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Developments on the Corris Railway

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

  1. Breva

    Breva Well-Known Member

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    The latest Steam Beano has an interesting special on the Corris. It explains about where they can go south, and that they can't go north.

    However, going south is only for a limited distance, and closely follows a busy road. Not terribly attractive. What I didn't realise is that the original trackbed also extended north of Corris, round the back of some houses, then 3 more stations and a further distance to 3 quarries (think: Nant Gwernol)

    The reason they can't go north is that houses along the line have bought up the trackbed, and some built extensions on it.

    Now it seems to me that going north is more attractive from the scenery point of view, and you're away from that road. Why not do what the L&B and EA did in Devon, which is to play a waiting game, and slowly buy up whatever becomes available? You would only need an initial capital to buy the first property. You strip off the trackbed that you want, then put the rest back (possibly without its intruding extension) on the market. The RVR did this at Udiam, the L&B just north of Paracoombe Halt, and even the bungalow built on the trackbed is now in their hands. Who'd have thought it!

    I would imagine that financial support could be found for this. Depending on which property, it may be that no more than a loan is required until the trackbed is stripped off.

    Give it some thought, chaps!
     
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  2. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

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    Yes and yes again, but there is a scenic section further south. It's amazing how far they've got with this project so far.
     
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  3. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    First off, grab yourself a cuppa and wrap yer peepers round this 'ere [9'00"] tour of the trackbed for a flavour of the journey up the Dulas:



    Secondly, the view west of the carriages really isn't much more restricted than that obtained on the FfR, where I confess the direct view out from a 'bug-box' entered at Harbour becomes progressively more constrained between the top of Gwyndy Bank and Rhoslyn Bridge. No-one I'm aware of has ever accused the Ffesterbahn of scenic shortcomings!

    Beyond the traverser at Corris, the trackbed is effectively blocked until one clears the village, again where properties have extended across the trackbed at Garneddwen, before you reach Maes y Orsaf (translates as 'Station Field'), a housing development on the site of the former station at Aberllefenni. That's as far as passenger services ever got.

    A gate immediately north of the (very narrow) station site marked the point at which light bridge rail continued past the substantial Aberllefenni quarries and on it's tortuous way to Ratgoed. Kindly note my very deliberate use of the word 'tortuous'!

    Back before steam locos took to the rails, the then Corris Machynlleth & River Dovey Tramroad, which just predated the std. gauge line, took much time and money to upgrade. As scenic as the tramway beyond the gate undoubtedly is, it's worth noting that (unlike the Upper Corris branch) there was never any serious proposal to improve the existing alignment.. Indeed, there was a substantial pause between steam hauled services commencing to Corris and the opening the rebuilt line thence to Aberllefenni.

    Ever considered why, when the three Hughes locos carried 1877 builders' plates and with 10 tramway 4-wheel carriages of similar vintage on standby, official passenger services didn't commence until 1883? The letters exchanged between the Corris Board and Major Marindin concerning the fitness of the line for steam hauled passenger services make for some interesting reading. The BoT inspector got decidedly tetchy as the company sought to save a few quid here and there in easing curvature and widening formation.

    Higher up in the valley above Aberllefenni, curvature made photos of Pont y Coedwig (the bit being bypassed by the considerable embankment currently under construction) look like shots of HS2 formation. OK ....that's a slight exaggeration, but if you're going to play Google Earth Surveyor I'd suggest you play very close attention to those little things which give away just how ruddy steep the valley sides are ... never mind how hard the rock is!

    Not far beyond the location of a causeway across a pond comes a pair of 'S' bends which leave those on the WHR in the shade. You wouldn't get Corris No.7 round those .... forget any Garratt! Bypassing this would entail some serious cutting, either side of a ¼ mile tunnel. Bearing in mind the ruling grade was already a vicious 1:38, reducing the distance twixt either end of said bends by ⅔ would increase grade to something horrible by even Corris standards!

    I've looked at both the longer mineral mineral lines several times with passenger services in mind. Do-able? Practically anything is, if you sling enough money at it. Worth it? Different question! I don't share your opinion of the scenic qualities of the line. The Dulas is a gorgeous valley and the unobtrusive passage of Corris trains through that landscape is a quality frequently remarked upon, back in the day and one unique to the railway, even when other road-hugging lines still operated in these islands.

    If you've not already done so, I'd earnestly suggest a trip thataway is well worth anyone's time. For now, the Corris have more than enough on their plate reaching Tan y Coed .... and Tan y Coed ain't Machynlleth. If scenery floats your boat, I'd venture to suggest crossing Afon Dyfi as it's meanders approach the saltings west of the old Market Town on it's south bank, is about as scenic as you're going to get. It really is a beautiful location.
     
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  4. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    That little lot is followed by a big photo update. The New Dyfi Bridge is now donating material to the new embankment on the Southern extension. Gratuitous plug for the Model Rail Exhibition, back this weekend at Y Plas, Machynlleth:

    https://www.corris.co.uk/news/
     
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  5. 45669

    45669 Part of the furniture

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    Part Two of my Corris Railway video takes us for a ride from Corris to Maespoeth:



    Who'd have thought it?!

    Ron.
     
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  6. 45669

    45669 Part of the furniture

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    And now for part three of my video footage:



    TTFN,

    Ron.
     
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  7. 45669

    45669 Part of the furniture

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    The final two episodes of my trip on the Corris Railway are now on YouTube for the world to see. So if you'd like to see what the rest of the world can see, here are the links:





    Hope that they're of interest.

    TTFN,

    Ron.
     
