The Corris Railway 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, and originally ran from Machynlleth 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.
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.
In the summer of 2002 passenger services resumed after a break of seventy-two years, initially diesel-hauled. The society has also built a new steam locomotive, to a design based on the Kerr Stuart No.4. This loco 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 two and a half 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).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.
Stations And Halts
- Cei (or Quay) Ward a wharf on the Afon Dyfi at Morben, the main trans-shipment point for the original tramroad. Closed in the 1860s.
- Cei Tafarn Isa and Cei Ellis, wharves on the Afon Dyfi at Derwenlas where slates were off-loaded onto shipping. Closed in the 1860s, when the bend of the river was cut off by the construction of the Aberystwyth and Welsh Coast Railway.
- Machynlleth the main slate transshipment point and interchange station with the Cambrian Railways (later GWR and BR)
- Ffridd Gate for Llanwrin
- Doldderwen Crossing
- Llwyngwern for Pantperthog
- Esgairgeiliog for Ceinws
- Maespoeth Junction locomotive and carriage shed, no passenger station