Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Just a few notes on the pictures; the blokes in white are we mill chemists (aka ice cream men) issued with nice white overalls so the managers could see if we'd been working or not. The geezer with the moustache was the regular driver from the utility gang, he let us do the driving but was there to make sure we didn't get Hornblower off the rails - the tyres were worn with outside flanges, and since Hornblower weighed about 28T and the biggest mobile crane on site was only a 3 tonner we'd be a bit unpopular. Jacking and packing might not work too well as apart from the relatively recently relaid spur, most of the track was ballasted with ash if anything and fast disappearing into the undergrowth, rails spiked to rotting sleepers. The smiling chap in a suit was our manager so we had complete carte blanche, he was if anything a greater enthusiast than us.

 

In the last shot, the weighbridge is lurking in the shrubbery at the base of the water tower - compare this with the old view at the top of the thread, taken from the top of the big black building on the right (6&7 boiler house).

 

The first shot was taken under the beater floor with Bounty behind me; this was the normal resting place for both locos, and visible from passing trains. The sidings originally reached all the way down to New Hythe Lane right by New Hythe station, but were shortened and built over when no 6 machine was upgraded in the late 60s / early 70s. There were hatches in the floor above to permit heavy machinery to be lifted from railway wagons up into the beater floor - things like beater rolls at 8T apiece. From the amount of cast iron piping around the site there must have been significant pipe wagon traffic in the 20s and 30s when east mill was under construction.

  • Like 1
  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

Artless Bodger

 

Thanks for posting these I really like papermills and there workings and trains really interesting stuff and i can use as inspiration for my own layout which is based on a Scottish papermill i did have thread here but not updated in a long time 

IMG_20200119_144621.jpg

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

Hi Artless

 

Just to let you know a lot of the rails were still in existence on site until the major rebuild/upgrades in 1999/2001 - most were taken up as the area 'S*** Alley' or 'Services corridor' as some of the managers called it was relaid for drainage improvements so the new Fibre Prep Plant equipment that went in the refurbished Beater floor - it was raised and a deep drain gulley was put in. 

In my 20 years there from '88-08 there was nothing left of the trains themselves we found other than rails.   Though the covers you mention were still in No6 Annexe! These were used for putting in some of the electrical plant upstairs.  Rails up the River side road also suffered the same fate when the whole road was re-laid and the old Pulp Yard re laid with new slabs, this ended up as the stock yard.  The only remains of the Pulp conveyors were footings and some framework on the side of the bridge across to the island site.  

  • Like 1
  • Informative/Useful 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Dark One.

 

Thank you, that is interesting information. I knew there had been considerable rebuilding done in east mill, including a much taller flood wall along the towpath, so it is nice to get some details of what was done. You wouldn't have any photos or drawings would you?

 

I remember Hornblower and Bounty being craned on to lowloaders and taken away - probably for scrap, the scrap men had already cut up and removed all the old internal user coal wagons you used to be able to see south of the ballast pit and the steam crane too. The wagons were mainly ex wartime cupboard door type steel minerals, but mainly rust by the 80s. We used to put the empty plastic biocide barrels in them as several got blown into the ballast pit one very windy day! The last time I saw the ballast pit from a passing train it looked like it had been filled in, but perhaps it had just silted up and grown weeds.

 

I borrowed the engineers' polaroid camera to take this photo as the locos were taken unexpectedly. I note that in the shot the conveyor gantries have already been removed, and the stothert and pitt crane used to unload clay wagons, but I cannot remember them being cut down - odd becasue I would have looked out on the gantries from the office.

 

205146970_APMHornblowerliftedautolevel.jpg.f174407f54e52e4e804951e20b4bb30e.jpg

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 08/07/2020 at 08:41, DarkOne1975 said:

Hi Artless

 

Just to let you know a lot of the rails were still in existence on site until the major rebuild/upgrades in 1999/2001 - most were taken up as the area 'S*** Alley' or 'Services corridor' as some of the managers called it was relaid for drainage improvements so the new Fibre Prep Plant equipment that went in the refurbished Beater floor - it was raised and a deep drain gulley was put in. 

