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johnofwessex

Justifying Narrow Guage

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I am interested in the idea of a NG Industrial 'feeder' into a S&D inspired layout.

 

I understand why there were NG lines serving the Peat Works, & quarries - basically its a 'materials handling' issue

 

Given the availability of ex WD equipment after WW1 might it be possible to justify a NG line serving some of the Fullers Earth works around Bath?  I note that Tucking Mill produced about 200 tons pw so taking it to the goods yard at Midford  (OK I know Geography isn't favorable) on a NG line might be about justifiable?

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Think of it from a pre ww1 prospective- anything much above a couple of tons/day practically required railway.  If your horse & cart took 2 hours to make a return trip, and it carried a ton each trip, that's 4 tons/day.  That's 20-24 tons/week/driver.  Even if you 2x that, that's still under 50 tons/week.  Given that the company would have to improve the road, or build a NG rail line, it probably made sense at 200 tons/week (4 carts) to start looking at NG railway.  

 

As a modeler, it certainly would be the system I would use to justify...

 

James

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Go for it John always adds some interest to the operation

Peter

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10 hours ago, peterl said:

Go for it John always adds some interest to the operation

Peter

 

I would agree with that. As ever, in order to justify a narrow gauge line just invoke 'rule one' - after all it is your trainset! :good_mini:

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Thank you all, the other thing of course is that the 'typical' UK NG line isn't a public railway very few of which ever existed but a diesel/petrol worked industrial system so its rather nice to have an excuse for something prototypical

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Hello

 

You may also have found this out by now.

 

There was also the Nocton Estates Light Railway that was located in Lincolnshire. It was primarily for the cultivation of potatoes, latterly owned by "Smiths" I believe.  It used ex-WD rollingstock and modified 20hp Simplex (Motor Rail) petrol locomotives, I'm not sure if they were re-engined with diesel engines though. Steam power was tried in the early days but their weight and size was not suitable for the lightly laid tracks and soft ground conditions.

 

Oakwood Press produced a book entitled "Lincolnshire Potato Railways" which was reprinted a number of years ago now but I think it's still available. Alternately "Google" Nocton Estates Light Railway.   

 

A good railway as a basis for an agricultural narrow gauge line with little infrastructure required. Some of the Bachmann 009 rollingstock is produced in Nocton Estates livery.

 

There was also transhipment to standard gauge. Not sure if potatoes are cultivated in Somerset though, but with a little imagination they could be!!

 

Andy.

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Ventnor, thank you

 

I have read the Oakwood Press book, its fascinating

 

I was more thinking of a 'Midford inspired' model, so my line will be hauling Fullers Earth, but given the Oakhill Brewery Cider or Beer might be an option

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John have you heard of the Eclipse Peat Co. NG railway on the Somerset Levels? It crossed the S&D on a flat crossing.

fig56.gif

 

I can't find the picture now but in 1949 I believe an ex-LMS 3F collided with the NG diesel loco in thick fog and ended up on its side in the ditch. The coaches were re-railed by the Bath Green Park crane but the loco was cut up on site.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashcott_railway_station#Eclipse_Peat_Company

http://www.cornwallrailwaysociety.org.uk/sd-burnham-to-evercreech-junction.html

https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/som/vol8/pp160-179

 

It outlived the SG railway by quite a long time

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, johnofwessex said:

Ventnor, thank you

 

I have read the Oakwood Press book, its fascinating

 

I was more thinking of a 'Midford inspired' model, so my line will be hauling Fullers Earth, but given the Oakhill Brewery Cider or Beer might be an option

 

Beer is always a great option! :jester:

 

In all seriousness, I think it is a good idea and something a little different. 

 

It's been mentioned above, but I have always had a soft spot for the Leighton Buzzard system. Fascinating prototype and something based on this would make for a very interesting industrial feeder line. 

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13 hours ago, johnofwessex said:

Ventnor, thank you

 

I have read the Oakwood Press book, its fascinating

 

I was more thinking of a 'Midford inspired' model, so my line will be hauling Fullers Earth, but given the Oakhill Brewery Cider or Beer might be an option

Google Oakhill Brewery, they had a narrow gauge line!

Phil T.

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There is a Smith & Mitchell book on Somerset & Dorset Narrow Gauge which did rather inspire me in terms of the numbers & variety of NG lines in the area 

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There were a number of lines based around the Humber Estuary. Mainly serving Brick and Tile works. The last one operated at Barton upon Humber into the 21st century running under the Humber Bridge.

To see what can be done with standard and narrow gauge on the same layout have a look at the Hull MRS layout 'Barrowfleet' based on the area of Barrow upon Humber where the standard gauge line still exists and is in daily use. Unfortunately none of the narrow gauge lines are there anymore.

Peter

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The Fuller's Earth industry did use NG railways, both in the area that you are interested in, and in Bedfordshire (II'm fairly certain in Surrey too, but would need to double-check), but only in and close to the mines, so far as I know, and no loco haulage.

 

FE is a relatively high value, low volume mineral, and was carted to the railheads; I know that one of the mines in your area had a steam lorry for the job. Drying it uses a lot of coal too, so there was a "back cargo" from the railhead.

