Corris Railway

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Corris Railway
Rheilffordd Corris
Corris Railway engine.jpg
Locomotive No. 7 at Maespoeth in 2007
Terminus(Original) Machynlleth & Aberllefenni
(Current) Maespoeth & Corris
Connections Ratgoed Tramway at Aberllefenni
Cambrian Railways at Machynlleth
Assorted minor quarry tramways
Commercial operations
NameCorris Railway Company
Built byCorris, Machynlleth & River Dovey Tramroad
Original gauge 2 ft 3 in (686 mm)
Preserved operations
Owned byCorris Railway Company Ltd
Operated byCorris Railway Society
Length58 chains (1,170 m) (operational)
Preserved gauge 2 ft 3 in (686 mm)
Commercial history
Opened1859 onwards (as below)
1859Opened to freight (horse-drawn)
1878Locomotive operation commenced
1883Opened to passengers
1931Closed to passengers
1948Closed to freight
Preservation history
1966Supporters' group formed
1970Corris Railway Museum opened
1971Demonstration track laid
1981Maespoeth shed purchased
2002Passenger services restored
2005Steam motive power restored
HeadquartersMaespoeth Junction
Route map
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Y Magnus
slate enamelling works
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Corris BSicon lDAMPF.svg
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Maespoeth Junction
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(station & workshop)
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Current end of line
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Era Slate and slab works
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Doldderwen Crossing
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Ffridd Gate
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Former freight line
to wharves at Derwenlas & Morben

The Corris Railway (Welsh : Rheilffordd Corris) is a narrow gauge preserved railway based in Corris on the border between Merionethshire (now Gwynedd) and Montgomeryshire (now Powys) in Mid-Wales.


The line opened in 1859 as a horse tramway, running originally from quays on the River Dyfi at Morben and Derwenlas, skirting the town of Machynlleth and then following the Dulas Valley north to Corris and on to Aberllefenni. Branches served the slate quarries at Corris Uchaf, Aberllefenni, the isolated quarries around Ratgoed and quarries along the length of the Dulas Valley.

The railway closed in 1948, but a preservation society was formed in 1966, initially opening a museum; a short section of line between Corris and Maespoeth was re-opened to passengers in 2002. The railway now operates as a tourist attraction. A new steam locomotive was built for the railway, which was delivered in 2005. The two surviving locomotives, plus some of the original rolling stock, are preserved on the nearby Talyllyn Railway.

The gauge of the railway is 2 ft 3 in (686 mm) which is unusual, and was shared by only three other public railways in the United Kingdom: the Talyllyn Railway, the short-lived Plynlimon and Hafan Tramway and the Campbeltown and Machrihanish Light Railway.


Commercial history

Precursor schemes: 1850 to 1858

Lithograph showing a horse-drawn train on the Corris Railway crossing the Dovey Bridge, probably drawn in the late 1860s View of Machynlleth.jpeg
Lithograph showing a horse-drawn train on the Corris Railway crossing the Dovey Bridge, probably drawn in the late 1860s

The first proposal to construct a railway to connect the slate quarries in the district around Corris, Corris Uchaf and Aberllefenni with wharves on the estuary of the Afon Dyfi west of Machynlleth was made in November 1850 with Arthur Causton as engineer. At this time slate from the quarries was hauled by horse-drawn carts and sledges to transport their output to the river. The proposed Corris, Machynlleth & River Dovey Railway or Tramroad would have run down the Dulas Valley and then along the north shore of the Dyfi past Pennal to Pant Eidal, near the later main-line Gogarth Halt. The bill was initially withdrawn, then resubmitted in December 1851. The bill specified the tramroad's gauge as 2 ft 2+12 in (673 mm); due to the narrow gauge selected, the House of Lords committee imposed a restriction in the bill that forbade the use of locomotives. [1] [ page needed ]

This 1851 scheme was not constructed, and was followed by two further proposals in the early 1850s. Following the plans for a 4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge railway along the Dyfi valley, these early proposals were shelved. [2]

In December 1857, a fourth bill was set before Parliament to create the Corris Machynlleth & River Dovey Tramroad (CM&RDT). This was similar to the 1851 scheme, proposing a tramway from the "machine house" (i.e. the slate mill) at Aberllefenni, down to the wharf at "Cae Goch on the River Dovey" with a short onward branch to Morben. The gauge specified for the tramroad was increased to 2 ft 3 in (686 mm), and the same restriction forbidding locomotives was imposed. This bill was passed on 12 July 1858. [1] [ page needed ]