In my 20 years there from '88-08 there was nothing left of the trains themselves we found other than rails.   Though the covers you mention were still in No6 Annexe! These were used for putting in some of the electrical plant upstairs.  Rails up the River side road also suffered the same fate when the whole road was re-laid and the old Pulp Yard re laid with new slabs, this ended up as the stock yard.  The only remains of the Pulp conveyors were footings and some framework on the side of the bridge across to the island site.  

Hi. I should have started with welcome to RMweb, hope you find plenty to interest you here.

 

As you worked at APM, perhaps this thread might interest you too? Very early stuff, photos of the first 2 paper machines being built.

 

I remember smelly alley well, it was a short-cut from NH station to the old yard office where EM technical and Water and Effluent depts were housed. It could be a bit unpleasant on winter nights, few working lights and quite a bit of junk laying around. When 6 was working it was even worse as any wet end flooding inevitably ran out the back door, down the steps and festered between the rails.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Artless Bodger said:

I remember Hornblower and Bounty being craned on to lowloaders and taken away - probably for scrap, the scrap men had already cut up and removed all the old internal user coal wagons you used to be able to see south of the ballast pit and the steam crane too.

According to Industrial Railway Society records, both locos were transferred to Steel & Alloy Scrap Co Ltd, North Woolwich, Bounty departed on 15/03/1985 and Hornblower on 19/03/1985.

  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, SED Freightman said:

According to Industrial Railway Society records, both locos were transferred to Steel & Alloy Scrap Co Ltd, North Woolwich, Bounty departed on 15/03/1985 and Hornblower on 19/03/1985.

Hi SED Freightman

 

Thank you for that info. I'd assumed they could not have gone far as the lowloader returned within a couple of hours to take Hornblower.

 

From memory the sequence was:

OMED (Outside Maintenance Engineering Dept) replaced the nicked battery in Hornblower, so the donkey petrol engine could be run to pressurize the air bottle. The diesel was started and Hornblower towed Bounty (which was US with gearbox trouble) round from under the beaterfloor to the wharf road. 

On a subsequent day the crane arrived first and I went down to see what was going on as it was visible from our office, talking to the crane crew, they were awaiting the lowloader. Lowloader arrived, and Bounty - nearest the exit from site, was craned on and taken away. I then tried to get Hornblower's key from the OMED, but Len Capeling was not in. Returning to the loco, the crane crew went through their keys and found one (iirc a Mercedes boot key!) which would turn the key switch (to energise the contactor). We started the engine on the air bottle, and when we'd got enough brake air the contactor tripped in. I drove Hornblower down the wharf as far as I dared - i.e. not quite in view of the management offices in the hutted encampment (ex WW1 wooden huts), and back to the crane. Play time over I went in search of a camera, and the the drawing office / project engineers (Roy Gunson) had a polaroid with 2 exposures left, which I used to photograph; Hornblower slung ready to lift, and the one above with it lifted. The lowloader returned and Hornblower was loaded and taken away. As it can only have been about 2 hours or so between removals perhaps the locos were taken to a temporary staging point as I cannot think the lowloader would get north of the river and back in that time. The crane definitely loaded both locos at APM the same day. The only thing I cannot be absolutely sure of is that the lowloader unit and trailer were the same for both locos as I didn't note the registration.

 

Of interest Roy Gunson had been a railway engineering apprentice at Ashford and told me he'd worked on the Bulleid diesel 10201 that was displayed at the Festival of Britain - the apprentices had to clean and burnish all the pipework and lacquer it among other tasks. He did his national service in the ROD (or the later version of it) including at Longmoor.

 

I had not remembered the locos went so close to my own departure, as I resigned about that time and left on Friday 26 April 1985, to start a job in Maidenhead the following Wednesday. My resignation was not connected with the loss of the locos!

Edited by Artless Bodger
Spelling
  • Like 1
  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

For the record.

 

APM Diesel Shunter ‘Hornblower’.

 

Details taken from the engineer’s dept record card, c. 1984.

