Steam engine reaches new heights

The Sir Haydyn. Photo: Barbara Fuller.

The cab on Corris Railway's new Falcon Number 10 will be higher than the original because the average man is now 11cms - or four-and-a-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 also has a higher cab.

"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."

"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 operation took place courtesy of compressed air, and some temporary pipework fittings, at the workshops of Alan Keef Ltd near Ross-on-Wye.

"Further fine tuning will be required but all went well on the first run of the new Falcon number 10," said the spokesman

"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.

Donations can be made online at or cheques, payable to Corris Railway, can be sent to Peter Guest, 38 Underwood Close, Callow Hill, Redditch B97 5YS.