The Tramroad Era: 1858 to 1878

After more than eight years of proposals, the 1859 scheme was the one that was built. Construction proceeded quickly, and by April 1859 the tramroad opened between Corris and Machynlleth. The line through to Aberllefenni was built later, as was the southern line to Derwenlas. It is thought that the tramroad never reached Morben. [1] [ page needed ]

On 3 January 1863 the standard gauge Newtown and Machynlleth Railway had opened, followed on 1 July of the same year by the Aberystwith and Welsh Coast Railway's line from Machynlleth to Borth. These two lines became part of the Cambrian Railways by August 1865. The opening of the standard gauge line to Borth made the section of the CM&RDT from Machynlleth to Derwenlas obsolete. It was much easier to transship slates to the main line at Machynlleth, so the lower section of the tramway was abandoned. [3]

In 1862, a new Bill was deposited, seeking to extend the Upper Corris Tramway to iron ore mines at Tir Stent, near the pub at Cross Foxes. The bill also sought powers to raise further capital for the tramroad and allow the use of locomotives. But the directors of the Aberystwith and Welsh Coast Railway (A&WCR) objected and the Bill failed. [1] [ page needed ] Another similar Bill was deposited in December 1863, and again the A&WCR opposed it. This time, however, they withdrew their objection; the CM&RDT company had been acquired by Thomas Savin, who was the principle contractor in the construction of the tramroad, and Savin had offered to sell the company to the A&WCR. [1] [ page needed ] The second Bill passed on 25 July 1864; it formally converted the tramroad to a railway changing the company's name to the Corris Railway Company, allowed the use of steam locomotives and allowed the abandonment of the section west of Machynlleth. [4]

It took until the 1870s for work to begin to upgrade the Corris Railway to a standard where locomotives could be used. The original tramroad was laid with light bridge rail suitable for waggons to traverse as they were pulled by horses. These rails would not support the weight of much heavier steam locomotives. In 1878 control of the railway passed to the Imperial Tramways Company of London. The new owners saw the potential for passenger traffic on the Corris Railway and ordered the first passenger carriages for the railway, even though the Act of 1864 did not permit passengers to be carried. [5] They also appointed Joseph R. Dix, son of the main-line stationmaster at Machynlleth, as Manager in successor to David Owen.

The Dix Years: 1879 to 1906

Locomotive No.1 with a train at Machynlleth, in the 1890s Historic Corris Railway at Machynlleth.jpg
Locomotive No.1 with a train at Machynlleth, in the 1890s

In 1880 and 1883, two new Acts were obtained which adjusted the tolls on the railway and permitted the carriage of passengers. The second of these Acts was necessary because the owners of the quarries served by the railway objected that passenger trains would interfere with their mineral traffic. Initially the railway ran a test passenger service on the local roads; this proved to be so popular that they were able to pass the parliamentary act over the opposition of the quarry owners. It was also the first instance of a long history of the Corris Railway operating passenger road services in the area. [6]

In December 1878 the first steam locomotive purchased from the Hughes Locomotive Company arrived. [7] By February 1879 it had been joined by the other two that had been ordered and all three had begun work. Although the carriages arrived in 1878 it was not until 1883 that the Act of Parliament was secured to allow the formal commencement of passenger services. [6] A semi-official passenger service had been running since the early 1870s using adapted waggons to convey quarry workers and visitors.

The line was now in its settled form and began to operate a full service under Dix's energetic management. The railway was widely promoted to visitors as the best route to Tal-y-llyn Lake and Cader Idris (ignoring the claims of the rival Talyllyn Railway). The initial passenger service ran from Machynlleth to Corris, with new stations at Esgairgeiliog and Llwyngwern opening in 1884. The track was upgraded beyond Corris so that passenger services could reach the line's northern terminus at Aberllefenni, with services starting on 25 August 1887, and in the same year stations were also opened at Ffridd Gate and Garneddwen. [6]

Horse-drawn charabancs owned by the Corris Railway pass Tal-y-llyn Lake on the "Grand Tour" Grand Tour Charabancs.jpg
Horse-drawn charabancs owned by the Corris Railway pass Tal-y-llyn Lake on the "Grand Tour"

The railway developed a network of horse-hauled road services, including providing a link between Corris station and Abergynolwyn station on the Talyllyn Railway. This was promoted as part of a circular "Grand Tour" which took in the two narrow gauge railways and the Cambrian service between Tywyn and Machynlleth.

