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Developments on the Corris Railway

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by Corris Steam, May 22, 2016.

  1. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I wonder ..... would that proposal have arisen before or after Rev.Wilbert Awdry "extended" his Skarloey Rly in such a fashion? ;)

    I believe the Centre for Alternative Energy occupies a former quarry, once linked to the Corris. Of course, only battery, flywheel* or H2 fuel cell powered kit* would really fit in with their ethos.

    For now, the (seriously impressive) work to get the line to Tan-y-Coed represesents a major step for the railway, after which it'll doubtless be time for the next step in getting "Back to Mach", but in the longest term, who knows? If a branch to CAT would benefit both organisations and the local community, maybe, some day?

    I'm really loving the (increasing number of) photos and clips of No.4's visit back to it's old haunts (especially nice is a photo of both Tattoos, bedded down in the shed at Maespoeth), so a heartfelt 'thank you' to all who've so generously shared their images and all those who've worked so hard to make this event happen. :)


    * think "Parry People Mover" here. As 'Class 139', that tech has been operating the Stourbridge Town branch for yonks.
     
  2. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

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    Sorry Howard but a Parry device visited the W&L but cried ''mummy mummy'' no further out of Wpl. than New Drive :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
     
  3. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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  4. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

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    I did see "Edward Thomas" at the Talylln a few years ago with my sister....in about 1954!! 2020-11-25_151910 - Talyllyn Railway 1953.jpg
     
  5. sleepermonster

    sleepermonster Member

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    I believe the story about linking the Talyllyn and the Corris came from the LTC Rolt account in "Railway Adventure"of the initial meeting of the TRPS, where it was raised from the floor by a member, the resulting railway to be worked by hydro-electric power.

    If you go over that way, preferably on a bike if not on foot, the idea had few vertical problems not completely evident on a map. The Upper Corris Branch was a horse worked roadside tramway with a ruling gradient of about 1 in 20, at least partly swallowed by road widening, with some very rough ground in the gap between the two systems, and that was before the present main road was built.
     
  6. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Can you recall how long ago that was, Paul? Certainly a demonstration unit operated for a few weeks in Brighton (on a short stretch of level track), on New Road behind the Pavilion Gardens. That must've been a couple of years either side of 1990, I only glimpsed it in passing and can't even recall if the 'jubilee-ish' track was NG or not. I certainly can't claim anything beyond a decidedly basic grasp of the principal the beasties operate on.

    The Stourbridge branch certainly isn't remotely level, though it's not in the same league as Golfa (since the demise of the T&D, what is?!, but has operated PPMs successfully since 2009. Perhaps the inglorious interlude you mention led to a few changes? Or perhaps the restricted NG loading gauge doesn't lend itself to the tech?
    i'd forgotten about that, but noting the date (just before Covid, last year), I'm going to forgive myself! An experimental 101/4" gauge prototype was constructed (IIRC, by students from University of Nottingham) and trialled on the Stapleford Miniature Rly, several years ago. Since then, things have come on to the point where fuel cell tech has been in service on PSV sized vehicles (in S.Korea) for a while now and DB have had a full-sized MU on trial in commercial service.
    I recall Rolt's wry comment about the suggestion to harness Dolgoch Falls for hydro-electric operation, but wasn't the notion confined to the Talyllyn?

    The GW apparently mooted upgrading the Upper Corris branch (which was virtually moribund by the time they took over), until someone pointed out that the remaining operational quarries delivered slate to the mainline at Machynlleth in their own lorries. With the exception of a length allegedly remaining under a car park, the Upper Corris branch lost it's rail to the WWII scrap drive.

    I can't find the gradient profiles, but looking at the extract from the 1901 OS map ('Corris - A Narrow Gauge Portrait', 1993 edition), the Llwyngwern branch - that being the quarry which is now home to C.A.T - left the mainline immediately south of the platform and employed a slate walled embankment (noted as 'ruinous' in the 1988 book 'A Return to Corris'), crossing the Afon Dulas by means of a bridge which became unsafe in the 1920s ... more slate taken to Mach by road!
     
