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Freight-only branches


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On 21/04/2019 at 16:58, 62613 said:

AKA Bugsworth canal basin; a fair bit of it is still intact, but not the railway, sadly.

 

The railway there was entirely L-section track with flangeless wheels, track mounted on stone blocks (a fair number of which are still in situ or have been put back) and entirely horse and gravity worked, which would be a fair challenge for a model. There's a recreated wagon on a short (one section, i.e. a few feet) section of track, which I think may have been put there using discarded original track. I think the wheels are original too.

 

Note Whaley Basin isn't AKA Bugsworth Basin, Whaley Basin had standard gauge standard track to it, although I don't know if a loco ever ended up on it below the incline (would love to know, especially if anyone has pictures!) There's still some track emerging from the basin shed, and a bit in a pothole in the road makes me wonder how much else is still buried.

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Another one was the Eling Wharf Railway (which I can remember from my childhood in the area), from Totton on the Southampton and Dorchester to Eling Wharf (where else) on Southampton Water.  About 1 mile long, it carried timber, building products, chemicals and tar among other things.  When built, the route was quite rural and trackwork quite simple, but ended up decidedly industrial and complex as the years went by.  In was the preserve of 0-4-0's for most of its life but at the end in the 1970s and 1980s it had Class 33, 47 and 56 main line diesels servicing ARC stone traffic and Redland Tiles traffic.  You could even include a model of Eling Tide Mill.

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No mention so far of the GC Worsbrough branch here in Barnsley. This was always freight only, originally a dead end branch to small collieries, then extended as a double track Barnsley avoiding line from Wombwell to West Silkstone. This ran through the green and pleasant side of Barnsley rather than the more familiar industrial parts, electrified from 1952 and closed in 1981. I'm building a little bit of it for my next layout, Wentworth Junction.

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On ‎19‎/‎04‎/‎2019 at 21:08, NS Peak said:

 

In East Anglia one of the few Freight only lines would be The Snape branch.  It only carried freight through its life supplying the  Maltings  and surrounding agricultural area.  It had a regular pick up goods throughout its lifetime until closure and would have a combination of vans an mineral wagons being serving a very basic track layout which was basically a run around loop before disappearing into Snape Maltings itself.

 

otherwise the only other truly only freight lines I can think off in East Anglia would be the dock branches in Lowerstoft, Great Yarmouth, Ipswich (including an extensive goods station) and Kings Lyn.  Also Haverhill Had a separate good station at the other side of the town but this was originally built for passengers when the railway first reached the town.

 

Stephen 

 

Snape is a favourite of mine, and there's lots of information about it. I took the attached about 5/6 years ago.  The station house is lived in and the office of the goods shed is still there hidden in the undergrowth.  There's even an old wagon on the site!!  Much of the maltings is now converted to apartments - some of them holiday lets.

Rgds

Martyn

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1 hour ago, Martync said:

This has to be my favourite shot of the Snape branch...…..with an off the shelf J15, where are all the layouts??!!

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Yes, nice picture. Just the sort of feel I'm talking about.

From a cursory examination I suspect a problem with Snape might be that the terminus is very much part of the Maltings, and modelling those would be a bit demanding space -wise?

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2 hours ago, Martync said:

What about Scotland Street Yard in Edinburgh.  I seem to remember there was an OO layout based on this site back in the 80's

Scotland St Yard 3.jpg

By trawling through some posts it seems Dave Elbourne was the builder of Scotland Street Yard, featured in RM in 1988.  Sadly, Dave passed away at the end of 2017.  I saw this layout in Blackburn in the late 80's - very impressive.

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John

The Snape terminus was across the road from the actual maltings, so you could quite feasibly have them "off stage". As I understand it, the goods train was propelled from Snape Junction, so there was no running round required .  there are loads of pics on the internet...….

 

The best model maltings I've ever seen were those built by the late Bob Barlow for the East Suffolk Light Railway layout he built with Iain Rice in the 80's - see sundry back numbers of Model Railways and MRJ.....and no doubt elsewhere on this forum.

 

Martyn

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We built two slightly shorter versions of the bridge at Snape on our "Lowick/Scratchy Bottom" layout. The Snape branch would make a great model for anyone who likes a bit of rural landscape and a a bit industrial. Also the track plan did really change over time so you could run different era stock.

 

Marc  

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The Heap Bridge goods yard branch in East Lancashire is interesting. 

http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/h/heap_bridge_goods/index.shtml

 

In 3/4 mile it served a goods yard, and two sets of paper mills with internal rail systems. These had their own industrial locos with running powers on the branch. The Yates Duxbury mill finally ran the branch after BR closed it, using Peckett and Barclay 0-4-0ST so easy to model in 4mm scale.

 

Great little video on 'Western Thunder' site via Google.

 

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Can I put a few names in to the pot. On the Furness Kirkby-in-Furness slate wharf branch. Which ran from the station to the foot of a gravity incline for the slate quarry. Stanton branch which ran from Dalton-in-Furness to iron mines and a limestone quarry two miles south.

Also most of the west Cumberland lines had the passenger services removed between the world wars and some lasted into the 1990's

 

Also the Van railway in mid wales and the Kerry branch units later days.

Marc

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Both the Van and Kerry branches had passenger services in earlier days. My layout Sarn - see Railways of Wales here - is based on a rewrite of the Kerry branch history which diverted it and made it freight only.

So who is going to pull this lot together into a book?

Jonathan

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One thing any editor/author might struggle with is defining what a ‘goods only branch’ actually is, beyond saying that it is a section of common carrier railway that isn’t configured so as to permit the operation of passenger trains.

