Corris Railway targets September steam for new Falcon locomotive

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Corris Railway has released its latest update on progress with the completion of its new steam locomotive, No 10 Falcon.

The railway hopes that Falcon will be steaming on September 24, although it is not ready for traffic. This is when its builder, Alan Keef Ltd., holds a 50th anniversary open day at its premises in Lea near Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire.

Work on the baseplate is well advanced and some other larger and visible components are progressing as work continues to run the steam locomotive at the Keef Open Day.

The seat tank steel was cut by Optimized Metal Fabrications of Rochester, while some laser-cut parts were delivered to Barnshaws Plate and Section Rollers in Wolverhampton for shaping. Once complete, the tank will be assembled by Corris Railway volunteers in the East Midlands before being delivered to Keef’s. Although it saves money, the tank will still cost £2,500.

The cab roof and inner and outer saddle tank shells are salvaged from Barnshaws. Credit: Corris Railway.

The cab sides and cab front and rear plating of the locomotive have already been produced by Optimized Fabrications, trial assembled and mounted on Falcon. Steel for the roof is being procured, and with final completion and corner rolling the cost is estimated to be an additional £500.

The-outer-shell-is-glued-to-the-end-plate.
Saddle tank outer shell bonded to end plate. Credit: Corris Railway.

In June, work was due to begin at Keef’s to complete the smoke box and associated parts; Keef’s staff visited the Talyllyn Railway at Tywyn to check the details of Corris No. 3, in particular the layout of the blowpipes.

The mechanical lubricator has been purchased and delivered to Keef’s, and the firebox door assembly, which was produced by a Corris volunteer with engineering skills, is in place on the boiler.

steam lines
Well swept steam pipes from regulator housing to cylinders. Credit: Corris Railway.

Although the plan is for Falcon to be in steam at Keef’s at the end of September, there will still be work to be done to complete the locomotive so that it will be fit for service on the railway in 2023. This work will include the fitting of pads and sanding gear, the paint, and deliver the locomotive to Maespoeth Junction. This work is estimated at £48,000, of which the railway needs another £20,000 to achieve its goal.

As an added incentive to complete Falcon and seeing it in service next year, 2023 is the 140th anniversary of the introduction of steam services on the Corris. The event will be marked by a train led by a trio of locomotives which are falcon the ancestors.

In order to meet the deadlines, the railway would welcome and donations, and these can be made online at www.corris.co.uk or by check or standing order, details are available on the Corris Railway website.

A fundraising stand for the locomotive will be present at the Corris Railway Society Model Train Exhibition being held at Y Plas in Machynlleth on 27th and 28th August.

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