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Found 9 results

  1. Hi All, I've procrastinated long enough about starting a topic for my current layout build. Given the current circumstances of self-isolation etc I thought now might be a good time for me to get my act together... "Ironstone" - East Midlands rural industrial quarry railway in 4mm The layout will be based around the iron ore mines and systems of the East Midlands prevalent in the first half of the 1900s. I'm hoping to use this topic to update on layout progress, stock and prototype information on this seldom-modeled industry. First, a little background... Ironstone mineral railways were first established around the late 1800’s as the mechanization of the quarry/mining industry was stepped up in response to the industrial revolution and the ever increasing domestic need for iron and steel. This further increased during both world wars before falling into rapid decline during the the late 1960's. The quarrying of domestic ore used in the manufacture of steel came to an abrupt halt in 1980 due to the closure of Corby Steelworks, Northants. Priors Hall Quarry, Corby. This photograph taken during the late 1970's featuring rebuilt Charles Roberts BSC internal use ore wagons of 31 ton capacity. The Excavator is an electric 110RB Ruston Bucyrus Face Shovel. The recording, observation and ultimately preservation of elements of these mineral railways in the later years of their operation was driven by the often idyllic scenes of smart, clean locomotives with short rakes of wagons working hard in a picturesque rural setting. This was of course fairly atypical of industrial locomotive operations. 15'' Andrew Barclay STAINBY works number 2313 of 1951 hauls a long rake of empty 26 and 27 ton tipplers on the Buckminster system, South Lincs. in the mid 1960s. Note the typical leafy surroundings and basic infrastructure. For the enthusiast’s there was significant interest drawn from the sheer variety of locomotives, manufacturers and operational approaches between each system. Often sites were isolated from each other with only a small exchange sidings serving a mineral-only branch or the mainline. There was often a small running shed and rudimentary facilities for operations and the locomotives often stayed put in the locations they were first delivered to. There are exceptions (some extreme) to all of the above, but for the most part it is a fair summation. The running shed at Woolsthorpe Quarries was typical of that at small to medium sized operations. This shed is now happily preserved at Rocks by Rail, Rutland. Note the copse of trees and close proximity of pasture As already alluded to, there is a significant amount of material available out there related to the Ironstone quarry industry if you are prepared to do a little ‘digging’. Pun intended. The Layout The model depicts a generic running shed and weighbridge and is presumed to be set at a small junction between two "pits" (quarries), BR exchange sidings and calcine clamps (more on this later). The trackwork is 00 gauge SMP with additional parts from C&L Finescale and Exactoscale. The layout is designed to be exhibited, with off-scene operation and walkabout DC controller. Adjustable height will be achieved through builders trestles and adequate lighting via a pelmet. When designing the track plan for this layout there was one thought first and foremost – I would not fall into the trap of too much track on one board. To my mind there is an immeasurable difference between a model railway and a model OF a railway, if that makes sense. This meant that the track would be minimal and therefore hand building turnouts was a viable prospect, albeit not one which was particularly interesting to me. For added interest a gauntlet track weighbridge would feature. Not only for the fact that it is prototypical and I had a scale drawing to hand, but I have never seen an operational one modeled before. Looking towards the off-scene exchange sidings. In the foreground is the makings of a Gauntlett track weighbridge and to the rear is the shed area with gradient road access A view looking towards the quarries with a backdrop of a conifer plantation built on "hill and dale" restored land - more on this later The various fittings, buildings and scenic elements are to be based on prototype drawings and/or photographs. Ironstone quarry railways had their own subtle touches which differed from collieries, cement works etc and it is key to the character of the layout that these are captured. I am hoping to touch on each of these as the build progresses. Rolling Stock Much of the stock is kit built or much modified RTR working from prototype photographs. Ebay is a good source for such images, but largely most of the inspiration comes from the fantastic "Ironstone Quarries of the Midlands" series written by the late Eric Tonks. Locomotives on the layout are mostly "catalogue" designs by the typical UK manufacturers (Avonside, Manning Wardle, Hunslets etc) but most feature additional modifications made during their working lives. There a couple of prototypical oddballs to be covered too. Several of the locos modeled are preserved, but most not in their original/industrial configuration. Seen here at Cranford Quarries, Kettering, W G Bagnall CRANFORD No.2 works number 2668 of 1942 is an example of a class specifically designed for Ironstone Quarry Railways (6 locos built in total). Once again, this locomotive is happily preserved at Cottesmore. It is hoped that in the fullness of time a handful of locomotives and applicable internal use wagons from a few quarry systems can be amassed such that the layout can be operated as a particular location at exhibitions and operated differently the following day etc. There is many mineral wagons to be included of course, details to be posted for how these are to be tackled from RTR and kits. I hope you enjoy this topic and I would encourage participation, particularly concerning prototype information or operation. Paul A.
