In 2002, the Corris Railway?s first operating season since 1930, the railway carried 1,400 passengers between Corris and Maespoeth. This was achieved although trains only ran on Sundays and Bank Holidays from the beginning of June until the end of October, with a single passenger carriage. The Corris Railway Museum also benefited from the re-commencement of services, with a 15% increase in visitors.
With the experience gained from the first year of operations, the railway is planning to more than double its operating days in 2003, with passenger trains scheduled to run over the Easter, May Day, Spring and August Bank Holiday weekends, Sundays in May, September and October, and Saturdays and Sundays in June, July and August. There is also a possibility of running midweek services during August if volunteer train crews are available.
Over the winter, the railway is working to complete its second passenger carriage, a bogie vehicle based on the original design, which is being constructed by Society members in the East Midlands. This will make it possible to more than double the number of passengers on each train. The overhaul of a second diesel loco suitable for passenger trains is also due for completion before the main summer season.
Society volunteers are working on the installation of additional pointwork at Maespoeth, and the connection of all the points at that site to the lever frame installed in the signal box. This is designed to provide more flexibility in train operations. Fettling of the track on the main line, after its first season of service, is also planned. The building of slate facing to the retaining walls alongside the line in Corris, and the completion of the toilet block at Maespoeth, to improve the aesthetic appearance of the lineside and the comfort of passengers, is also underway!
Preliminary construction work on a revised track bed formation immediately south of Maespoeth has commenced, although it will not be possible to extend passenger services southwards in 2003.
The Railway?s re-opening in 2002 was relatively low-key due to uncertainty as to when the requisite paperwork would be completed, and so the official Grand Re-Opening is to take place on Saturday 7th June 2003. Plans are in hand for some very special visitors to be present for the Grand Re-Opening, and full details will be issued once these have been finalised.
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