  7. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

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    Further ago than would care to admit! I am happy to be corrected but I think the FR/WHR tried a modified version with similar "Huh'' results.
     
  8. RLinkinS

    RLinkinS Member

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    Dolgoch Falls are now used for electricity generation

    Sent from my SM-A105FN using Tapatalk
     
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  9. John Williams

    John Williams New Member

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  10. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    I used to know someone who lived in the area, his parents didnt get mains electricity until 1953. Electricity was far from common in rural areas until the 1960's or later.

    But the falls were used for electricity generation in the past, in Railway Adventure Tom Rolt describes the lights in the Dolgoch Falls Hotel dimming by about midnight as the water in the reservoir that supplied the turbine that lit the hotel drained away.
     
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  11. Nomad

    Nomad New Member

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    Good film double-heading on the Corris on fb, maybe a threesome next year, thanks to whoever for the event. Going back to a possible connection between the two railways up in the hills, i had a good look on Google Earth the closest quarries with a possible potential connection are 2286m apart. Very intriguing idea nonetheless.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2021
  12. I. Cooper

    I. Cooper Member

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    I'm intrigued by which quarries you measured between?

    Bryneglwys to Gaewern/Braich Goch is 6km.
    There are minor scratchings on the hillside at about 3km which were described as "Old Slate Quarries" on the 1887 OS, but they weren't connected to the Corris Railway (that I know of). Which quarry that was connected to the CR lies just over 2km from Brynegwlys?
     
  13. Nomad

    Nomad New Member

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    Only with "possible potential connection", don't hold me down on this, i'm interested to know what others think.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2021
  14. Steve B

    Steve B Well-Known Member

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    My immediate thought when the idea of a connection between the railways via the quarries was raised was not so much the distance between them (although having walked a lot of the area during my time with Gwynedd County Council's footpaths department my abiding memory was how boggy the area was) as the heights involved. It took 2 rope worked inclines to connect the Talyllyn with Bryn Eglwys, and (although my knowledge of the Corris Railway is limited) I believe that Corris itself is on a much lower level than the quarries up at the level of Bryn Eglwys and may have used inclines as well. As a route to connect the railways I think it would have been a non-starter back in the day without major engineering, and possibly a rack railway type solution, and what would have been the point?

    Steve B
     
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  15. black5

    black5 Well-Known Member

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  16. Bikermike

    Bikermike Member

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    Any connection up top would have been "quarry-grade", and given the shifting and unrecorded nature of temporary mine tramways, it's impossible to prove definitively.

    Looking at that map, if you were to connect the railways "proper" (as opposed to the systems), it would be up by the lake
     
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  17. oliversbest

    oliversbest New Member

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    WIBN. The Grand Tour. Especially with one of those "Pullmans" from Boston Lodge!!
     
  18. weltrol

    weltrol Member Friend

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    IIRC, there was talk, many years ago, of extending the Talyllyn up towards the lake. That faded into oblivion when it was realised that the route would require at least two large scale bridges over side valleys, and the hotel owners at the time did not want to be involved.
    If there was to be a connection between the two, then a major tunnel would also be required, and some heavy gradients: Corris is approximately 105m above sea level, Abergynolwyn is 80m. 25m doesn't sound much, but the good old OS maps show the terrain to be pretty inhospitable too. The pass at Corris Uchaf is over 200m....
     
  19. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    That one is news to me. Perhaps the Dinas branch (if it yet existed again), shuttles twixt Blodge, Harbour and the WHHR (I'm going to go out on a limb and guess local demand for a Caernarfon- Dinas commuter service would've been identified by now!). Best mention, were I looking at "mainline" operations, I'd certainly not be thinking of flywheels.

