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Barrow Road Coaling Tower

barrowroad

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Since receiving the model of the Coaling Tower from Peter Leyland I have been collecting research material on the operation of the tower with the intention of making the coaler operational.

Whether this results in full operation, with the wagon tipper operational, or whether the wagon hoist is just raised under the hood, remains to be seen.

 

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Recently I obtained permission from West Coast Railways to visit their Carnforth Site in order to photograph the Coal & Ash Plants as part of this research. The most difficult part of the research was to identify the tipping mechanism of the plant which is obscured by the 'hood' at the top of the hoist.

For those officionados of mechanical coaling plants here are a few close up photos taken with a telephoto lens. Unfortunately the plant has concrete cancer and for the usual health & safety reasons [ I did ask] I was not able to climb the plant [ sounds like Jack i the Beanstalk]. The other reason being the bottom 20ft of the access ladder had been cut off!

 

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I have other photos of details on both the Coal & Ash plants if anyone is interested.

West Coast Railways kindly gave me a guided tour of the site where amongst other locos present I saw Scots Guardsman and the completed chassis of Jubilee 'Galatea'. A pleasure to see another former Barrow Road loco in the process of restoration.

 

A trip down to the East Lancs followed with the sighting of another ex Barrow Road Jubilee 'Leander' and a trip behind her to Rawtenstall & return.

 

Today I visited the History Centre at Chippenham where I found the 1937 GA drawing of Bristol LMS - Locomotive Coaling Plant - Ref 2515/409/0719ms. Excellent drawings of the end and front elevation with the 'hood' removed.This drawing has eluded me on previous visits not least because it is not with the other Barrow Road material - it was with the GWR Bath Road shed material - now I do'nt recall that railway having modern coaling facilities!

 

In the meantime I am pressing on with the 'very long' ash disposal pits. An update will follow in the next few days.

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Robin,

 

A super looking model - Peter certainly does superb work (as you know he's done/doing buildings for me, also). The idea of having the wagon hoist working will add visual interest although actually having the tippler function might be a bit much and would presumably require granular loads in the wagons so they go up full, and come down empty? The Carnforth tower does look a bit worse for wear in your photos - I think that not being able to go up was probably just as well, otherwise we might not have your continuing posts on progress!

 

Looking at the model, I'm intrigued by the bare brass vertical columns. Are these temporary supports to help hold the thing rigid prior to installation, to be removed, or are they permanent but just not yet painted?

 

Looking forward to further updates.

 

Dave.

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Robin,

 

A super looking model - Peter certainly does superb work (as you know he's done/doing buildings for me, also). The idea of having the wagon hoist working will add visual interest although actually having the tippler function might be a bit much and would presumably require granular loads in the wagons so they go up full, and come down empty? The Carnforth tower does look a bit worse for wear in your photos - I think that not being able to go up was probably just as well, otherwise we might not have your continuing posts on progress!

 

Looking at the model, I'm intrigued by the bare brass vertical columns. Are these temporary supports to help hold the thing rigid prior to installation, to be removed, or are they permanent but just not yet painted?

 

Looking forward to further updates.

 

Dave.

 

Good to hear from you Dave.

Peter's model is excellent. When it was built I supplied a copy of the only drawing of a type 2 coaler I could find, which was of the plant at Accrington - photo and drawing in LMS Engine Sheds Vol 1. Peter used this as a guide when building the model. My spec to him was for a detachable winding house at the top of the tower to enable me to position a future winding mechanism and motor. This he has done.

Peter was not keen on providing an operating tower and I agreed that this was something I would do in the future.

Peter based the hoist mechanism on this drawing. Unfortunately I have discovered that the Barrow Road mechanism is different and does not have the pair of balance weights, which drop to the ground, in the Accrington version. I will need to re-engineer the hoist for the model and probably reposition the two guide rail girders further out towards the edge of the tower with the curve at the top.

The hoist carrying cradle is also wider than in the model - I will post a further photo to show this.

Peter has used the two unpainted brass sections to represent the balance weight guides down the face of the tower.

 

Hope this makes sense.

 

Robin

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For further views of the hoist and tower at Carnforth - virtually identical to Barrow Road - see these earlier photos courtesy of 'Free at last'.

These were taken in the 90's and give unobstructed views when compared to mine - the tower had three rakes of West Coast Railways Mk1 & 2 coaches positioned under and alongside the tower.

 

Carnforth Coaling Tower

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Hi Robin

 

have you any idea how the wagons were secured when they were tiped at the top off the tower.

your model looks great

regards

john

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Hi Robin

 

have you any idea how the wagons were secured when they were tiped at the top off the tower.

your model looks great

regards

john

 

Hi John,

 

The wagon is held on th eplatform using it's brakes. When the lift starts the wagon tips as it progresses up the guide rails and rests against the timber baulks attached to the vertical on the platform. This adds further security from any movement purely by friction. Now the bit you questioned.