Ruston -Hornsby 165DE Wo 416211

Engine 6VPH 416586

Front axle 30 cwt

Rear axle 34 cwt

Total weight 29T 2 cwt

Less wheels 26T 2 cwt

Full width 8’6”

Full height 11’0”

Full length 21’11”

Cab roof – centre line lift holes 7’8”

Lift to clear wheels 2’6”

Compressor Broomwade TN13

No /340719 spec. 314/0507

Engine data:

Firing order124653

Bumping clearance 0.060” ± 0.004”

Valve clearance 0.015”

Big ends and Mains 0.0025” – 0.005” max

Injectors 3000 psi

BHP 150

Max RPM 1250

Bore 5.375” Stroke 8”

Injection 30° BTDC

Fan belts B79 – 2 off

Compressor belts A86 – 3 off

Engine water pump races 620422

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Artless,

 

Are you able to confirm the date when Bounty and Hornblower departed as it would be good to correct any discrepancy in the IRS records. 15/03/1985 was a Friday if that helps, possibly the IRS dates are when the locos actually arrived in North Woolwich.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Class 56 hauled coal traffic was a Gillingham crew turn, we used to book on at 3.50 am and travel pass to Hither Green where we'd normally pick the train up recessed in Bramdean sidings. Route would then be via Tonbridge and up the Medway Valley to New Hythe. There was a marker to stop just past the level crossing and a white light would illuminate once the dummy was pulled off to set back into Brookgate, a propelling move with 36 HAA wagons and no radio comms in those days. Once inside the sidings the train was signalled by the internal lights I think about 5 or 6 wagons being unloaded in one movement then we'd be stopped I presume for the conveyer to be cleared before pulling forward again. Once unloaded we then worked the train to Strood where another Gillingham driver took it forward DOO to Hither Green where he was relieved. Train ran normally every Tues & Thursday. 

  • Informative/Useful 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Andy. Interesting stuff about the operation and  signalling. In semaphore days New Hythe had an up advanced starter to allow the oil trains to pass over the level crossing to clear the points to Brookgate Siding (and I presume the earlier coal trains too). I was lucky sometimes to have a late running oil train arrive when I was waiting for the train home to Maidstone, especially if ED hauled. Arriving on the third rail with the engine already running it would stop across the crossing; the disc pulled off for the siding, the ED would come back up grade pushing 1000t at full power on the diesel, wonderful thrash, echoing off the steel platform awning. They'd ease off once more than 50% of the train was over the break of gradient as the slope down into the mill was quite steep. After spotting the train at the discharge point the loco would uncouple and pull forward clear of the internal roadway and park opposite the power and steam dept offices. Am I right in thinking 36 loaded HAAs is about 1800t? So with 3200HP from a 56, a bit more HP/t than the ED could muster!

 

The bottom of the advance starter post is just about visible in the photo, below the soffit of the new road bridge being built to carry New Hythe Lane over the railway. The soffit forms the top border of the photo and the bridge casts its shadow on the road. Also visible above the roof of the 4Cep is the down home post, Blackhorse siding (where 31618 was stabled after recovery from Barry) trailed in roughly where the track worker is. The marker light you mention might be that black and white object with the bird sitting on top? Is the white X visible in the distance the stop marker? 

 

I've got some more photos of the bridge under construction (courtesy of my brother) if anyone's interested?

 

Page0024.jpg

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Here we go then. To set the scene, the link to the NLS website shows how the new bridge was built at a skew across the top of the existing level crossing which may help orientate the views in the photographs. New Hythe Lane was diverted, partly to allow for a straight run onto the bridge ramp, and to maintain connection over the level crossing during construction.

 

https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/side-by-side/#zoom=18&lat=51.31319&lon=0.45403&layers=173&right=BingHyb

 

Photo 1. Diversion of NHL opposite RCC (maybe Reedpack then?), looking south, west side of the railway. The chimneys in the distance are of the Aylesford Power and Steam power house (the new coal fired / gas CHP one that replaced the old boiler houses shown earlier in this thread).

 

Photo 2. The foundation for the eastern ramp cleared and levelled. The old export warehouse on Blackhorse (which later burned down), new 2 metre flood wall along the river Medway, and the North Downs in the background. New Hythe lane just visible above the footbridge parapet. 

