The Corris Railway (Kindle)
The Story of a Mid-Wales Slate Railway
One of Wales’ oldest narrow gauge railways, the 2ft 3in gauge Corris Railway was built to carry slate from several quarries in the Dulas valley to wharves on the river Dyfi. At first forbidden to use steam locomotives or to carry passengers, it overcame these obstacles and became an essential part of the community that it served.
It was also a forerunner in encouraging tourists, offering inclusive tours to nearby Talyllyn, passengers travelling on the train and on railway-operated road services.
Taken over by the Great Western Railway in 1930, the railway was closed by British Railways in 1948, apparently for good. Fortunately, the last two steam locomotives and some rolling stock was saved by the nearby Talyllyn Railway, where it played an essential role in that railway’s preservation. Eventually, the thoughts of enthusiasts turned to reviving the Corris Railway, and, after many twists and turns, the first passengers were carried on a short section in 2002.
Historian Peter Johnson has delved into many sources to uncover the intricacies of the railway’s origins, its development, operation and revival.
"The illustrations chosen include some excellent studies of the time, that used as the tailpiece showing No 3 threading a slate train through Corris being particularly apt. Well indexed, and including a bibliography it is a well-produced book that I can recommend to those interested in narrow gauge railways, especially those of North Wales."John New, The Stephenson Locomotive Society Journal, March/April 2022
"Seasoned narrow gauge historian Peter Johnson has done an excellent job in chronicling the chequered history of the Corris."Great Western Society
I strongly recommend it as a history of the railway and also a social history of a short valley in mid-Wales whose fortunes rose and fell with slate.The Railway Correspondence and Travel Society
Review by Gerry NicholsThe Stephenson Locomotive Society
Overall, the book is good value for money and recommended as a comprehensive history of the Corris Railway.
This is a most impressive and well presented publication.West Somerset Railway Association
This book presents a well-researched and detailed account of the day-to-day working of a minor railway of a type long since consigned to history.Industrial Railway Society - reviewed by Martin Shill
A very interesting book and an impressive image archive.Miniaturas JM
Read the full Spanish review here
This book presents a well-researched and detailed account of the day-to-day working of a minor railway of a type long since consigned to history.Bulletin No.1045 – March 2020 - reviewed by Martin Shill
Overall, this is an excellent addition to the Corris Railway bibliography, and achieves its objective of revealing much detailed information not previously known.Ffestiniog Railway Magazine, No 248, Spring 2020
Readable and well illustrated this is more recommended, if not essential reading on the Welsh narrow gauge.Llanfair Railway Journal, No 234, January 2020
An interesting look at this charming byway.Railway Modeller, April 2020
"The book is a fascinating, in-depth study of the Corris Railway, taking the reader from the horse era of the 1850s right up to date with the Corris Railway Society's most recent achievements and future aspirations."6024 Preservation Society
This is a great book because it is easy to access, the images (both black and white and colour) are clear and informative, and the financial statistics at the back explain why and how the original Corris completely lost its way. This is a decent book to get up to speed on a lesser-known but worthwhile project.Steam World, March 2020
As featured inBranch Lines and Light Railway Publications
It is worth of a place on the bookshelves of enthusiasts of narrow gauge and other quirky independent railways, and is a valuable record of the history of this little railway and it's place in the Dulas valley. I found it an enjoyable and informative read, and as a modeller, a good source of inspiration.Michael's Model Railways
Read the full review here
All of this is presented in the quality package that Pen & Sword has become renowned for. The text is easily readable, the layouts making best use of the plentiful picture content, not all of which this reviewer had seen before. In summary this is an impressive work, both to enjoy reading and to have on one's shelf.Narrow Gauge World, No 145 (Jan/Feb 2020)