  2. I have recently moved to Northampton and last week paid a visit to the site of the old ironstone railway at Hunsbury Hill, just a mile or so away from where I live. I've seen a few references to it on RMweb. The Trust keep a small museum going there and their website has a photo of the old track plan. I thought it would make a good modelling subject - has anyone tackled it?
  3. Hi All, Following on my vein of modelling individual industrial locos which are true to a particular works number/name and era, I am currently building a model of this industrial locomotive: Avonside 1972 of 1927 "STAMFORD" Built in 1927 by the Avonside Engine Company in Bristol, works number 1972 STAMFORD was one of eight locomotives (four now preserved) which worked at Pilton Ironstone Quarries in Rutland. For those who are not familiar with this industry, several quarries followed a seam of iron ore which extended from Oxfordshire to south Lincolnshire in the first half of the twentieth century. The quarries were owned by a range of different operators, and each had its own unique character and array of locomotive designs. Tweaked for industry Of unusual note for an Avonside B4 class design, STAMFORD had an open-backed cab from new. This was so that she could deputise for AE1918/23 CRANFORD at Cranford Quarries in Northamptonshire, where a former narrow-gauge tunnel on the system meant that the only way for crew to depart the loco in the event of emergency was to climb out over the bunker. Enthusiasts will note that AE1918/23 CRANFORD is in fact a different loco from that which is preserved and currently in operational condition, this being AE1919/24 CRANFORD. This loco inherited the nameplates when the original loco was deemed beyond economic repair and has a typical Avonside close-backed cab. A photograph of the original CRANFORD AE1918/23 can be found here, note the open-backed cab similar to STAMFORD: Preservation The prototype loco STAMFORD currently resides at Rocks by Rail (formerly Rutland Railway Museum) at Cottesmore. After several decades of outdoor display at various sites she is finally under cover and at home in the county where she worked, alongside two other ironstone quarry locos from the county and several more from Leicestershire and Northamptonshire in the three-road Simon Layfield Exhibition Centre. Currently she is seated on two driving wheels due to a serious crack in the centre wheelset hornguide. I am sure the museum would welcome anyone who would like to assist in her cosmetic restoration. The Model My model (already well underway) will be constructed using the CSP/Agenoria etched brass/NS kit as a basis and will feature modifications to the smokebox, buffer beams and cab - supplemented by etches from my own artwork (already to hand). The basic cab is shown below. It is largely to be the same affair as my Manning Wardle DOLOBRAN – 00 gauge, Markits wheels, High Level Gearbox, Mashima can motor mounted horizontally in the boiler complete with brass flywheel. The goal is to pair this model of STAMFORD with my another Pilton Quarries loco named WB2629/41 STAVELEY, constructed from my Bagnall 0-6-0ST etches which have previously featured on RMweb. I have many more images of STAMFORD which I cannot post due to copyright, but will happily exchange them via PM with anyone wishing to see more. If anyone has any image of Pilton Quarries they are willing to share, those would also be welcome. I would welcome any photographs of WB2629/41 in particular. Paul A.
  4. Yesterday we visited the Irchester Narrow Gauge Railway Museum near Wellingborough. This is (so far as I know) the only site with metre gauge preserved locos in the UK, which worked on the local ironstone quarry railways. It's small but has some choice and well-restored exhibits, and they are friendly and deserve a donation (entry is free). Cambrai, a unique Corpet Louvet French light railway loco, well restored in static condition. Peckett 0-6-0ST no. 1871, restored but out of boiler ticket. There are three locos to the same basic design here. A WW1 Simplex armoured loco, currently without its engine. Ruston & Hornsby '48DS' ED10, ex BR. This loco was started up and ran some display shunts - thanks guys!. These are tiny locos in standard gauge but proportionately bigger on metre gauge. This one was 3' gauge for Beeston sleeper works before having rubber tyres fitted for running on the concrete beam track of the LEV test line. ED10 with Peckett 87 & a rather bored & damp Mrs Dava! Worth a visit on the last Sunday of eath month when they run on the test track. Dava
  5. According to this website the surving member of the kettering manning wardles was once plinthed in Corby but is now under restoration by the Market Harborough traction engine club http://geoffspages.co.uk/raildiary/corbysteam.htm does anybody know of its current condition?