 

A rare few were authorised by Act under a usefully defining title, but many weren’t, and a good number weren’t identified as ‘branch’ by the owning company. I’m fairly certain that there is no ‘rule book’ distinction between a goods only branch and a siding, unless it is subject to block working (permissive), which I don’t think many were.

 

They seem to be one of those things that come into the bracket ‘I know one when I see one’!

 

 

 

 

Edited by Nearholmer
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And to complicate things some lines which were run as goods only were authorised for passenger traffic. One example, almost, is the Barry Railway line to the Rhymney valley which was specifically authorised for passenger traffic even though the Barry told the Inspector that it was very unlikely to be used for anything other than excursions. as actually happened.

I assume though that there is, or at least was, a formal difference between a long siding and a branch line. A branch line would either be worked by one engine in steam with or without a token or staff, or be fully signalled for goods working including token or staff working, whereas a siding would simply be accessed from a junction which was either controlled by a signal box or accessed using an Annetts key or similar, and would be within a specific block section for signalling purposes. Or am I wrong?

Jonathan

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There are a few instances where a line continued beyond the passenger terminus as a freight only extension. The line to Laxley mill on the Mid Suffolk light railway springs to mind.as does Stourbridge goods, the Peterhead harbour branch and even a surviving example in Coombe Junction/Moorswater.

Edited by clachnaharry
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The Rosedale branch in the North Yorkshire moors was freight only and separated from the NER system by a rope worked incline. It ran for about 10 miles and closed when the iron ore / coal workings were deemed uneconomic at the end of the 20s. I assume a few engines were dragged up the incline to work the line

 

We once stayed at a cottage at Rosedale Abbey, which handily had a book on the line which I read. IIRC the line was completely snowed in on occasion, for weeks at a time.

 

I was also going to mention Tovil but see that I have been beaten to it.

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“I assume though that there is, or at least was, a formal difference between a long siding and a branch line. “

 

Thats really my point: I don’t believe there is.

 

There were few, if any, firm legal requirements relating to the equipment and operation of non-passenger railways, and what was actually done varied hugely, from things that were as near as makes no difference compliant with the requirements for passenger lines, through to exceedingly simple arrangements, where a shunter (which means a person, not an engine) was in charge, and was effectively King, deciding what could and couldn’t happen, based on his judgement of what was safe and effective.

 

Where the line crossed a public road, or ran in the highway as a tramway, there were instruction in the sectional appendix as to how that should be handled safely, and there were sometimes other safety or practicality instructions set out in the sectional appendix, but there might be next to nothing.

 

Statute Law until quite recently only properly protected passengers and, to some degree, the public on highways exposed to the operation; it didn’t protect workers (although common law did very feebly) and goods in transit were (still are) dealt with by contract.

 

There are others here present who know more than I about railway law, regulation, and rules, and it would be interesting to hear  other views.

Edited by Nearholmer
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3 minutes ago, Wickham Green said:

That should have been a cue for another mention of the Loose Women’s Institute, 

Said august body apparently took a party to participate in some sort of farmers' market in the Calais area, taking a selection of their 'craft' jams with them. Someone thought they ought to have some indication that they contained no artificial ingredients; their dictionary led them to put 'Faites sans preservatifs' on the label. I'll leave you to check your dictionaries...

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6 hours ago, clachnaharry said:

There are a few instances where a line continued beyond the passenger terminus as a freight only extension. The line to Laxley mill on the Mid Suffolk light railway springs to mind.as does Stourbridge goods, the Peterhead harbour branch and even a surviving example in Coombe Junction/Moorswater.

 

Good shout for the Mid Suffolk extension. It is a great prototype in a lovely part of the world. Also offers potential for a 'what if' scheme, imagining of the grand plans of the company were fully realised. 

 

5 hours ago, The Lurker said:

The Rosedale branch in the North Yorkshire moors was freight only and separated from the NER system by a rope worked incline. It ran for about 10 miles and closed when the iron ore / coal workings were deemed uneconomic at the end of the 20s. I assume a few engines were dragged up the incline to work the line

 

We once stayed at a cottage at Rosedale Abbey, which handily had a book on the line which I read. IIRC the line was completely snowed in on occasion, for weeks at a time.

 

I was also going to mention Tovil but see that I have been beaten to it.

 

Plus one for Rosedale too. It's a fascinating part of the world - very wild, exposed and isolated mind! The industrial architecture up there is well worth exploring. 

 

I am no expert, but I think you are right in saying the locos were dragged up the incline, and then obviously lowered down on closure. 

 

Edit: see a fantastic layout here (I hope Paul doesn't mind me providing a link): 

 

Edited by south_tyne
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  • 1 year later...

Only just came across this one. Might I chuck in a few from around this neck of the woods........

Kettering to Loddington. Built to fetch Iron ore down from the Loddington area, the Loddington section closed in the early 1960s but the final section from Kettering to the old Cransley furnaces closed around 1980, Cransley furnaces closed in the early 60s too and was taken over by Cohens, whence it became the iconic scrapyard of the 70s........

Another line from Kettering was the former route to Cambridge. The final section, to Twywell, also remained open until about 1980. The traffic was sand from the Nene valley which was railed to Stoke on Trent I believe. Originally this traffic was handled on the remains of the Higham Ferrers but, for reasons I know not, the traffic was transferred to Twywell in the late 60s and the Higham branch closed. 

In the latter years, both locations were serviced by a Wellingborough to Leicester trip, usually worked by a class 25, which spent a while working both branches from Kettering. Traffic for Cohens was usually propelled down the branch......

 

Hope this is of interest

 

Disgusting of Market Harborough

 

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