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Developments on the Corris Railway

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

  1. LesterBrown

    LesterBrown Member

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    I would think zero as houses on Minfordd Street have been built across the line at the former level crossing. The benefits wouldn't seem to outweigh the costs and probable loss of community support.
     
  2. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    I've often thought of a way of connecting back to the lost northern section. No answer occurs so far, but the last section of tramway at Ratgoed (Ralltgoed?) is in a beautiful valley. As agricultural interests diversify (it's a popular 'outdoors activity' area already) there could be a good reason to take another look.

    Still, there's the small matter of a 'Falcon' loco, new carriages, rebuilding Gorsaf Corris with loop and sector plate, the extension to Tan-y-Coed underway, a serious engineering (and fundraising) challenge at Pont Dyfi and site to acquire and restore at Machynlleth to worry about first. Should be enough to be going on with for a couple of years!
     
  3. Meiriongwril

    Meiriongwril Member

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    Hi,
    'Y' is the definite article not a preposition. The house name is short for Y Goedwig, as coedwig is indeed the correct form when by itself.
     
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  4. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    I speak some Latin-derived langauges, plus a smattering of Dutch and German (all to varying degrees of incomprehensability), but admit that lenition thing in Celtic languages always confuses the hell out of me.

    In the case of modern Welsh, the differences north and south of Afon Dyfi scarcely help (different rivers, but just as noticable in spoken Dutch) and with Irish, so far as I can see, the notion of any standard vocabulary, let alone pronunciation, is confined to the realms of linguistic theory.

    The battle of the specialists over "Corris Uchaf" vs "Upper Corris" always comes into clear focus as soon as anyone hears locals speak, as they only ever refer to the village as "Top Corris" in English or Welsh in any case.

    I don't actually think the Latin alphabet works very well for the Celtic languages and anyway, check for yourself (https://omniglot.com/conscripts/tengwar_welsh.htm) Welsh looks bloody brilliant in Tengwar script!
     
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  5. GWR Man.

    GWR Man. Well-Known Member

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    No the trackbed is still free of been built on as the track went across from the black gates to the red gates. https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.6...4!1sh0SkmSGWSlf-t0jxicZDhg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656 Yes the track bed was against the walls of the houses unless this has happened sense 2009 when google have done their street view.
     
  6. LesterBrown

    LesterBrown Member

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    Well I missed that little gap when wandering round Corris last summer! Further down the hill is another gap and I thought it was a new house opposite - on Google Maps I can see it had probably just been cleaned and re-pointed.

    Why look on the ground when Google's aerial photos make everything a lot clearer!

     
  7. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    This, posted by one 'gribblethruster' from a good few years ago may give a reasonable impression of the route:
     
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  8. Occasional

    Occasional New Member

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    A little more from the "Maespoeth Mafia"

    The Corris Railway will hold its third Spring Gala Day on Sunday May 27th with a variety of trains in action between Corris station and Maespoeth Junction.

    Passenger and van train services will be handled by “Tattoo” 0-4-2ST number 7, Ruston Hornsby diesel number 6, following winter work which included tyre re-profiling and journals being trued at the Vale of Rheidol, and Orenstein and Koppel diesel number 11. The first locomotive to work during the revival of the Corris Simplex number 5 “Alan Meaden” will head some demonstration works trains and Clayton battery electric number 9 “Aberllefenni” is planned to be found in its usual role of carriage shed shunter at Maespoeth Junction. Visitors will be able see components for steam locomotive number 10 (currently under construction at the workshops of Alan Keef as fund raising permits) at Maespoeth Junction. Beyond Maespoeth Junction the extended section of track, the first step on the southern extension of the line, will be in use giving passengers some chances to ride on this part of the Corris.

    There will also be demonstration gravity trains but travel in these is limited to members of the Corris Railway Society.

    Timetables and loco diagrams will appear on the Railway’s website in due course.

    The Railway’s Museum and Shop will be open at Corris station throughout the day and light refreshments will be available. Parking is only available at Corris station.
     
