Corris Railway’s new loco has steamed in public for first time, but there is still much work to be done before it starts working on the mid Wales narrow gauge line.

The ongoing project to build the new Falcon 0-4-2ST reached a major milestone on Saturday, 24 September, with its first public steaming at engineers Alan Keef Ltd’s annual open day at Lea near Ross-on-Wye.

The project has progressed quickly in the last few weeks, with the completion of work on and inside the smokebox and fitting the ashpan after the boiler had been temporarily removed from the frames for its hydraulic test.

The cab, the profile of which is based on the original Falcons on Corris Railway, was completed after the boiler was tested and received its certification.

Corris Railway is grateful to the neighbouring Talyllyn Railway for making important components for the new engine - injectors which move water into the boiler.

Jobs still to be done include fitting buffers, couplings, an air brake pump and, finally, taking the machine apart and painting and reassembling it, which requires further fundraising.

The new locomotive, a 21st century evocation of a design dating from 1878, will then be ready to enter service on the revived section of Corris Railway which runs between Corris and Maespoeth Junction in the Dulas Valley, north of Machynlleth.

Donations can be made via or by cheque payable to Corris Railway which should be sent to Peter Guest, 38 Underwood Close, Callow Hill, Redditch, B97 5YS.

An exhibition at the open day traced Keef’s history over the last 50 years and visitors could also see ongoing projects, including work for Talyllyn Railway.