© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011
When the Talyllyn Railway was famously
revived, now more than 50 years ago, it was
very fortunate in that one of its near
neighbours, one of very few railways of the
same 2' 3" gauge, had recently closed, and
two locomotives were available to purchase.
These two, former Corris Railways nos. 3 & 4,
became much better known as "Sir Haydn"
and "Edward Thomas". So, in a sense, the Talyllyn was able to
repay the compliment when, to mark the official reopening
of the Corris Railway (or part thereof...) it was able to lend
no 3 for a series of "Special Steam Days".
I decided not to try to visit on the first weekend - I guessed it
might be just a bit too busy for my liking, and had already
pencilled in activities for the second weekend. On the third
weekend, we made it to Corris, via the rather interesting
mountain road from Aberangell to Aberllefenni.
I had rashly assumed that all trains would use steam - perhaps
topped and tailed with a Corris diesel. In fact steam and diesel
took turns - each with its own set of coaching stock. No 3 had
brought along the original Corris saloon no 17 and brake van no
6. Oddly, the service was not one of alternating
steam and diesel (contrary to the rather
offhand explanation of a young gentleman
officiating at Corris station, when I asked
"where's the steamer" on seeing our train arrive
propelled by the blue Ruston. Be careful, Corris
Railway...). Our diesel-hauled train would
return to Corris - we decided to wait at
Maespoeth for the next, steam hauled working.
I first became aware of the Corris in 1968, when I visited the
Talyllyn for the first time. As far as we knew then, there would
be no Corris revival. In fact, the first Corris preservationists had
met a couple of years before that. It's taken a long time to get
this far! As well as the reopening of the line, the project to build
a new Kerr, Stuart "Tattoo" (as in no.4, aka "Edward Thomas") is
Meanwhile, plans are being developed to reopen a further 1½
miles to Tan-y-Coed, where there is a Forestry Commission picnic
place and car park. Let's hope that newly-launched public
service will mark the start of the cash flow, that will be required
to bring these plans to fruition.
The Corris Railway