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  9. 6024KEI

    6024KEI Member

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    Interesting - for once I'll be up there on the Sunday (albeit nearer Fairbourne but that's a lot closer than where I am now!) as our usual holiday from the Monday has been brought forward to the Saturday.
     
  10. Occasional

    Occasional New Member

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    Extensive roof repairs have secured the future of an historic railway building in Corris. Carried out by local contractor Brian Roberts the work has been completed on the Victorian structure which once housed the stables (for seven horses), the road coach house, harness room and parcels office of the Corris Railway. The coach house was added to the building around 1900 when the Corris Railway began running horse buses to Talyllyn Lake for tourist traffic.

    The Stable and Coach House building was partially acquired by the Corris Railway Society in 1969 who achieved sole possession in 1974. Various partial repairs and maintenance jobs have been carried out over the intervening decades but the recent works, whose timescale included the “Beast from the East” and the wet weather of March, has been a comprehensive re-roofing that will secure the building for the long-term future.

    Today the building houses the Corris Railway Museum, plus a sales counter which also sells train tickets and light refreshments. It is open on days when the Corris Railway is operating trains along the revived section of the narrow gauge railway between Corris station and Maespoeth Junction. The next operating days are May 5th, 6th and 7th.
     
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  11. Occasional

    Occasional New Member

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  12. Occasional

    Occasional New Member

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    Continuing to plough the furrow:-

    2021 will mark 100 years since the Corris Railway took delivery of a then new steam engine, when number 4 was delivered from Kerr Stuart Ltd. The “Tattoo” class locomotive subsequently worked train services between Machynlleth and Aberllefenni alongside “Falcon” number 3 until the final Corris freight services were withdrawn and the line closed by British Railways in August 1948. After a period sheeted over and stored at Machynlleth the Corris engines were purchased by the Talyllyn Railway and continue to work from Tywyn to this day.

    However the Corris Railway is being brought back to life and since 2005 a 21st century version of the “Tattoo” class has been steaming at the head of passenger trains between the station in Corris and Maespoeth Junction (where the Victorian locomotive shed was once home to numbers 3 and 4) and a new “Falcon” is being constructed to bring the 1878 design, with 21st century adaptations, back to working life in the Dulas Valley. Construction of the new locomotive is being carried out at the Herefordshire workshops of Alan Keef Ltd at a pace dictated by the fund-raising carried out by the Corris Railway Society’s members and donations from well-wishers.

    The Corris is looking to be able to recreate the scenes of 1921 a century later with “Tattoo” number 7 and “Falcon” number 10 heading the recreations of the original coaches and waggons constructed by volunteers at Maespoeth Junction. This also offers opportunities for photo charters and possible filming work utilising the possibilities of period recreations. Albeit the locos and rolling stock of 2021 will look brighter and cleaner than was probably the case on a workaday railway serving the quarries and people in the Dulas Valley in the years following the First World War.

    In the latest edition of “The Corris-Pondent” quarterly magazine volunteer Andy Cooper writes:- “As the costs are covered Keef’s have the go ahead to fit the cylinders to the frames, finish the axle box slippers and fit the wheelsets to create a rolling chassis and start work on the connecting rods and associated parts. My best estimate from quotes to hand is that to finish the rods and make the pistons, valves, piston rods, valve rods, glands, crossheads, slidebars and brackets, inside motion with all the eccentric parts, rods, links, die blocks, weighshaft brackets and reverser quadrant would require a further £53,000. At that point whilst having a way to go to completion we really would have the guts of the loco done. I can’t help thinking how good it would be if 2018 were the year of the “motion” and by March 2019 all of those parts could be in place and the main mechanical workings completed”. The boiler for number 10 has already been completed.

    The Corris Railway welcomes all help with trying to reach its 2021 two steam engine target. Donations can be made via the website www.corris.co.uk and clicking on the Falcon Locomotive icon or cheques, payable to the Corris Railway can be sent to Peter Guest, 38 Underwood Close, Callow Hill, Redditch, B97 5YS.
     
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  13. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Superb post from @Occasional .... so I almost feel guilty mentioning that (from what I understand) No.4's earliest years also overlapped with the last gasps of old No.2 which it was pressed back into use to perform much of the work expected of the new arrival, until a few of its teething problems were sorted out by Kerr Stuart.

