Shropshire Star

Edward the green engine returns to its orginal railway

A steam locomotive will begin its centenary year celebrations by returning to its original railway on August 28 to head a passenger train from a station for the first time since 1930.

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The Edward Thomas engine

Marking another landmark in the revival of Corris Railway, steam locomotive number 4, ‘Edward Thomas’, will set off from the station at 11am followed by further trips at 1pm and 3pm. Tickets must be pre-booked via

The Edward Thomas worked passenger, slate and general goods traffic between Machynlleth and Aberllefenni.

In 1930, the Great Western Railway took over Corris Railway and, at the end of the year, passenger traffic ceased to run. Freight continued, although services were eventually reduced to three days a week and the narrow gauge line became part of British Railways in 1948.

In August of that year, the railway was closed as the River Dyfi was threatening to breach the track bed near Machynlleth.

The remaining pair of engines looked destined to be cut up. However, Campbell Thomas, Machynlleth stationmaster, hoped that they might find new life on the neighbouring Talyllyn Railway which shared the gauge. The locomotives were kept sheeted over and, as far as possible, out of sight.

In 1951, after enthusiasts took over the Talyllyn line it became the world’s first heritage railway.

With only one working engine of their own, the Talyllyn Railway pioneers purchased the Corris locos from British Railways in Swindon. After overhaul by the Hunslet Company in Leeds, number 4 entered Talyllyn service in 1952 and has been a major part of train operations there since.

After the celebrations at Corris on August 28, Edward Thomas will work alongside another engine during a gala event that will see them operating passenger trains between Corris and Maespoeth Junction on September 4 and 5. Details of the gala and booking arrangements will appear online at

Corris Railway, which is run and maintained entirely by Corris Railway Society volunteers, is a member of MWT Cymru, an independent organisation representing more than 600 tourism and hospitality business across Powys, Ceredigion and Meirionnydd region of Gwynedd.