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Martin Fuller in Volume 2 of Talyllyn and Corris Steam Locomotives describes the Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society's early struggles and the programme of renewal and rebuilding that rescued the railway from near dereliction. The line's only operational engine Dolgoch soldiered on, though in extremely poor condition. The track however was even worse. The situation was at its most desperate in October 1952 when no train could get through without derailing!
The railway struggled not just with maintenance arrears but a huge increase in traffic. The saving grace of the whole venture was the acquisition of the Corris Railway engines and later, Andrew Barclay No. 1431. As the Corris engines wore out the two original Talyllyn engines were rebuilt in the Midlands. Serious errors in the reconstructions resulted in appalling performance and these engines suffered several spectacular failures.
This volume, 'Early Preservation and Locomotive Rebuilds' provides many personal accounts of early struggles as the railway fought to find its feet and details the rebuilding programme which improved locomotive reliability and efficiency.