    The final demise of No.2 and (whatever was still kicking around from) No.1 didn't occur until the takeover by the GW.

    I've often wondered about the attitude of the GW towards their late acquisition. Removal of two carriges to Swindon, with an apparent view to repairing them (other withdrawls, following the end of pasenger services, went to Oswestry for scrapping), belies the notion that passenger services were doomed from the moment the line became GW property, as does a rather surprising suggestion to reclaim traffic from Braichgoch quarry by relaying the pretty much moribund Upper Corris branch to accept locos for the first time. When it was pointed out that the quarry's own lorries delivered direct to the GW yard at (IIRC) Machynlleth in any event, the idea - somewhat unsurprisingly - hit the buffers.

    In view of the evidence suggesting someone in management was still looking to optimise Corris operations, I find it odd that I've never heard any suggestion of using ex-WWI infernal combustion locos, as prep and disposal times alone would surely have covered any costs in very short order. Would the probable loss of Nos.3 & 4 at that point have been outweighed by the possible survival of the Corris into the preservation era? Have I just poked a hornet's nest?
     
  14. GWR Man.

    GWR Man. Well-Known Member

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    It was bad flooding by the River Dovey which caused the embankment carrying the Corris Railway to be badly eroded in 1948 which was the reason the railway was closed.
     
  15. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    BR(W) were evidently in no mood to contest cost claims with whoever was responsible for the Dyfi (which was and remains border territory between Counties) by August 1948. The erosion you mention didn't, in the end, undermine the track and other authorities did eventually undertake necessary flood prevention work.

    My speculation (or raving .... take your pick) about IC operation assumes cost savings, whilst not ever going to put the line into profit, might have meant slate transfer traffic was worth keeping (the alternative was losing considerable tonnages to road). It might be worth considering that, until 1945, the local MP was one H.Haydn Jones, Knight of the Realm. The identity of the Company Secretary to one of the line's principal customers isn't exactly unknown to anyone familiar with No.4 either.

    My thinking goes, that perhaps, with a dieselised Corris not losing quite so much money as to draw unwanted attention from on high, inertia might have kept the line operating for as long as the W&L, which seemed to be kept going for the last couple of years to recoup the most recent round of expenditure on it's two locos!

    Had this come about, perhaps Nos.3 & 4 might even have found themselves at Tywyn nearly 20 years earlier than happened, maybe even with a couple of carriages thrown in. Somehow, I still see No.3 at the back of Pendre workshop, not actually turning a wheel in anger until preservationists sorted out the truly appalling Talyllyn track, which couldn't have been done much faster than was actually achieved, though with the extra carriages the 50's TR desperately needed being available (Edward Thomas's opinion was that post-war traffic on the TR could have been doubled, given enough stock), maybe some of the worst track - Abergynolwyn Station springs to mind - could've been attended to by Sir H.).

    Just think of it .... perhaps the Corris, like the W&L could've remained mothballed rather than ripped up .... and if my auntie had had a pair of nuts, she'd have been my uncle. C'est la vie!
     
  16. Occasional

    Occasional New Member

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    Thanks for the kind comments. I think that Martin Fuller's books on the steam locos of the Talyllyn and Corris are as close as we are going to get to working out what happened with the cannibilisation of the original three "Falcons" on the Corris which left one working example of the breed alongside the "Tattoo" in the Dulas Valley. The two volumes can be bought from the CR and TR webshops or better still while visiting the railways and give a fine overview of matters mechanical, personal and political relating to the locos. The one thing I think we can say with confidence is that given the finances of the CR a new engine would not have been purchased unless viewed as a necessity. As for the carriages I would think that once the GWR had seen them close up they would have realised why the locals were using the Corris bus services netwofk. The surviving original on the TR and the recreations emerging from the carriage shed at Maespoeth are lovely to ride in on a summer day but must have looked less attractive for regular journeys on a slow train in winter. It's possibly interesting that Lloyds bus service 34 is effectively a Corris replacement service between Machynlleth and Aberllefenni, giving a chance to explore the CR route.
     
