The wonderful world of Welsh narrow gauge comes to life in Train Simulator with the recently re-opened Corris Railway. With passenger services long gone and mineral freight in decline, it became less worthwhile for the Great Western Railway to combat the eroding force of the River Dovey (Afor Dyfi). Once the line closed under the guise of British Railways, it was thought to have been gone for good especially when the track was lifted in 1949 and the Talyllyn Railway, the world’s first preserved railway, bought the old Corris locomotives and rolling stock for their own purposes. This was however, not the end for narrow gauge in the Dulas Valley.
The hopeful return of the Corris Railway began in 1966 when Alan Meaden and his dedicated group of enthusiasts, many of which were already volunteers on the Talyllyn themselves, set out to form the Corris Railway Society. Their initial aim was to preserve what little remained of the line and open a museum solely for the history of the Corris Railway. They set the goal of rebuilding some, or maybe even all, of the railway that was lost following the closure. All of this would prove to be a serious challenge as the only rails that existed did not belong to the Corris Railway, instead they were some of the once-many various quarry branches and not very useful at the time. The Corris Railway Society had to preserve what no longer existed.
Due to the incredibly dire condition of what remained where the Corris Railway once dominated, it was to be several decades before it would become what it is today. It was not until 1970 that the first portion of a building outside Corris Station could be used for the new Railway Museum, and a very short section of track was laid the following year for demonstration purposes.
As part of a lengthy process to reinstate passenger services across the yet-to-be-recompleted railway, the original Corris Railway Company naming was brought back to life and the Corris Railway Society gained charitable status to aid in their funding and equipment procurement throughout the 1970s. During this time even more of the Museum was opened following further building restoration.
The 1980s would be the year when the Dulas Valley trackbeds saw rails once again. Starting at the Maespoeth locomotive shed – the eventual base for the entire line which was acquired in 1981 – track was laid northwards to Corris station, which came out to around a distance of just under 1 mile. A non-passenger run occurred in 1985 for test purposes and the railway was further upgraded, and buildings were consistently renovated, to allow for passenger operations in the future.
After what must have felt like endless years of restorations and donations, the first passenger services were officially introduced onto the preserved Corris Railway in the summer of 2002, some 72 years after the original services terminated for good. To begin with, passengers were hauled along the Corris Railway by a narrow gauge diesel locomotive. However, a new steam loco was built by the Corris Railway Society which entered service as No.7 on 20th August 2005, exactly 57 years since the line saw its final service.
With regular operations being steady for the past decade, the Corris Railway is looking to be extended beyond Maespoeth down towards Machynlleth. The first stage of this planned extension would end at Tan-y-Coed, which is about 2.5 miles from Corris Station. Preliminary work for this southerly extension began in 2015, however negotiations with the local authorities is essential. This is due to the potential line south of Maespoeth sitting immediately adjacent to the A487.
Whether the full extension of the Corris Railway will come to fruition or not, the fact that such a niche railway had the backing required to be preserved as it is today stands as an outstanding display of the passion behind UK’s once-lost railways. Thanks to Alan Meaden, we can enjoy the soul of the Corris Railway as it once was, despite history taking its toll on the stunning narrow gauge line; and thanks to Skyhook Games that experience will reach a different level as the uniquely historic Corris Railway is coming to Train Simulator.
The Corris Railway for Train Simulator features the modern-day preserved line from Corris to Maespoeth plus the proposed extension down to Tan-y-Coed. Also included is the Tattoo Locomotive No. 7 with a selection of rolling stock for both passenger and freight duties (including the special gravity wagons for downhill runs). A selection of Career scenarios will be included depicting a number of services, even featuring the day that No. 7 was delivered to the railway.
- Complete narrow gauge route between Corris to Maespoeth
- Includes the proposed extension to Tan-y-Coed
- Tattoo Locomotive No. 7
- Selection of appropriate and authentic rolling stock for passenger and freight duty
- Unique gravity wagons for free rolling
- Eight challenging career scenarios for the route
- Quick Drive compatible