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Hi 1Whitmoor,  I think it's about how well it's been done.  Have a look at the first photo, there's just a very small dip, centre, along what is otherwise a straight piece of track.   When writing the article for Model Rail,  my main concern about modelling colliery track was that most people model to mainline standards and this is what looks wrong to me, no matter how much weathering and clutter you add.   Kind regards Paul

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Hi Paul, I accept your point - a lighter gauge rail might also serve to improve appearance as many industrial lines were laid with 75lb flat bottom rail. 

The one observation I would make about colliery railway modelling in general, and indeed track work falls into this: 


Colour photography was not widely available until industrial railways ( particularly steam orientated) were in rapid decline. There is a danger that we as industrial modelers use such resources and conclude that systems at the end of their lives which were essentially being run into the ground were typical of industrial railways in general through time. That is not the case by any stretch of the imagination. In my view poorly maintained trackwork in collieries is more typical of the 1960's onwards (disposal points excepted). 

 

Compare the much photographed prototypes of Ashington Colliery/Workshops and with those of Lambton Colliery/Workshops and associated railways via google images from around the late 60's. Same era and geography, but vastly different levels of continual maintenance as one system was earmarked for closure. See also Mountain Ash 1955 vs. 1979 for an even more extreme example, it looks like a different site altogether. 

 

Paul A. 

 

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On 22/10/2019 at 13:48, 1whitemoor said:

In my view poorly maintained trackwork in collieries is more typical of the 1960's onwards (disposal points excepted). 

 

 

I would agree with this to some extent and apply it to the locos also.

Something seemed to happen to the NCBs maintenance from around 1968, photographs of locos at collieries before this date often show clean locos or at least wheels and motion that had been wiped over from there on the locos were neglected, the locos at Hafodyrynys being one example.

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Could a distinction be made between 'colliery' and 'industrial' track?  My observation is that 'industrial' track is/was kept in a better condition than colliery track.  For example, industrial estate trackage (eg Trafford Park or Slough) was generally nearly up to main line standard.  The Pensnett Railway was basically 'industrial' but seemed to be - from photos of their 'mainline' at least - well maintained.  I generally try to make my 'industrial' track look 'well used' but still in relatively good condition.

 

However, if I was going to model a latter days colliery line, this wouldn't be the case!

 

Unless perhaps I was modelling the Waterside system?

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More distinctions.

Some colliery lines were well used permanent links between two collieries or leading to a central washery or exchange sidings . These would be reasonably well laid perhaps with coal waste as the main ballast. Other lines went out on to the muck stacks and were of a more temporary nature. Lightly laid and easily washed out by heavy rain they became uneven switchbacks.

Landsale yards were usually paved and other lines lay between the two extremes. Study photographs carefully and remember the effects of the long lens.

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5050, You're absolutely right though like all things there are exceptions,  the Middleton again in its last days, serving a steel fabricators and stockholders, some track was terrible, particularly what I call straight curves (see photo's).  Kind regards Paul

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Interesting topic that caught my eye in Model Rail, I think when done well it would look fantastic and I don't recall seeing it on many models. So much time and care goes into laying track flat, straight and true it seems funny trying to lay it wonky. I think the key would be not to go overboard with it as I think it's one of those things that are difficult to translate into model form, especially the dips. 

I'm looking forward to seeing some more progress.

Steve.

 

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  • RMweb Gold

This might interest you:

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/80705-pidcock-lines-thinking-about-a-backscene/&do=findComment&comment=2980151

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On 30/12/2017 at 22:33, The Bigbee Line said:

Edited by Regularity
Used to be easy to link to individual posts.
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Not colliery-related but If anyone is feeling particularly brave:

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidwf2009/5577092176

 

This is a fairly extreme which is mainly due to the fact the track is laid directly on top of iron ore bench.  There is no ballast which means that the track is free to be slewed every few months, as was the practice in open cast mineral railways. This way the line could follow the quarry face, which is fairly shallow here. Note the kinks stemming from the fishplates, exacerbated by this activity, but also seen in poorly maintained industrial track work generally. 

 

Paul A. 

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And there's this. Network Rail track seeing twelve (sometimes more) very heavy trains daily. Taken with a 35 mm lens so no foreshortening or compression of perspective.

 

Potash-Grinkle-Staithes41-EditCrop.jpg.a9a3d786e817be195cd996d21a61a231.jpg

 

In my seventeen years with the NCB I saw considerably worse that this but never witnessed a derailment.  (Underground was a different story).

