The oldest narrow gauge railway in Mid Wales is building a 21st century version of a trio of steam locomotives built at the Falcon Works in Loughborough in 1878 – with one major visual exception.
The cab on Corris Railway’s new Falcon Number 10 will be higher than the original because the average man is now 11cms - four and half inches - taller than in the Victorian era.
One of the original trio of Corris Railway locomotives is still in service on Talyllyn Railway, but Number 3 has been renamed Sir Haydn and now has a higher cab also.
“The new build differs from the originals in some respects, most notably a higher cab to accommodate drivers and firemen who are taller than their Victorian predecessors,” said a Corris Railway spokesman. “
“The new cab does, however, have a similar outline to that carried by the original trio during their time at the Corris.
“The cab of Number 10 will stand higher than those which were carried by the original Falcon engines on the Corris and by Number 3, now Sir Haydn, when she entered traffic on Talyllyn Railway in the 1950s,” said the Corris Railway spokesman.
“The footplate crew at the time found the height of the cab a problem to fit under. When Sir Haydn received its current cab, the original parts survived and these have been used as guides with the design profile of that for number 10.”
A major milestone in the progress of the new Falcon Number 10 was reached last week when the wheels and motion moved for the first time.
This significant took place courtesy of compressed air, and some temporary pipework fittings, at the workshops of Alan Keef Ltd near Ross-on-Wye. A video of this event can be seen at www.corris.co.uk .
Further fine tuning will be required but all went well on the first run of the new Falcon number 10. The project already has a boiler constructed by Israel Newton and other components made or ready for finishing include the smokebox and its fittings, buffers and chimney.
Volunteer input to the project has also included work on brake gear components and the pony truck for the 0-4-2ST. Cab components have also been produced. However, there is more construction to be done and components, including cab fittings, to be purchased, many of them distinctly expensive to obtain.
The target date for the completion of the locomotive, subject to continued successful fundraising, is September next year when it is planned to appear as the centrepiece of a charity open day at the workshops of Alan Keef Ltd. Subsequently it will enter traffic on the Corris.
The new steam locomotive will be the second to enter service on the revived section of the railway, situated in the beautiful Dulas Valley between Machynlleth and Dolgellau.
The Corris Railways spokesman thanked everyone who has donated money to the project to date and said further donations would be very welcome. Donations can be made online at www.corris.co.uk or cheques, payable to Corris Railway, can be sent to Peter Guest, 38, Underwood Close, Callow Hill, Redditch, B97 5YS.
The new Falcon Number 10 will look like Sir Haydn, now in service on Talyllyn Railway with a cab higher than the original.
Picture: Barbara Fuller.
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