Corris Railway has taken delivery of a well-travelled diesel locomotive which will take the number 11 in the locomotive line-up – number 10 is the new-build “Falcon” 0-4-2ST, which is under construction.
The Orenstein and Koppel (O&K) 0-4-0 760mm gauge machine was originally delivered on March 27, 1957, to a construction company, E. Weiss and Co. of Vienna.
It was subsequently sold to a paper mill in Steyrermuehl, also in Austria, whose works line was open between 1916-‘88.
In 2002, the loco passed to “Club 760” at Mauterndorf in the Austrian Alps and it was recently put up for sale as it had become surplus to requirements. Whilst at Mauterndof, repairs were started including new tyres and a new electric 24V system.
In 2014, two members of the Corris Railway identified a need for a further diesel locomotive to supplement the existing fleet, as stalwarts numbers 5 and 6 were both showing signs that they needed extensive maintenance.
The search began for a suitable locomotive able to shunt, have enough power for heavy tasks and be able to operate passenger trains on the Corris at a reasonable speed. This was complicated by the railway’s track gauge of two feet three inches.
After an extensive search the locomotive was located and a visit was made to Mauterndorf in February this year. It was not possible to see the locomotive in action as everything was shut for the winter. However the dimensions were checked and the general condition of the locomotive was surveyed, leading to a decision to make the purchase.
On March 27, the loco was loaded in Mauterndorf and taken to Romania for completion of the electrical work, re-gauging (to 687 mm) and a light overhaul.
On May 9, Corris Railway members visited the small town of Brad in Transylvania, where the works of S.C. Calea Ferata Ingusta SRL, Criscior (CFI) is located. The locomotive was tested on the 11 km long CFI branch line before the re-gauging work could be done.
The locomotive left Criscior on May 26 and arrived safely at Corris three days later. After unloading via the remaining section of the one-time Upper Corris branchline at Maespoeth Junction, clearance tests began with the engine over the weekend.
Corris Railway passenger trains continue to be headed by steam locomotive number 7.