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  17. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    If Martin Fuller drew his conclusions from rivet patterns on bufferbeams, he's a brave man. Generations of CR researchers have gone barking mad, studying glass plates under a microscope (though, to be fair, one such of my sometime acquaintance may well already have reached that state well before investigating the Corris!). IIRC, the smart money was on the frames of the now 'Sir Haydn' actually being from No.1, suggesting the cab of No.3, together with it's works plate, was in the better condition when the two locos were combined. Which boiler the surviving hybrid loco emerged with remains anyone's guess AFAIK!

    The point about elderly carriages in winter is well made, though bus heaters of the time often weren't anything to write home about either. Anyone else remember the pathetic heater on the top deck of postwar AEC Regent III's?

    My I/C speculation (which is no more than a thought exercise anyway) supposed passenger traffic died when it did (rather than any I/C locos being an earlier purchase in lieu of No.4) as remaining freight traffic was well within the capabilities of, say, a Baldwin tractor (such as FR 'Moelwyn'). Speed is a relative term of course .... especially when used with reference to Corris operations, but it's fair to say neither loads nor timetables were as onerous as the W&L, or the FR and I can't recall any photo of a GW era train of more than 7 wagons plus brake van .... in this scenario, No.4 (still being quite new) would posssibly have been retained, to cover occasions when more grunt might be required from time to time.

    A couple such I/C machines procured Col Stephens style, could probably have been bought, overhauled and regauged for less than the cost of a heavy steam overhaul at Oswestry or Swindon (which I acknowledge never seems to have been happened, at least for a complete Corris loco). The likely savings, had anyone looked, might have given the Corris a fighting chance of making it into preservation .... with Pont Dyfi and right of way north of Gorsaf Corris still intact. If only, eh?

    Still, what - courtesy of the CRS - we have looks to be developing nicely. Freight restorations at Maespoeth fascinate me. Those open trestle slab wagons are something I've only seen elsewhere within quarries themselves. There's considerable scope for (tastefully executed) publicity notices on a wagon like that. Spotting a 'slate slab' wagon in a train advertising local events - I've noticed how much a part of the community the line is - would certainly make dating photos easier, if nothing else!
     
  18. Occasional

    Occasional New Member

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    The research is much more than looking at photos of buffer beams. Amongst other interesting items is that when number 3 was stripped down at Pendre it became apparent that the main frame plates came from different locomotives. I would suggest anyone interested should read the books.
     
  19. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Intriguing. ..... I've seen the workshop at Maespoeth (during independent days) described as "Self contained almost to a fault", but had no idea surgery on the Falcons was quite that involved!

    I wish I had funds to add Mr Fuller's book to the shopping list, but I'm up to my armpits gathering info on the old Isle of Wight Central Rly, which by now involves tracking down long OOP books for single page 'mentions' of some long lost kit or other.

    I'm keenly anticipating No.3's performance when it returns to full service. The little loco looks almost brand new following ministrations at Aberystwyth.
     
  20. talyllyn1

    talyllyn1 New Member

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    Had your scenario come about the infant TRPS would surely have failed. It has often been said that the death of the Corris was the saviour of the Talyllyn. Without the locos (particularly No 4), wagons and even the small amount of rail left at the scrap merchants to call on, the TR would probably have fallen apart in 1951.
    Which leaves us to suppose that the first "preserved" railway would have been the FR, assuming that the recent failure at Towyn hadn't put people off.
    It's also safe to assume that, had the FR been saved first, the TR wouldn't have been saved at all.

    BTW, the doubts about the origin of No 3s frames began during the 1958-68 rebuild at Pendre. In a detailed account published in the December 1968 Talyllyn News, John Bate records the difficulty of fitting new horn blocks. The distance between the slots on each side differed by 3/16" and the old horn blocks had been machined individually to suit.
    There was no choice but to machine the new horn blocks similarly in order to get the axles parallel and fit the coupling rods. Martin Fuller has concluded that No 3's frame plates are from Corris No's 1 and 3.
    John Bate also discovered that both rear cylinder covers were marked RH, but neither were a good fit on the right hand cylinder!
     

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