A traverser that has been installed at Corris station on the narrow-gauge Corris Railway was used for the first time on Saturday, March 26th.
By using the traverser, engines can change lines and run round their carriages while they are still at the station platform. It will be a regular feature of the line’s services which start the 2022 season on Good Friday, 15th April.
The first locomotive to be moved on the traverser was Ruston and Hornsby 4-wheel diesel-hydraulic No. 6, which worked a ballast train to Corris.
No. 6 station worked the first passenger trains after the Corris Railway re-opened between 2003 and 2005.
Another locomotive to use the traverser was 0-4-2 saddle tank Tattoo which had passed a live steam test after its annual maintenance. Tattoo took a train of carriages from Maespoeth Junction to Corris where, after uncoupling from the train, it ran forward onto the traverser and moved to the new run-round loop track. It reversed to the other end of the coaching stock before the train returned to the Maespoeth Junction.
The traverser was constructed by Statfold Engineering, based near Tamworth in Staffordshire. In use at Corris, it is operated manually and will allow locomotives to be at the head of their trains in both directions for the first time since 1948 when the original line closed. Its installation was the culmination of work that began after the 2021 Santa Trains.
Further work during the winter saw track relaid between Braich Goch Farm Crossing and the Corris station, where a loop was created in addition to a new platform. Between the crossing and the station area, the new track is laid on sleepers made from recycled plastic, whilst in the station area traditional sleepers are used.
Work to rebuild Corris station is ongoing work, but because of present-day site restrictions, it is not possible to recreate completely the former station which was demolished in 1968. However, the new structure will eventually include an overall roof, which made the original an iconic part of the British narrow gauge scene.
After this latest phase of the work is completed, further progress will require considerable funds to be raised via donations and, if they can be obtained, grants. Donations towards the station project can be made online via http://www.corris.co.uk or cheques payable to Corris Railway can be sent to Corris Railway, Station Yard, Corris, Machynlleth, SY20 9SH.