The platform has two guide wheels, the top one runs at the rear of the vertical guide rail whilst the bottom runs at the front. As the wagon reached the top the former runs into the channel show in the first three photos above and comes to rest against a stop. The latter lifts off the rail and the platform moves through an arc tipping the wagon through 90+ deg to start the emptying operation. During this the top of the wagon makes contact with the 'rope wound' timber baulks shown in the prototype photos 2 and 3. There are two of these, on either side which are held against the top of the wagon during the tipping operation and prevent it from falling off the platform. Both are fixed to the steel rectangular frame shown in the pics.

The arc metal frame in pic 1 prevents the stop roller from jumping out.

There are about 2.5tons of counter balance weights attached to each arm of the tipping mechanism - shown outboard of each vertical guide rail at the top in pic 4.

 

I need to model this on Barrow Road'd coaler as Pete has modelled the earlier version of the counter balance weight s which dropped to ground level - Accrington Coaler had this type and this was the drawing I send to Pete for the model. At the time I was not aware of any difference.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Regards,

 

Robin

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Hi Robin

 

have you any idea how the wagons were secured when they were tiped at the top off the tower.

your model looks great

regards

john

 

Hi John,

 

The wagon is held on th eplatform using it's brakes. When the lift starts the wagon tips as it progresses up the guide rails and rests against the timber baulks attached to the vertical on the platform. This adds further security from any movement purely by friction. Now the bit you questioned.

The platform has two guide wheels, the top one runs at the rear of the vertical guide rail whilst the bottom runs at the front. As the wagon reached the top the former runs into the channel show in the first three photos above and comes to rest against a stop. The latter lifts off the rail and the platform moves through an arc tipping the wagon through 90+ deg to start the emptying operation. During this the top of the wagon makes contact with the 'rope wound' timber baulks shown in the prototype photos 2 and 3. There are two of these, on either side which are held against the top of the wagon during the tipping operation and prevent it from falling off the platform. Both are fixed to the steel rectangular frame shown in the pics.

The arc metal frame in pic 1 prevents the stop roller from jumping out.

There are about 2.5tons of counter balance weights attached to each arm of the tipping mechanism - shown outboard of each vertical guide rail at the top in pic 4.

 

I need to model this on Barrow Road'd coaler as Pete has modelled the earlier version of the counter balance weight s which dropped to ground level - Accrington Coaler had this type and this was the drawing I send to Pete for the model. At the time I was not aware of any difference.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Regards,

 

Robin

 

 

Hi Robin

Thank you for all the information you sent me it will be of great help to me when i start to model my coaling tower , i asumed

the cradle worked after studing your pictures but was not sure of the tipping of the wagons , we used to have a coaling tower in Cambridge but alas it has long gone ..

When i complete my working model i will send some pictures i plan to do a prototype in card then the final tower in plastic card

 

Meny thanks

regards

John

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Hi Robin,

Really great progress on the layout since your MRJ article. Regarding the coaling plant operation, people will be drawn to its operation and as you would expect they will want it to work properly. The Camden plant is similar but does not 'face' the viewing side of my layout. Regardless I am separating the hoist system from the main structure and powering it from below the baseboard for smooth realistic operation. PS your Carnforth photos answer a lot of questions, and thanks for the MRJ tip regarding York Model Making, huge help, just got to get the plans for the shed now !!

best regards,

Stanley

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Hi Stanley,

 

I would be interested to see how your operating mechanism works.

 

Best regards,

 

Robin

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Very nice layout and representation of the real article.

 

I myself have been engaged in the process of building a 2mm model of the Immingham example for several weeks now, the thing that has stalled me has been 'complete' information on the mechanism itself though a lot can be deduced from what pictorial refrence material that is available, which is not much to be frank, a trip to the site a few months ago tape measure in hand resulted in some basic dimensions and I was surprised how much I recalled from my days working at the Depot to many years ago to bare thinking about, in those days you could actually get inside the thing and I just wish someone had the forsight at the time to take photographs of it as we expected it to be torn down fairly soon even in those days, Surprisingly it's still there and although being denied preservation status recently showing no signs of going anywhere soon.

 

Looking at the pictures you have posted there are a lot of similarities in the mechanism layout and parts to the Immingham one and I would hazard a guess that this is another of the Henry Lees & Co designs so would be very interested in seeing any photographs you have on the subject.

 

I am not intially going for a working example though the way it is being put together has this in mind for future upgrades being modular in construction and that is the end goal with a friend prepared to maching the top house winching gear once I can finalise a drawing in two variants for both 4mm and 2mm scales, but like all these projects they not only take a lot of time to get right but also require a lot of information when it can be obtained.

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If you PM me your email I will let you have information that I have on the Henry Lees Coaling Tower at Barrow Road.

I have a copy of the GA drawings that are at Wiltshire History museum at Chippenham. 

I have made a visit to Carthforth - West Coast Rail depot - where there is an identical Coaling Plant and Ash Plant. I was allowed to take photos. Whilst there I was told of the whereabouts of some footage of the plant in operation and tracked down some colour footage taken inside the top of the tower of a 16ton mineral wagon discharging coal. A short clip but very informative.

From this I believe I have details of the operation of the tower from positioning a wagon, lifting it to the discharge.

Bristol was a 150ton unit with two 75ton bunkers each for different grades of coal.

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