In 1892 control of Imperial Tramways moved to Bristol and George White of Bristol Tramways became chairman and Clifton Robinson became managing director. [8] In the 1900s Bristol motor buses were sent by the parent company to run the road services.

Decline: 1906 to 1930

Following a dispute with the directors Dix was dismissed and replaced by John J O'Sullivan (formerly of the Cork, Blackrock and Passage Railway). The closure of Braichgoch Quarry in 1906 brought the railway its first loss, and although the line continued on through subsequent decades, serving the quarries around Corris and Aberllefenni, it never again showed a profit. As well as slate and passengers, the line hauled timber extracted from the Dyfi forest in the 1910s through 1930s. There was also a constant traffic in coal and general goods to the quarries and communities served by the railway.

After World War I, the decline in slate traffic continued as cheaper foreign slate and alternative roofing materials became popular. O'Sullivan had died in office in 1917; the parent company's Secretary, Frederick H Withers, acted as manager until a new manager, Daniel J McCourt (who had worked on Imperial's Middlesbrough system until that was taken over by the local municipality) took over in 1921 and was responsible for developing and extending the connecting bus services as partial compensation for the decline in rail traffic.

Takeover and nationalisation: 1931 to 1948

In late 1929 Imperial Tramways sold the Corris to the Great Western Railway (GWR), who by that time were the owners of the main line serving Machynlleth, whose primary interest was taking control of the railway's bus routes. After running a bus in direct competition with the railway in 1930, the railway's passenger service was withdrawn at the beginning of 1931. While the GWR did not relish owning another Welsh narrow gauge line, they did perform some track maintenance, and on at least two occasions the rolling stock was repainted. [9]

On 1 January 1948, the line was nationalised along with its parent company, becoming part of British Railways (BR). While the GWR had tolerated the Corris, BR was looking for an excuse to close the loss making railway. In August 1948, that excuse came when the River Dyfi flooded. The waters began to undermine the Corris Railway embankment on the south side of the Dovey Bridge, and although the track was never breached, it was the excuse that BR needed to close the line. The last train ran on 20 August 1948 and the following day the railway was closed, without notice. The Aberllefenni to Corris section was lifted in November 1948, and 10 tons of the rail was purchased by Henry Haydn Jones for use on his Talyllyn Railway. By the end of 1950, track lifting had reached Machynlleth station. [9]

In 1951, the Talyllyn Railway became the first railway in the world to be preserved. The Talyllyn purchased the two remaining locomotives, which had been stored out of use at Machynlleth, along with several goods waggons and the brake van - see List of Talyllyn Railway rolling stock . In 1958, the Talyllyn also purchased one of the Corris carriages, which had been in use as a summerhouse in a garden in Gobowen. [10]


Early days: 1966 to 1980

The Corris Railway's own steam locomotive, No. 7, at Corris on 28 October 2006 Corris No 7 - 2006-10-28.jpg
The Corris Railway's own steam locomotive, No. 7, at Corris on 28 October 2006

In December 1966 a group of enthusiasts led by Alan Meaden, formed the Corris Society (which later became the Corris Railway Society) with the aim of preserving what was left of the railway, opening a dedicated museum, and to explore the possibility of reviving some or all of the line. Many of the founding members of the Society were volunteers on the nearby Talyllyn Railway.

Other than at Aberllefenni and Braichgoch quarries, no rails remained in situ along the Corris route. Initially the Society sought to purchase Machynlleth station for its museum, but when this proved impossible it turned its sights elsewhere. The main buildings of Corris station were demolished in 1968 leaving only the adjacent railway stable block standing, and these buildings - badly in need of maintenance - were acquired, along with a short section of trackbed leading southwards. In 1970 the first part of the building was opened as the Corris Railway Museum. A short length of "demonstration" track was laid in 1971.

During the 1970s the Society undertook lengthy negotiations with the relevant authorities to establish the requirements for re-opening the line for passengers, while steadily building up funds and equipment. A new Corris Railway Company, reviving the original name, was incorporated to act as the Society's trading and operating arm, while the Society achieved charitable status. The Museum was extended as more of the building was returned to satisfactory condition.

