Another significant step in the revival of the narrow gauge Corris Railway in Mid Wales was achieved on Saturday.
A new traverser at Corris Railway Station was used for the first time to allow a steam engine to run round a set of passenger carriages. This will be a regular feature from the Easter weekend when the line begins its 2022 passenger services.
The first locomotive to be moved on the traverser was the Ruston and Hornsby four wheel diesel hydraulic number 6, which already holds a place in the railway’s history as having worked the initial passenger trains after re-opening between 2003-‘05.
Having passed a live steam test, after annual maintenance, the Corris’ Tattoo 0-4-2 saddle tank locomotive took a train of carriages from Maespoeth Junction to Corris.
After uncoupling from the train, the locomotive ran onto the newly installed traverser, on which it was moved to the new run round loop track. It then ran in reverse to the other end of the coaching stock before the train returned to the junction.
This was the culmination of work which began after the railway had run its 2021 Santa Trains and which saw track relaid between the Braich Goch Farm crossing and the station, where the loop and a new platform were created.
The traverser, constructed by Statfold Engineering, near Tamworth, will allow locomotives to be at the head of their trains in both directions on the railway for the first time since 1948 when the original line closed.
The station rebuild is part of ongoing work to revive the oldest narrow gauge railway in Mid Wales. The original Corris station was demolished in 1968.
Due to site restrictions, it’s impossible to replicate the former station but the new structure will eventually include an overall roof, a feature that made its predecessor an iconic part of the British narrow gauge scene.
Further progress will require considerable funds to be raised via donations and grants. Donations can be made online via www.corris.co.uk or cheques, payable to Corris Railway, can be sent to Corris Railway, Station Yard, Corris, Machynlleth, SY20 9SH.
Corris Railway’s Ruston and Hornsby number 6 testing the new traverser.
Image: Patrick Jolley, Corris Railway.