 

But ...... I like the idea of a locomotive worked tramway, and would suggest that the most plausible option would be to assume that it predates WW1, having begun as a really basic horse-hauled line using the same gauge as was used in the mines (lets assume 2'3" for the sake of argument), but that Dobbin was replaced by a Motor Rail in 1920. 

 

Wagon-wise, I would go for something very small, and wooden, like the Eggerbahn/Roco/Minitrains flat trucks, which might be cut-down mine wagons, rather than anything too big. The load would be bags/sacks, probably sheeted, because it is damp-sensitive. I think that FE was carried in wooden mine tubs, rather than steel, to avoid contamination by rust, but that may be a confusion with another mineral.

 

Lots of detail about the mining and preparation processes here http://www.mkheritage.co.uk/wsc/docs/Fullers Earth.html

 

It does contain this passage (my highlighting): When the earth reached the top of the shaft, it was transported to the works in small trucks on a tram line worked by steam

 

I have always read this to mean cable-haulage by steam engine, rather than locomotive haulage, cable haulage certainly being used in your area.

 

Kevin (who fictionalised his 16mm/ft garden railway around this theme)

 

PS: Of course, The Americans always have to go one better ...... have a look at this loco-worked extravaganza https://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/125678

 

 

Edited by Nearholmer
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If you want something small, I take it you're modelling in 4mm, it may be worth looking at the Busch H0f range. It runs on 6.5(Z gauge) track.

 

Busch H0f

Edited by JZ
link added.
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It sounds absolutely justifiable, particularly if you're saying they're using second-hand equipment. I've come across all sorts of industries that used NG railways - I even found a small pottery in Islington that had one (as far as I can tell, never loco-worked).

 

If you wanted to go the brewery route, I would recommend Ian Peaty's book 'Brewery Railways.' There's a huge amount of variety in the traffic you could have on such a line.

Edited by HonestTom
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Of course there's probably no reason why the brewery and the FE mine couldn't have collaborated to build a railway (or one built it and agreed to transport loads  for the other) if they were close together.

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Moorewood Fullers Earth Site:

https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/side-by-side/#zoom=17&lat=51.2562&lon=-2.5418&layers=168&right=BingHyb

 

Originally Moorewood colliery had a 2ft gauge tramway, including a rope worked incline, from the mine at ST 642 495 (1.5 miles SE) to the siding at the Fullers Earth site. It closed a long, long time back.

https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/side-by-side/#zoom=17&lat=51.2437&lon=-2.5140&layers=168&right=BingHyb

 

https://www.bgs.ac.uk/Mendips/more_info/coal_mining.htm

 

BTW

What is this NG site just south of the old Fullers Earth site?

https://goo.gl/maps/5nppEanVz2t

 

It seems to use some of the trackbed of the old mine tramway.

Edited by melmerby
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I remember seeing an old photo once of the A580. East Lancs' Road duel carriageway between Liverpool & Manchester being built in the early 1930's which used 'V' type skips and Simplex looking loco's during its construction, the N.G. line ran parallel to the road on the south side and the trackbed was later used (still is) as a cycle/footpath.  So any major real or imaginary construction in the area you're interested in no matter how temporary could be justifiable.  just an idea.

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2 hours ago, Owd Bob said:

I remember seeing an old photo once of the A580. East Lancs' Road duel carriageway between Liverpool & Manchester being built in the early 1930's which used 'V' type skips and Simplex looking loco's during its construction, the N.G. line ran parallel to the road on the south side and the trackbed was later used (still is) as a cycle/footpath.  So any major real or imaginary construction in the area you're interested in no matter how temporary could be justifiable.  just an idea.

 

The Kingston bypass had something similar. What made it particularly interesting, however, was that it was a Canadian contractor, so their locomotives were North American tank engines.

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British-built locos were used on that job too.

 

Oxford Bypass was another if the many ‘road jobs’ that used NG, including at least one of the Montreal 0-4-0ST IIRC.

 

we could go on forever here, in that so many industries used NG - if it gets shifted by a dump-truck, a fork-lift, or an outdoor conveyor belt now, it probably got shifted on a NG train ‘then’.

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I wonder whether the Wolverhampton/Birmingham New Road was built using NG equipment?

It was started in 1924 and was (mostly) a dual carriageway from when built.

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Don't forget the Oakhill brewery railway which connected to the S&D at Binegar.

 

Gordon A

 

 

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If you are interested in the Bath Fullers Earth industry, I can recommend "A History of the Fuller's Earth mining Industry around Bath" by Neil Macmillen with Mike Chapman, Lightmoor Press 2009.  Many of the mines had tramways.  Flat bits mostly horse worked with inclines often steam powered, but Odd Down Mine used electric locomotives from 1949.  They had seriously considered steam power in 1929.

Fuller's earth from Tucking Mill went by Somerset Coal canal (which was right next door) as well as being carted to Midford station.

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What about the Foxcote and Writhlington Collieries Railway - that was 2' 8 1/2" - steam operated with two Huddswell Clarkes and a Kerr Stuart

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