Restoring from Maespoeth: 1981 to 2001

Maespoeth shed in the early 1980s Maespoeth.jpeg
Maespoeth shed in the early 1980s

In 1981 the line's original locomotive shed at Maespoeth was acquired and became the railway's operational base. During the 1980s light track was laid between Maespoeth and Corris, a distance of just under a mile (1.6 km). The formal "first train" back to Corris ran in 1985. In the following years the track was upgraded to passenger standards while negotiations with the authorities continued.

Passenger services resume: 2002 to present

In the summer of 2002 passenger services resumed after a break of seventy-two years, initially diesel-hauled. The railway built a new steam locomotive, to a design based on the Kerr Stuart No.4, which arrived on the railway on 17 May 2005 and runs as No.7 (the Corris Railway never officially named its locomotives). No. 7 went into service on 20 August 2005, fifty-seven years to the day since the last train on the original railway, and now hauls the regular passenger service between Corris and Maespoeth.

The railway is also actively pursuing a southwards extension towards Machynlleth, with the initial aim of extending the line to Tan-y-Coed, midway between Esgairgeiliog and Llwyngwern and some 2½ miles south of Corris. As always, this is involving lengthy negotiations with the authorities, not least due to the line south of Maespoeth running immediately adjacent to the A487 trunk road. While these are continuing the railway has consolidated its facilities at Maespoeth with the construction of a new two-road carriage shed in the adjacent field (the original carriage sheds at Corris and Machynlleth having been demolished). In 2015 work began on building the new diversion embankment to enable the southerly extension.

During 2009 the railway marked the 150th anniversary of the first train on the Corris with a series of events, including demonstration horse-worked freight trains and gravity runs of rakes of waggons.

Locomotive No. 7 (left) and former Corris locomotive No. 4 Edward Thomas at Abergynolwyn on the Talyllyn Railway Corris 7 and 4 on Talyllyn - 2011-10-23.jpg
Locomotive No. 7 (left) and former Corris locomotive No. 4 Edward Thomas at Abergynolwyn on the Talyllyn Railway

The revived Corris Railway has maintained friendly links with the Talyllyn Railway, which resulted in both of the original Corris locos and rolling stock returning to the railway. In 1996 ex-Corris loco No. 4 returned to celebrate its 75th anniversary. In 2003 ex-Corris loco No. 3 returned on the occasion of its 125th anniversary with a heritage train of coach No 17, brake van No. 6 and two trucks. Corris No. 5 visited the Talyllyn Railway in 1983 and 1990, [11] and No. 7 in October 2011. [12] It hauled a few charter trains and played a part in the TR's Corris Weekend, when it ran with the two surviving ex Corris engines; No. 4 (Edward Thomas) and No. 3 (Sir Haydn) and stock.

Both the surviving original locomotives have visited the Corris since its reopening. In 2012 No. 3 featured in a steam Gala over May Bank Holiday weekend along with the railway's resident steam loco No. 7. No. 3's boiler ticket expired on 17 May 2012 and the loco was on static display at Maespoeth until February 2013 when the loco left the Corris to tour heritage railways and museums in the UK to raise awareness of the Talyllyn and to raise funds for its overhaul.

About the railway

Corris station track plan CorrisStation.png
Corris station track plan

The Corris Railway had several unusual features:


Map of the Corris Railway CorrisRailwayMap.png
Map of the Corris Railway

Stations and halts

Branch lines and tramways

The Corris Railway had numerous branch lines, mainly built to serve the slate quarries along its route. The principal branches were:

Only the Aberllefenni Quarry tramway may have been locomotive worked, and in the 1960s and 1970s a tractor was used to haul waggons along it. The rest of these branches were operated by gravity and horses.

Other temporary branches were built to aid forestry works from the First World War until the 1930s.

Quarries served

The principal reason for the existence of the Corris Railway was to serve the slate quarries of this district. Although usually referred to as quarries, those on the Narrow Vein were usually underground mine workings, following the course of the vein, while those on the Broad Vein were more usually opencast quarries. The outliers in the south of the valley were also opencast. This list shows the main quarries that the railway served:

The railway also served Y Magnus (Matthew's Mill), a slate enamelling works situated between Aberllefenni and Garneddwen with its own tramway.


