The other 2' 3" gauge line
Steam on the Corris
22 June 2003  
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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
Geoff’s Rail Diaries
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 progressing well. 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. Link: The Corris Railway
Corris station On the line Ready for action - no. 3 at Maespoeth Arrival at Maespoeth - the Ruston Here we go - no. 3 at Maespoeth At the buffer stops - Corris station and no. 3 "Corris Railway 11" - the brake van