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Narrow gauge gravel/sand/aggregate railways - distance from pit to end of line


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Possibly a slightly odd question. I’m currently modelling (over in the micro layouts section) an aggregate quarry, with an NG line transporting the stone in skips over a reasonable distance from quarry to standard gauge railhead. What I’m trying to work out is whether this would actually have been plausible in reality. Would a standard gauge line directly into the quarry have actually been more likely?

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31 minutes ago, Gilbert said:

It worked for sand at Leighton Buzzard?

 

This was a railway built specifically to carry sand from a number of quarries though. I’m thinking of a smaller operation, carrying aggregate from one quarry to the standard gauge line. Just wondering whether they would have used standard gauge up to a point nearer the quarry (maybe with a small NG line in the quarry itself, hauling the stone prior to crushing/grading) to avoid double handling.

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31 minutes ago, Paul H Vigor said:

Cookmere Haven in Sussex. Narrow gauge railway carried beach shingle to a roadside wharf.

 

I’d forgotten about that one - although perhaps not a very typical example and not quite what I had in mind (shattered stone).

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I am sure the quarry owner would have preferred to load aggregate directly into standard gauge main line wagons, but it is easy enough to imagine a situation where this was not possible. Perhaps the terrain was too difficult, or the landowner wouldn't allow a route that was straght enough for standard gauge, Perhaps the volumes weren't economic for standard gauge, or the railway company did not like working their own trains over private feeder lines, and the quarry owner felt that operation of their own standard gauge branch line would be too expensive.

 

The existence of railways like Leighton Buzard, even though this was a common feeder for several quarry companies, shows that the scenario entirely plausible.

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1 hour ago, Jeremy C said:

I am sure the quarry owner would have preferred to load aggregate directly into standard gauge main line wagons, but it is easy enough to imagine a situation where this was not possible. Perhaps the terrain was too difficult, or the landowner wouldn't allow a route that was straght enough for standard gauge, Perhaps the volumes weren't economic for standard gauge, or the railway company did not like working their own trains over private feeder lines, and the quarry owner felt that operation of their own standard gauge branch line would be too expensive.

 

The existence of railways like Leighton Buzard, even though this was a common feeder for several quarry companies, shows that the scenario entirely plausible.

 

On my layout I’m probably going to imagine that the NG line is one part of a network, formerly serving lots of quarries (and perhaps originally a mixture of aggregate and dimension stone) but now reduced to one line to one quarry, just aggregate and with the remaining line looking slightly run down.

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The Ironstone railways in Northamptonshire were mainly narrow-gauge, metre I believe in several cases, and they loaded into standard gauge wagons after long haulage distances.  On a smaller scale, what about the Buckland Sand and Tile Works in Surrey. An extensive narrow gauge network feeding the tile works and standard gauge sidings? The run northwards from the train set reversing loop was in an avenue of trees.

807039709_bucklandsandandtilesurrey.png.5e87770f5519f64d6c1bd5d8eb0e960f.png

Map courtesy of old-maps

 

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Have a look at the Fayles tramway at Corfe Castle, there's even a museum there now.

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1 hour ago, Nick Holliday said:

The Ironstone railways in Northamptonshire were mainly narrow-gauge, metre I believe in several cases, and they loaded into standard gauge wagons after long haulage distances.  On a smaller scale, what about the Buckland Sand and Tile Works in Surrey. An extensive narrow gauge network feeding the tile works and standard gauge sidings? The run northwards from the train set reversing loop was in an avenue of trees.

807039709_bucklandsandandtilesurrey.png.5e87770f5519f64d6c1bd5d8eb0e960f.png

Map courtesy of old-maps

 

 

For Buckland wasn’t the NG line mainly pit to works, with sand and finished tiles going out by standard gauge (i.e. double handling would have occurred anyway as the materials needed to go to the works first)? Although I understand some of the ironstone lines transshiped ore to standard gauge before it went to the iron and steel works.