Original railway

Three locomotives were supplied in 1878, and partially rebuilt between 1883 and 1900 from 0-4-0 ST s to 0-4-2 ST s. By the 1920s the locomotives were badly worn. A new locomotive, No. 4, was supplied in 1921. In 1923, parts from Nos. 1 and 3 were combined to produce one working locomotive, which carried the number 3. The remaining original locomotive, No 2, was held in reserve until 1928. A report dated 12 October 1929 stated that locomotives 1 and 2 had been "marked off for some time as scrap" and the remains of both engines were handed over to a local scrap merchant and excluded from the assets taken over by the GWR. [14]

The locomotives that ran on the original Corris Railway between 1878 and 1948 (none carried names on the Corris) were:

NumberImageBuilderTypeWorks NumberBuiltNotesCurrent StatusCurrent location
1 Historic Corris Railway at Machynlleth.jpg Hughes Locomotive Company, in Falcon Works 0-4-2 ST 3241878Originally built as an 0-4-0 ST , scrapped 1930ScrappedN/A
2Hughes Falcon Works 0-4-2 ST 3221878Originally built as an 0-4-0 ST , scrapped 1930ScrappedN/A
3 Sir Haydn on Corris Railway - 2012-05-07.jpg Hughes Falcon Works 0-4-2 ST 3231878Originally built as an 0-4-0 ST . In 1927 it was rebuilt using parts from all three Hughes locomotives. Purchased by the Talyllyn Railway in 1951, and named Sir Haydn.OperationalTalyllyn Railway
4 Talyllyn Railway No. 4 Edward Thomas - 2006-10-21.jpg Kerr Stuart 0-4-2 ST 40471921Tattoo class locomotive, purchased by the Talyllyn Railway in 1951. Then given the name Edward Thomas.OperationalTalyllyn Railway

Preserved railway

Locomotives brought to the restored Corris Railway since 1967 have been numbered in the original locomotive numbering series, from 5 onwards. They are:

NumberImageNameBuilderTypeWorks NumberBuiltNotesCurrent StatusPassenger train certified (Air braked)
5 Corris No 5 - 2012-05-07.jpg Alan Meaden Motor Rail Simplex 4w DM 222581965Purchased in 1974, ex-Staveley Lime Products, Hindlow, Derbys. Formerly 2 ft (610 mm) gauge. Named in honour of the Society's founder.OperationalNo
6 Corris No 6 - 2012-05-07.jpg Ruston and Hornsby 4w DH 5184931966Purchased in 1982, ex-BICC Prescot, Merseyside. Formerly 2 ft 6 in (762 mm)gauge.OperationalYes
7 Corris No 7 - 2006-10-28.jpg Winson Engineering
and Drayton Designs
0-4-2 ST 172005Built for the railway, based on the Kerr Stuart "Tattoo" class design of No. 4OperationalYes
8 Hunslet 4w DM 72741973Ex-Houghton Main Colliery, Barnsley. On long-term loan from the National Coal Mining Museum Awaiting overhaulNo
9 Corris Railway Locomotive No.9 "Aberllefenni".jpg Aberllefenni Clayton 4w BE B04571974Ex-Aberllefenni Slate Quarry. Donated and named by Wincilate Ltd OperationalNo
10Corris Railway 0-4-2 ST Under constructionBased on the first three locomotives which first ran the line. Being built as funds are raised and expected to be complete within 5 to 10 years.[ when? ]Under constructionN/A
11Vlad Orenstein & Koppel 0-4-0 DH 257211957Purchased in 2015 from Austria, rewired, regauged and repainted in Romania May 2015OperationalYes


Locomotive 7 is the only steam engine, but will share passenger duties with locomotive 10 on completion. Locomotive 11 is the main diesel motive power unit for both works trains and out of season passenger trains, [15] supported by the lighter diesel locomotives 5 and 6, which are currently the main works and shunting units.



Preserved Corris Railway carriage no 8 (TR no 17) at the Talyllyn Railway, August 2005. Corris coach 17 2005.jpg
Preserved Corris Railway carriage no 8 (TR no 17) at the Talyllyn Railway, August 2005.

The CM&RDT carried passengers from as early as 1860, despite this being explicitly prohibited by its authorising Act. Until 1874, passengers travelled in open waggons attached to the quarry trains. From October 1874, the railway ran separate, timetabled passenger trains. Around 1875, at least two wagons were converted to crude, almost windowless closed carriages. [16]

In November 1878, ten four-wheel, tramcar-like carriages were delivered from the Falcon Works, Loughborough. They were numbered 1 to 10, with a brake van from the same source taking the number 11. The first bogie carriage, also from Falcon, which looked like two four-wheel bodies mounted on a single chassis, received number 12, and the four-wheelers were rebuilt over a five-year period on new chassis to form five bogie vehicles. A renumbering had the rebuilds as 1 to 5 and the former 12 becoming 6.

