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Heritage railway appeals for donations to keep steam locomotive on track

12 Jan 2022 3 minute read
Corris Railway’s new locomotive Number 10 under construction.

A narrow gauge heritage railway is appealing for donations to help it remain on track with a £300,000 project to build a steam locomotive.

Corris Railway, in Mid Wales, has been forced to temporarily pause work on its new build Falcon steam locomotive Number 10 because of mounting costs.

The Corris Railway Society had originally hoped to have the new locomotive, which will resemble the original Corris Number 3, in service by this autumn.

However, due to inflation of material prices, the amount of work still outstanding and some unplanned complexities, funds have been depleted and the completion date is set to be delayed until extra funds are raised.

Corris Railway Society says it has a policy of not spending money that it does not already have and only dips into its general funds to complete particularly time-sensitive projects.

During 2021,  progress was made on the locomotive by Alan Keef Ltd at Ross on Wye, with both boiler and cab placed on the frames for checking and any necessary modifications.

The rolling chassis, with the wheels and motion operated by compressed air, has already been completed and many other components are ready for fitting.

However, there is much work still to be done, including manufacturing the saddle tank and making and fitting cab and boiler fittings. The re-creation of a complex steam locomotive dating from 1878, albeit a small one, has proved costly and time consuming.

Work will resume when the locomotive construction fund has recovered. In the meantime, supporters are being asked to continue backing the railway with standing orders and generous contributions.

‘Temporarily suspended’ 

John Simms, the railway’s press officer, said: “The project has been temporarily suspended to allow replenishment of the fund specifically dedicated to the construction of the locomotive, whilst other parts of the revival of the Corris Railway continue.

“Apart from the cab roof and the water tank, all the large, visible components for Number 10 have been produced but many smaller components are needed to complete the engine and have it hauling trains in the Dulas Valley.

“Many of these are one-offs and, as a result, expensive. For example, various control valves need to be provided at a total cost of £7,000. If anyone would like to make a contribution, large or small, this can be done via the Falcon Locomotive section of our website.”

Corris Railway is a member of MWT Cymru, an independent organisation which represents more than 600 tourism and hospitality businesses across Powys, Ceredigion and Snowdonia.

Donations can be made on The Falcon Locomotive section of the railway’s website or cheques payable to Corris Railway can be sent to Peter Guest, 38 Underwood Close, Callow Hill, Reddich, B97 5YS.

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