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  8. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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  9. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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  10. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    .... but we're right baci in the Dulas Valley for a very wide ranging photo update. Carriage No.24 now has beading on at least the east facing side panels and provision of proper buffers on the vans continues apace. With more ballast in the station platform road at Corris, the pw presents a very smart appearance indeed. Actually, comparing the track now to how it was when passenger services restarted just goes to show how far the Corris has come in recent years.

    South of the operational section, the Pont y Goedwig deviation embankment is an ever more impressive piece of civil engineering. Odd to think that in a few more years, most passengers won't even realise the mammoth effort whish has gone into a few minutes of their longer journey.

    There's an all too rare shot of Esgairgeiliog Station, a recent recipient of both welcome and unwelcome attention, the first by a strimmer gang to tidy up the (currently rail-less) site, the second by some mindless cretins kicking a door in and splintering it in the process.

    https://www.corris.co.uk/news/photo...etween-3rd-17th-september-2022/gallery/page/1

    Don't forget to scroll down for details of Keefe's Open Day, 24th Sept .... where the first new Corris 'Falcon' for 144 years is fast approaching completion.
     
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  11. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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  12. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Member

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    Very enjoyable visit to Alan Keef's open day. I had no idea of the scale of the operation.
    Corris 10 looked great.
    Left just before 1 pm. Lady on the gate said they had over 600 visitors by then.
    Pat
     
  13. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Member

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    1st: Interesting Works Plate.
    2nd: Picture taken by my sister, showing my best side!
    3rd: I think that it was her revenge for this 1968 picture of No 10's older cousin. The half head is her aged 9. (I can run but I can't hide!)
    Pat
    IMG_0805.JPG IMG-20220924-WA0000.jpg
    R3065 (2).JPG
     
  14. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

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    Extending the cab front of the new one to meet the saddle tank has improved the appearance immensely.
     
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  15. talyllyn1

    talyllyn1 Member

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    I'm inclined to agree with you - except: -

    The original low cab was regarded as something of a death-trap on the TR, particularly as it had an exit on one side only. It was also very dirty, with coal dust in the cab, not just when filling the internal bunker but also blowing around when on the move. The new cab (designed by John Bate) was considered a great improvement by crews, with increased height and a bunker filled and sealed off from the outside.
    The cab on the new No 10 does look good though, even though it is taller than the original on No 3.

    I expect that some will wish the TR to do similar with No 3, but I would point out that the loco was purchased by the railway to do a job, not "preserve" its Corris/GWR/BR appearance. The current cab has also been on the loco for nearly 55 years and it could be argued that it is a significant slice of TR history.

    Just my own views and not in any way representing TR Co. or TRPS.
    Cue the wibble! :Yawn:
     
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  16. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    You cued it .....

    As much as I understand why the Talyllyn changed the original cab on No.3 (recalling Rolt's description of it "as if it had been built for dwarfs*" and somewhat on the wrong side, smokebox uphill), I equally understand why it was only open on that one side on the Corris (rather limited clearance for much of the way).

    I like the look of the compromise design. Mind you, I'm not anyone who has to work on it! Had entry on one side proved problematic on No.7, I tend to suspect after 15 years, we might have heard the odd gripe from thems as works the loco.

    *I note something was also done about the 'castors' under the cab, adopted during the original rebuild.
     
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  17. talyllyn1

    talyllyn1 Member

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    The closed side of No 3's cab was also taken up by the coal bunker and the vacuum brake cylinder (removed during the 1968 rebuild) which is why the TR didn't cut an opening in it (as they did on N04). Hence it was turned to face downhill on the TR, bringing the cab opening onto the platform side. I think Corris No 7's cab does have an opening on the offside, which has a "blanking" panel - I've seen it with and without.
    The TR fitted bigger wheels and a "cannon" type axlebox to the pony truck during the rebuild, and slightly bigger ones (with some modifications to the truck) since. I think the details have been incorporated into CR No 10.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2022 at 9:17 AM
  18. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I well recall Tom Rolt's description of the 1951 fun and games experienced with No.3, which didn't take too kindly to the mankiest of track, which had crept over evem the extra ½in found on the TR until 1953! He recorded the treads on the loco being ¼in narrower than those found on the two Fletcher Jennings locos, or it's ex-Corris stablemate.

    Again according to Rolt (who would have known) was the surprising omission on No.3 in Corris days was proper sanding gear. If there were ever a line which you'd have expected to invent steam (never mind gravity) sanding gear an hour after the first loco ran up the Dulas Valley, it was surely the Corris!!

    Now you mention it, there are many clips of No.7 with and without it's offside (i.e. left hand) cab opening. Very useful for when it pops round to see the neighbours.
     
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  19. talyllyn1

    talyllyn1 Member

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    Indeed, and No 3 still has no sanding gear of any type to this day! Martin Fuller mentions it in his magnus opus on the TR and Corris locos, citing a lack of space being the reason but suggesting that small sandboxes could be fitted under the footplating ahead of the cylinders. I spotted a reference to sander gear being one of the items to needed to complete Corris No 10. It will be interesting to see what it is and where it is fitted.
     
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  20. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I'll aso be watching that space closely. Odd, isn't it, that whilst aesthetics are the most likely reason why No.3 still doesn't have proper sanding gear (the distinctly compact 'geological" Pecketts sport sandboxes, ahead of saddle tanks, athwart their someboxes), many photos taken of the 'Falcon' on the Corris after 1930 features a very prominent bucket in front of the smokeboc door! Actually, that's a feature which really ought to make a comeback, at least for goods train photo charters!
     

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