. That will reinstate a 1 in 30 gradient, and the prospect of the Corris’ steam locomotives climbing that will delight many enthusiasts.

Before that however the Nant Goedwig stream will need to be crossed followed by final grading and track laying.

View the progress here on the Southern Extension April 2024, available now on YouTube.

It goes without saying that this progress is expensive. The Corris has a healthy Southern Extension Fund fund but payments for the material, machinery and operators are quickly eating into that. Any donations toward these costs and keeping the project moving forward will be very welcome and can be made online via Alternatively cheques, payable to Corris Railway, can be sent to Corris Railway (SE), Station Yard, Corris, Machynlleth, SY20 9SH.

One thought on “The Corris Railway Makes Progress With Its Southern Extension As Construction Material Becomes Available

  • 27th April 2024 at 7:53 am

    I came and visited the Corris Railway with my dad in 1974 apx when I was 12 and you had about 100ft of track that we walked on.
    It’s is so good to follow your progress and see the track being restored
    In your article I would love to hear what the end goal is, how much it would cost and will I see it complete in my lifetime.
    Keep up with great progress.


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