I've always had a slight fascination with the Corris Railway ever since I first visited the Talyllyn back in 1974 and came across the ex-Corris locomotives (Sir Haydn and Edward Thomas) and rolling stock.
I think it's it is the element of chance that is so interesting. The Corris closed and was dismantled in 1948 when flood damaged the bridge across the Dyfi. The Talyllyn struggled on until 1952 and became the world's first preserved railway.
Had that flood not happened, would the Corris still be with us in all its glory? Or would the Talyllyn have failed to get off the ground due to a lack of motive power? Who knows?
Anyway, it is good to see that a group of enthusiasts are beginning to bring the line back to life and, although they have only got ¾ mile (1.2 km) of track, they have already built a replica Kerr Stuart Tattoo class locomotive (similar to the Talyllyn Railway's Edward Thomas), together with a couple of replica coaches.
At the time of writing (2013) work on a second engine, a Falcon class machine similar to Sir Haydn) is progressing well.
There are plans afoot to extend the line down to the Forestry Commission site at Tan-y-Coed, and they are also hoping to rebuild Corris Station and reinstate its overall roof.
For information on timetables, ticket prices, etc. please see the Corris's official site detailed below.
External Links and References
The Corris Railway
The official web site with full details of timetables, ticket prices, etc. and lots of other information. https://www.corris.co.uk/
UK Heritage Railways
Comprehensive listing of all preserved railways, tramways and rolling stock in the UK with links to the individual railway sites http://www.heritagerailways.com/
There is little prospect of extending the restored Corris Railway line northwards towards its original terminus at Aberllefenni as in many places the line through Corris has been built over by the adjoining property owners.
However, if you wander down into the village, which is not without its charms, you can spot the old railway bridge over the river from the road bridge.
Once clear of the village the line can be traced up to Aberllefenni were it met two horse-drawn tramways serving Ratgoed and Aberllefenni quarries.
The later only ceased production in 2003, and the cutting sheds are still in use. Although the site is not open to the public, there are extensive remains to be seen from the road, restoration work is underway and display boards are beginning to appear. One to keep an eye on.
External Links and References
Purchased Aberllefenni Slate Mine in 1956 and still produce slate, albeit in a limited way. http://www.wincilate.co.uk/
Corris Mine Explorers
From the current southern terminus of the restored Corris Railway at Maespoeth Junction there was once a horse-drawn tramway serving Upper Corris (Corris Uchaf) and the Braich Goch Slate Mine.
Corris Mine Explorers offer an almost unique opportunity to visit parts of the mine that are exactly as they were when it closed in 1970, complete with old equipment, the stubs of candles and even dicarded cigarette packets.
Kitted up in hard hats, ropes and head torches, and accompanied by Mark Waite and one or both of his trusty cave dogs, small parties are taken in through a hole in the side of the hill along an old adit to a maze of tunnels and caverns.
One of the chambers is open to the daylight, making a dramatic change to the torch lit gloom of rest of the site.