    The only reason(s) I brought PPM's up in this specific instance is (a) the Llwyngwern branch wasn't/wouldn't be very long at all and (b) CAT has always been all about non-polluting lternative tech. I was seriously wondering whether cable haulage should've been on my list too, but I'll leave it up to some other smartar$e to suggest powering a continuous cable loop direct from the Afon Dulas ....... Whoops!
     
  20. Llwyngwern

    Llwyngwern Member

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    Meanwhile, back with what is actually happening Corris wise there is an update on progress with number 10 ; -


    Following on from the first operation of the wheels and motion of Corris new-build 0-4-2ST number 10 at Alan Keef’s, courtesy of compressed air, on June 25th work has continued both by Keef’s and Corris Railway Society volunteers.

    After running on air, the next job was to fully fit the volunteer-built trailing truck to the loco, involving making up the pivoting slide block that transfers some of the loco’s weight to the truck, fitting the pivot stretcher and side control spring brackets to the frame plates.

    After that one of the next jobs was to trial fit the boiler for the first time and this has also been done now so really two major milestones have been achieved in quick succession.

    The boiler fitted its space correctly which was expected, given the calibre of the people who have carried out the work this far. (The boiler was drawn up by Graham Morris and built at Israel Newton’s as one of the first main parts to be made in 2012.) There was a minor problem of clearance on a couple of inside motion links but this was soon sorted with Corris volunteer Jack Evans providing the photos and measurements that Patrick Keef needed from Loco No 3 at the Talyllyn Railway. Thanks go to the TR for their ongoing help.

    Up-to-date photos can be viewed on the Corris Railway website in the photos section and the loco running on air in the videos section, or they can found on the Google photo page where Keefs upload progress photos at https://www.corris.co.uk/keef

    Another area of the build currently being tackled is the brake system. So far the parts have been made by volunteers but will now become a joint effort with Keefs fitting the parts already made. Ian Cross is taking the lead and doing most of the machining, Bob Hughes and Chris Kirkham have machined the three cross shafts and Ade Britchford has welded up all of the components so far. The first batch are parts of the linkage from the handbrake in the cab, which along with the previously cast brake stand mean that after the necessary footplating has been made, these parts can be fitted to the loco and then work will progress in a forward direction.

    In his Nottingham workshop another CRS volunteer, Andy Cooper, has made a start on assembling the cab which is going well, again because of the quality of the work so far. Graham Morris designed the cab earlier in the project as a compromise between the original Corris style features but taller than original to accommodate 21st century footplate crews. Graham French took this forward with his own surveying of the built frames and details taken from the existing remnants of No 3’s 1930’s cab to produce the current C.A.D. drawings of the loco from which working drawings of the cab can be lifted. The end result is that Andy took delivery of a set of steel plates, laser cut to shape with a combination of square holes where needed and round pilot holes elsewhere for the front, rear and sides of the cab. So far all appears to be spot on so that he had what he regards as the relatively simple job of supplying some angle and flat section steel which are cut, shaped and in a few cases welded and then drilled as appropriate to bolt the panels together.

    The most demanding part of cab construction so far has been to create the opening fireman’s side panel to make access for coaling up at Maespoeth Junction easier. Not wanting to weld a couple of big ugly hinges to the outside, the aim is to make the hinge part as unobtrusive as possible from the outside so it has been made from scratch.

    Eventually most of the parts will be riveted together but for now bolted is more practical. When all of the sub-assemblies have been made the intention is to take everything to Keef’s to be trial fitted, modified as necessary and details worked out for the bunkers, which apart from coal space will be used to accommodate the air brake system and communication system parts.

    As always the date of the entry of number 10 into traffic in the Dulas Valley and on the extended section of running line depends on the rate of fund raising. Online donations can be made via www.corris.co.uk or cheques payable to Corris Railway can be sent to Peter Guest, 38 Underwood Close, Callow Hill, Redditch, Worcestershire, B97 5YS

    And if you are going to the Gala this weekend there is a book sale in aid of the loco. Railway titles at two pounds a time.

    ;-
     

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