Two all-new carriages to a similar design were built by the Metropolitan Railway Carriage and Wagon Company Ltd and numbered 7 & 8. Nos. 1 to 6 disappeared, presumed scrapped, after 1930; however Nos. 7 and 8 were used by a GWR employee at his home in Gobowen and subsequently preserved. No. 8 (used as a greenhouse-cum-garden shed) was recovered in 1958 and rebuilt for use on the Talyllyn Railway as their No.17 while No.7 (used as a chicken coop) was recovered ten years later and is on display in the Corris Railway Museum. The brake van was also preserved on the Talyllyn but has been substantially rebuilt after being damaged in a fire.

Carriages of the historic Corris Railway (1859-1948)
Sequential NumberNumber
Old CR system
New CR system
Wheel typeBody typeBuilderFate
114-wheelShort tram Falcon Works Bodywork incorporated into new bogie coach.
224-wheelShort tramFalcon WorksBodywork incorporated into new bogie coach.
334-wheelShort tramFalcon WorksBodywork incorporated into new bogie coach.
444-wheelShort tramFalcon WorksBodywork incorporated into new bogie coach.
554-wheelShort tramFalcon WorksBodywork incorporated into new bogie coach.
664-wheelShort tramFalcon WorksBodywork incorporated into new bogie coach.
774-wheelShort tramFalcon WorksBodywork incorporated into new bogie coach.
884-wheelShort tramFalcon WorksBodywork incorporated into new bogie coach.
994-wheelShort tramFalcon WorksBodywork incorporated into new bogie coach.
10104-wheelShort tramFalcon WorksBodywork incorporated into new bogie coach.
1111114-wheelCorris brake vanFalcon WorksIn service at Talyllyn Railway as TR 6.
12126 Bogie Corris bogieFalcon WorksScrapped after 1930.
131BogieCorris bogieCorris RailwayScrapped after 1930.
142BogieCorris bogieCorris RailwayScrapped after 1930.
153BogieCorris bogieCorris RailwayScrapped after 1930.
164BogieCorris bogieCorris RailwayScrapped after 1930.
175BogieCorris bogieCorris RailwayScrapped after 1930.
187BogieCorris bogie Metropolitan Carriage & Wagon Owned by Corris Railway. Partially restored as museum exhibit.
198BogieCorris bogieMetropolitan Carriage & WagonOwned by Talyllyn Railway. Fully restored and in service as TR 17. (Note - as at 2020, undergoing major overhaul).


Carriage no 21 at Maespoeth May 2007. Corris carriage 21 2007.jpg
Carriage no 21 at Maespoeth May 2007.

As nineteen passenger vehicles (ten four-wheel carriages, eight bogie carriages and the brake van) ran on the original railway, the preservation Society has numbered its new build carriages from 20 onwards.

Carriage 7 is an original bogie carriage, but not available for service. It is on display in the railway museum at Corris.

Carriage 20 is similar in appearance to the bogie vehicles, but on a shorter, ex-National Coal Board four-wheel chassis. The southern compartment has now been adapted for the use of the train guard.

Carriage 21 and carriage 22 have been designed to appear as similar as possible to the original 19th Century bogie vehicles, but constructed to 21st Century safety standards with a steel chassis based on the Talyllyn Railway's standard bogie carriage design and a steel skeleton with timber cladding for the body. Carriage 21 (completed in May 2003) has a plain roof, and carriage 22 (completed in July 2015) has a clerestory roof, similar to those carried by two original carriages in the 1920s. Since September 2015 the railway has been able to run an authentic-looking "1920s" train with the "Tattoo" locomotive and two bogie carriages 21 and 22. Carriage 23 is another plain roof example; assembly of the woodwork for the body commenced in autumn 2015, with the panelling and beading completed by the end of 2017; painting and fitting of seats continued during the Coronavirus lockdown, and the completed carriage was mounted on its bogies and test run in July 2020; it entered passenger service in 2021.

Carriage 24 is currently under construction at Maespoeth. It will be a first class carriage, with a clerestory roof. The main frame is constructed, and the metal body frame has been added.

Carriages of the preserved Corris Railway (1966–present)
NumberWheel typeBody typeRoof typeEntered serviceNotes
7 Bogie Corris all-wooden originalElliptical1898Partially restored. Not in service.
204-wheelCorris style new buildElliptical2002Built on ex-NCB chassis.
21BogieCorris steel-framed new buildElliptical2003
22BogieCorris steel-framed new buildClerestory2015
23BogieCorris steel-framed new buildElliptical2021
24BogieCorris steel-framed new buildClerestory-Under construction.