 

P

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Seen at Rocks by Rail, Rutland, a couple of months ago.

 

P1010608.JPG.ae7cf9c0e0b71089d496ef83e93af1a5.JPG

 

P1010605.JPG.3142f9590383543586ac87c1a65a33f3.JPG

The sleepers clearly bear little resemblance to those used on "standard"  track. 

I've not been there recently, but certainly until not too long ago the Foxfield Railway had what I guess must have been ex-NCB track, which also had comparatively short sleepers with sloped ends and edges.

 

 

 

 

Edited by mike morley
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12 minutes ago, mike morley said:

Seen at Rocks by Rail, Rutland, a couple of months ago.

 

P1010608.JPG.ae7cf9c0e0b71089d496ef83e93af1a5.JPG

 

P1010605.JPG.3142f9590383543586ac87c1a65a33f3.JPG

The sleepers clearly bear little resemblance to those used on "standard"  track. 

I've not been there recently, but certainly until not too long ago the Foxfield Railway had what I guess must have been ex-NCB track, which also had comparatively short sleepers with sloped ends and edges.

 

 

 

 

I don't recall seeing anything but timber sleepers on colliery railways. That said, someone will know different.

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1 hour ago, mike morley said:

Seen at Rocks by Rail, Rutland, a couple of months ago.

 

P1010608.JPG.ae7cf9c0e0b71089d496ef83e93af1a5.JPG

 

P1010605.JPG.3142f9590383543586ac87c1a65a33f3.JPG

The sleepers clearly bear little resemblance to those used on "standard"  track. 

I've not been there recently, but certainly until not too long ago the Foxfield Railway had what I guess must have been ex-NCB track, which also had comparatively short sleepers with sloped ends and edges.

 

 

 

 


The plan over the winter as I understand it is to completely re-lay the mainline and cut out the dipped joints where appropriate.

 

The sleepers you've photographed are ex-Ministry Of Supply obtained from Corby steelworks upon closure. I can't say I've seen these in any colliery images but they were certainly used at cement works and quarries. They are on Ambis Engineering's "to do" list in 4mm scale. 

 

There are two patterns of these - one for flat bottom rail as you've linked and one for bullhead as shown below:

 

DSC_0448.JPG.0e4c71cca7fd14dbedae581f781285c0.JPG

 

Paul A. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, mike morley said:

The sleepers clearly bear little resemblance to those used on "standard"  track. 

 

I have read who manufactured that type of sleeper. I think it was for GWR or MOD use but until I can find my references I'm just speculating.

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On 23/10/2019 at 20:00, Regularity said:

This might interest you:

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/80705-pidcock-lines-thinking-about-a-backscene/&do=findComment&comment=2980151

Post to search for:
On 30/12/2017 at 22:33, The Bigbee Line said:

Still is, and the new option incorporates an improvement,

 

Top right corner of every post has a sideways V with three blobs symbol.  That generates the copyable link.   Why better than the old number based system - self updates if a post before it gets deleted or moved changing the number. Hope this helps.

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I used that, and it sent me to the thread!

 

Second attempt: 

OK. Having managed a help desk many years ago, I know that when something is blamed on the system,  95% of the time there are two errors involved, including that of blaming the system...

 

Prototype wavy track from an infrequently used short line, taken in the 70s:

cog1004.jpg

 

 

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12 hours ago, Regularity said:

 

 

 

Prototype wavy track from an infrequently used short line, taken in the 70s:

cog1004.jpg

 

 

Ooh, that's an image I've not seen before. :good:

Is it the (in)famous Maumee & Western, again? 

Edited by F-UnitMad
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  • 2 weeks later...

At the risk of sounding like the Four Yorkshiremen, "Sleepers! We used to dream of having sleepers..."  On the line down to Queenborough Wharf (Isle of Sheppey) in the early 70s, the sleepers were gradually returning to the soil from which they had sprung.  Some of those where decomposition had been fastest had been replaced by odd planks of wood salvaged from the wagons being scrapped down at the wharf, some of the planks still with lettering or numbers visible.  Quite a lot of rolling stock made it to the end of the line, even if it was a one-way trip for most.  It's fair to say that the track was greatly improved in 1979 on the basis of a Government grant of £112,000 under Section 8 of the Railways Act, 1974.

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I'd like to lay some 'dodgy' track on my next layout and was wondering how would industrial track have been laid,  would it be in standard 60ft sections or by any means necessary using whatever was around?

 

Steve.

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