  6. Just over two years ago I started a blog on this site which I hoped would kick-start a small layout project. Due to my business getting busier, children, horses and a house move time and funds have been limited. For those who missed my blog (not difficult), around 2003 I photographed an interesting set of buildings at Pen Green Workshops, formerly part of the Corby steelworks and quarry system. A look at contemporary mapping shows that the prototype track layout was very similar to the well known Inglenook Sidings plan, and this set me on the path of a small project that might be finished and would provide operational interest. Importantly it won't cost a fortune and once completed will maintain operational interest. I have also considered that it will one day be added to other modules representing other parts of the system (I'm getting ahead of myself here as I've barely started the first phase. Sadly the site has now been flattened, but I will post some of my pictures shortly. I have spent the last couple of years collecting together some suitable RTR stock, and invested in a Heljan Class 14 as motive power. In the interests of getting things going I will stick with OO gauge. This is an overview of the site. The layout will be set infront on the nearest building. The site is set in a cutting, an ideal layout setting: The sidings will be located where the crane is sitting, with the building at the left side on the baseboard: I have purchased a number of items of RTR stock to get things moving. I have a selection of wagons for the shunting puzzle element, but hope also to run more prototypical short trains of matching wagons, scratchbuilding some of the more unique items: Right, here goes. I'll see what happens. Jim
  7. This is the openning blog to start explaining and illustrating progress on my new project, a 7mm model of Blakey Junction high up on top of the North Yorkshire Moors. The real railway ran from Battersby Junction to the foot of the North Yorskshire Moors escarpment then up an incline onto the moor top. It then ran across the moors to Blakey where a Junction saw it run to ironstone mines on both the East and West sides of Rosedale. A further line ran from near Blakey down into Farndale to service smaller ironstones. Blakey Junction was, and is, an isolated and beautiful spot high up on the Blakey Ridge (or Rigg) that seperates Rosedale from Farndale. It was a hard life for the miners and railwaymen and their familes who toiled in harsh conditions to extract and transport iron ore down to the furnaces in Teesside and beyond. In later blogs I will set out more of the history and give some links to interesting material. I first came across the region while a student at York University in the early 1980s. I had been driven up to area with some other friends for a bit of a lunchtime stroll and a few pints in Rosedale Abbey, the village in the heart of the valley. We were driving out of the valley up the incredibly steep Bank Top Road when I spotted some ruined kilns in the valley side. And that started a lifetime's obsession with the area and a determination to one day build a model. Most of my modelling to date has been of the Irish Broad Gauge in S Scale, a tad obsure I admit! I fancied a new project and wanted to build an NER model being a great admirer of that fine railway. And I always knew it was going to be of Blakey Junction. The problem was, what scale? I have therefore spent a few years now pondering about S and 7mm, boring my various friends in both scales. I will write again to explain why, after much soul searching, I finally plumped for 7mm scale. But for now, I can say that the scenic part of the layout is 12' by 2'6" and features Blakey Junction set high up on the valley side. The boards and trestles have been maden and basic scenery has now been sculpted in chicken wire and modroc. I have kept the weight down by using extruded polystyrene and 4mm ply, following many of the ideas set out by Gordon Gravett in MRJ. So, that's it for now. Future posts will show progress, trackplans and the history of the line.
  8. I’m adding a small ironstone quarry to my layout and need some information as to the best way to model ironstone loads and how heavily laden the average 16T mineral wagon would have been loaded. I suspect it would be less than an equivalent load of coal but....I dunno? Can anyone please help or point me in the right direction? I’ve tried the usual searches but most photos were B&W and concentrated on the engines. All assistance gratefully accepted. Cheers, David
  9. I see Golden Valley Hobbies Barclay 0-6-0 loco 'Ajax' is now in stock at retailers. The retailers are describing the model as 00 and 1:76 scale, is that correct? http://www.hattons.co.uk/196488/Golden_Valley_Hobbies_GV2018_Barclay_0_6_0T_Ajax_in_lined_black_livery/StockDetail.aspx Does anyone have one? Presumably it is based on this: http://www.iwsteamrailway.co.uk/Ajax.aspx I'm tempted, seems a good price too (£54 at Hattons). The GVH web-site describes it thus: "Petroleum Black Ajaz 0-6-0 Petroleum black livery with Red and white lining to water tanks and coal bunker. Red coupling rods and buffer beam. Ajax name plate printed onto the body. Based on Barclay 0-6-0 loco purchased in 1918 by the Sulphide Corporation of London. Extensive travels via the War Department and Persia before use in several UK locations: Swansea, Wales Stanton Iron Works, Sheffield Harlaxton Ironstone Quarries, Grantham Produced by Electrotren exclusively for Golden Valley Hobbies. Available from us and selected good model shops. DCC Ready - 6 pin socket. Requires micro decoder such as CT Electronic DCX76ZF Fitted with UK Hornby style couplings." all the best, Keith
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