See also

Related Research Articles

Talyllyn Railway Narrow gauge railway in north Wales

The Talyllyn Railway is a narrow gauge preserved railway in Wales running for 7+14 miles (12 km) from Tywyn on the Mid-Wales coast to Nant Gwernol near the village of Abergynolwyn. The line was opened in 1865 to carry slate from the quarries at Bryn Eglwys to Tywyn, and was the first narrow gauge railway in Britain authorised by Act of Parliament to carry passengers using steam haulage. Despite severe under-investment, the line remained open, and in 1951 it became the first railway in the world to be preserved as a heritage railway by volunteers.

The Cambrian Railways owned 230 miles (370 km) of track over a large area of mid Wales. The system was an amalgamation of a number of railways that were incorporated in 1864, 1865 and 1904. The Cambrian connected with two of the larger railways to give connections to the northwest of England via the London and North Western Railway, and with the Great Western Railway for connections between London and Wales. The Cambrian Railways amalgamated with the Great Western Railway on 1 January 1922 as a result of the Railways Act 1921. The name is continued today in the route known as the Cambrian Line.

Pennal Village in Gwynedd, Wales

Pennal is a village and community on the A493 road in southern Gwynedd, Wales, on the north bank of the Afon Dyfi/River Dovey, near Machynlleth.

Aberllefenni quarries

Aberllefenni quarry is the collective name of three slate quarries, Foel Grochan, Hen Gloddfa and Ceunant Ddu, located in Cwm Hengae, just to the west of Aberllefenni, Gwynedd, North Wales. It was the longest continually operated slate mine in the world until its closure in 2003. Foel Grochan is the quarry on the north side of the valley, facing Ceunant Ddu and Hen Gloddfa on the south; all three were worked as a single concern throughout their history. Rock was mainly extracted underground, though all three quarries had open pits as well.

Aberllefenni Human settlement in Wales

Aberllefenni is a village in the south of Gwynedd, Wales. It lies in the historic county of Merionethshire/Sir Feirionnydd, in the valley of the Afon Dulas, and in the community of Corris.

The Plynlimon and Hafan Tramway was a 2 ft 3 in gauge narrow gauge railway in Cardiganshire in Mid Wales. It ran from Llanfihangel station on the Cambrian Line, through the village of Tal-y-bont and the valley of the Afon Leri, into the foothills of Plynlimon Fawr. It was built to serve the lead mines at Bwlch Glas and stone quarries around Hafan and opened in 1897, closing just two years later. The line was a little over 7 miles (11 km) long and, despite running a short-lived passenger service, it served no communities of more than 100 people.

Corris Human settlement in Wales

Corris is a village and community in the south of Snowdonia in the Welsh county of Gwynedd. It lies in the historic county of Merionethshire/Sir Feirionnydd. Although the Snowdonia National Park covers much of the area around Corris, the village is not within the Park.

Esgairgeiliog Human settlement in Wales

Esgairgeiliog is a village in Powys, Wales, UK. It is situated at the junction of the Afon Glesyrch's and Afon Dulas' valleys.

Ratgoed quarry Former quarry in Wales

Ratgoed quarry was the northernmost of the slate quarries served by the Corris Railway. It is one mile north of Aberllefenni in Gwynedd, Mid Wales, on the western side of Mynydd Llwydiarth. The quarry primarily worked the Narrow Vein, though it also produced some Broad Vein slates.

Corris Uchaf Human settlement in Wales

Corris Uchaf, locally known as Top Corris, is a village lying in the south of the Snowdonia National Park in Gwynedd, Wales. The village of Corris is nearby; the two villages should not be confused. The extensive slate quarries that surround Corris Uchaf are its most prominent historical feature.

Braichgoch slate mine Former mine in Wales

Braichgoch slate mine was a large slate mine located in Corris Uchaf, north Wales. It was worked continuously from 1787 until closure in 1970, apart from a hiatus in the 1900s. Most of the surface workings of the quarry were removed as part of a road widening and landscaping scheme in 1983.

Derwenlas Human settlement in Wales

Derwenlas is a hamlet in northern Powys, Wales. It is part of the community of Cadfarch.