 

Photo 3. Standing on the new east ramp alignment looking west to the railway line, the corrugated asbestos shed roof is visible in photo 2. New Hythe signal box and the crossing barriers visible to the right of the crane jib.

 

Photo 4. West ramp foundation looking west towards the road realignment seen in photo 1.

 

More to come.

1 NHL realign W.jpg

2 E ramp foundation look E.jpg

3 E ramp foundation look W.jpg

4 W ramp foundation  look W.jpg

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Photo 5. Western ramp started, wall panels and rubble (?) infill. 

 

Photo 6.  Piling for the western abutment.

 

Photo 7. Rebar construction for the western abutment.

 

Photo 8. Looking west through the rebar cage along the ramp alignment. 

6 W abutment piling.jpg

5 W ramp side wall start.jpg

7 W abutment rebar.jpg

8 W abutment rebar look through.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, pictures not attaching in the order I upload them so out of order, but should be evident which is which.

 

Photo 9. Rebar for the east abutment. The old internal transport garage in the background and behind that the roff of the erstwhile export warehouse (which had a covered wharf on the river at its other end, so paper could be loaded into lighters under cover - once used for LASH (Lighter Aboard SHip) trials. When U class 31618 was first recovered from Barry, it was stabled on the Blackhorse siding behind the trees on the left.

 

Photos 10 and 11. Progress on raising the western ramp. The bulge in the foreground is the location of steps down from the bridge level to the entrance to New Hythe station. Crane in the background appears to be unloading more concrete revetment panels, which look similar to those used to build the Stockley Flyover ramps, and remind me of an old construction set called Bako, the way they slot together.

 

Photo 12. The western abutment looming over the signal box, the toothlike projections are I think to take the bridge beam bearings. The level crossing barriers seem to have gone (originally the box had a wheel operating 4 gates), I presume some sort of traffic control lights were installed further from the crossing as the road width was reduced and probably had only alternate single line traffic. 

 

Funny story I heard about the crossing - at one time the paper machines had metal table rolls, these were moved to and from the roll shop in east mill stacked lengthways on a solid tyred, unsprung, trailer pulled by the engineers' battery tug. When travelling over the crossing on one occasion, the chocks moved and several rolls fell off over the side of the trolley and rolled along the track - until they met the 3rd rail, big flash and the roll was welded across the rails and tripped the substation (there was one on the west mill side about level with the old water tower). 

 

On several other occasions lorries pulling up late as the barriers came down managed to get the barrier snagged and damaged, the fall back with the barriers out of action was two blokes, each with a string of red and white bunting which they pulled across the road after stopping the traffic, down trains brought to a stand at the home before it was pulled off and the train allowed forward into the platform. With 4 services an hour this was very popular at going home time!

9 E abutment rebar.jpg

10 W ramp progress.jpg

11 W ramp progress.jpg

12 W abutment.jpg

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Three photos of progress on the eastern ramp. The greenish corrugated bit of the building in the background is the covered wharf enclosure extending out over the river, the travelling crane inside the warehouse ran out over the river under this. The North Downs in the backgound above Eccles / Burham / Wouldham.

 

17 E ramp.jpg

18 E ramp.jpg

19 E ramp.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Photo 20. The east abutment, in the foreground by the concrete posts is where one of the barrier mechanisms stood. Visible here is one of the substitute level crossing control lights as speculated earlier.

 

Photo 21. The east abutment viewed from the west side of the line further up New Hythe Lane. 

 

Photo 22. View from further back up New Hythe Lane after the bridge beams had been craned into place, west side crossing control lights visible here.

 

Photo 23. The completed bridge showing how it crossed the line on the skew above the level crossing, this is a view from the east mill side looking west.

 

Photo 24. The view posted before, NH signal box and the shadow of the bridge on the old road.

24 NH signal box under bridge.jpg

20 E abutment and xing lights.jpg

21 E abutment and crossing.jpg

22 bridge beams in place.jpg

23 complete look W.jpg

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.