The Mawddwy Railway was a rural line in the Dyfi Valley in mid-Wales that connected Dinas Mawddwy with a junction at Cemmaes Road railway station on the Newtown and Machynlleth Railway section of the Cambrian Railways.

Morben Village in Powys, Wales

Morben is a hamlet in northern Powys, Wales. Part of the historic county of Montgomeryshire from 1536 to 1974, it lies on the Afon Dyfi and was once the home of a number of riverside quays, including Cei Ward and Y Bwtri. The site of Cei Ward lies alongside the A487 opposite Plas Llugwy, where the road, railway and river run close together. Y Bwtri lay on the bend of the river opposite Pennal and was the site of a shipyard.

<i>Sir Haydn</i> (locomotive)

Sir Haydn is a narrow gauge steam locomotive, built by Hughes's Locomotive & Tramway Engine Works of the Falcon Works, Loughborough in 1878. It operated on the Corris Railway in Wales, until closure in 1948, and since 1951 has operated on the nearby Talyllyn Railway. It has carried the operating number 3 under four successive owners.

<i>Edward Thomas</i> (locomotive)

Edward Thomas is a narrow gauge steam locomotive. Built by Kerr Stuart & Co. Ltd. at the California Works, Stoke-on-Trent in 1921, it was delivered new to the Corris Railway where it ran until 1948. After that railway closed, the locomotive was brought to the Talyllyn Railway in 1951, then restored, and remains in working order at the heritage railway. It has carried the operating number 4 under four successive owners.

Ratgoed Tramway

The Ratgoed Tramway was a 2 ft 3 in gauge horse-worked tramway that connected the remote Ratgoed Quarry with the Corris Railway at Aberllefenni. It was 1.75 miles (2.82 km) long.

Cymerau quarry Slate quarry in Wales, UK

Cymerau quarry was a slate quarry served by the Ratgoed Tramway, a horse-worked section of the Corris Railway. It is located about half a mile north of Aberllefenni in Merioneth, North Wales, on the eastern side of the isolated Cwm Ceiswyn. It worked the Narrow Vein, the highest-quality slate vein in the Abercorris Group.

The Upper Corris Tramway was a 2 ft 3 in gauge horse-worked tramway that connected the slate quarries around the villages of Corris and Corris Uchaf with the Corris Railway at Maespoeth Junction. It was just over 1.8 miles (2.9 km) long.

Abercwmeiddaw quarry Former Welsh slate quarry

The Abercwmeiddaw quarry was a slate quarry that operated between the 1840s and 1938. It was located at Corris Uchaf about 5 miles (8.0 km) north of Machynlleth, in Gwynedd, north-west Wales. The quarry was connected to the Corris Railway via the Upper Corris Tramway which carried its products to the Cambrian Railways at Machynlleth for distribution.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Johnson, Peter (2011). An Illustrated History of the Great Western Narrow Gauge. Oxford Publishing Co.
  2. Boyd 1965, pp. 20-21.
  3. Boyd 1965, p. 22.
  4. Boyd 1965, p. 23.
  5. Boyd 1965, p. 24.
  6. 1 2 3 Boyd 1965, pp. 24-25.
  7. "New Locomotives". Wrexham Guardian. 14 December 1878.
  8. Corris Railway Society Journal 1992 & 1993
  9. 1 2 Quine, Dan. "Not to be: The sad end of the Corris Railway". Heritage Railway. Vol. 220.
  10. Bate, John; Mitchell, David; Adams, Nigel (2003). Narrow Gauge Railways in Profile No. 1: Talyllyn Railway Locomotives & Rolling Stock. Cheona Publications. p. 57. ISBN   1-900298-21-X.
  11. Bate, John (2001). The Chronicles of Pendre Sidings. RailRomances. p. 205. ISBN   1-900622-05-X.
  12. "Corris No 7 Visit - 7th and 8th October 2011". Talyllyn Railway. 8 October 2011. Archived from the original on 23 October 2011. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
  13. Boyd 1965, p. 36.
  14. "0-4-2ST Corris Railway". Preserved British Steam Locomotives. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  15. Roberts, Linda (1 June 2015). "Diesel loco joins Corris Railway fleet from Austria via Transylvania". Wales Express.
  16. Quine, Dan (April 2020). "Early Corris Railway passenger trains". Narrow Gauge and Industrial Railway Modelling Review . No. 122.


Coordinates: 52°38′50″N3°50′35″W / 52.64728°N 3.84313°W / 52.64728; -3.84313