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7 hours ago, 009 micro modeller said:

 

I’d forgotten about that one - although perhaps not a very typical example and not quite what I had in mind (shattered stone).

I walked the route a few years ago. Some archaeology remains. A very attractive location but, as a model, operationally limited.

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40 minutes ago, 009 micro modeller said:

 

For Buckland wasn’t the NG line mainly pit to works, with sand and finished tiles going out by standard gauge (i.e. double handling would have occurred anyway as the materials needed to go to the works first)? Although I understand some of the ironstone lines transshiped ore to standard gauge before it went to the iron and steel works.

Is that a reversing loop at the end of the line - like RHDR Dungeness??

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  • 2 weeks later...

What about Thomas E Gray at Burton Latimer. Had narrow gauge from the quarry to a loading dock for standard gauge wagons which was in the end a purely internal standard gauge system - 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, ailg8048 said:

What about Thomas E Gray at Burton Latimer. Had narrow gauge from the quarry to a loading dock for standard gauge wagons which was in the end a purely internal standard gauge system - https://www.burtonlatimer.info/industry/ironstone-mining.html - scroll down for some pictures

 

I did know about that arrangement but wasn’t sure how it ended up like that.

Edited by 009 micro modeller
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How long is a piece of string?

 

There were all sorts of combinations on ‘sand railways’, with the real biggies like Leighton Buzzard and Middleton Towers at one end of the scale, and two blokes, a skip and fifty yards of jubilee track being used to load the back of their lorry at the other.

 

If you want a smallish, but very picturesque “pit to standard gauge”, then Weydon Hill at Farnham in Surrey is probably the best inspiration you’ll ever get, and it was photographed in detail by the British Geological Survey (or similar). https://www.irsociety.co.uk/Archives/18/Weydon_Hill.htm

 

Nick is right about ironstone railways too, and not just in Northants, all over the midlands. Or, if you like crushed granite, Cliffe Hill might fit the bill. Or, you could look at the Snailbeach.

 

The possibilities are almost endless.

 

Just don’t fall into the usual trap of making it look like a miniature version of a preserved standard gauge railway in Missmarpelshire.

Edited by Nearholmer
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A couple of more to investigate. Just along from Buckland there was the Betchworth Chalkpits with both SG and NG and a connection to the mainline. Another one down south Hall & Co. at Rye harbour. Again both SG and NG including a branch from the mainline at Rye. What about the connection of the Festiniog quarries to the LNWR station using the old Festiniog mainline through the town.

 

Keith

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Rye Harbour had the makings of a very complex layout, if you wanted to expand in all directions, because there were multiple works making concrete blocks, bricks, and “patent stone” (high-quality autoclave concrete castings used as substitutes for carved stonework), as well as graded shingle sent out; there were wharves on the river; exchange with standard gauge; sea-defence works ........ miles of 2ft gauge track. Fascinating place.

 

As well as being one of the firms to use 2ft at Rye Harbour, Hall & Co had other big extractive operations at The Crumbles at Eastbourne, which also had a SG branch, Storrington, and other places.

 

 

25B583EB-9C49-4280-A534-92974CABB583.jpeg

Edited by Nearholmer
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16 minutes ago, Nearholmer said:

Rye Harbour had the makings of a very complex layout, if you wanted to expand in all directions, because there were multiple works making concrete blocks, bricks, and “patent stone” (high-quality autoclave concrete castings used as substitutes for carved stonework), as well as graded shingle sent out; there were wharves on the river; exchange with standard gauge; sea-defence works ........ miles of 2ft gauge track. Fascinating place.

 

As well as being one of the firms to use 2ft at Rye Harbour, Hall & Co had other big extractive operations at The Crumbles at Eastbourne, which also had a SG branch, Storrington, and other places.

 

 

25B583EB-9C49-4280-A534-92974CABB583.jpeg

 

And of course the Rye and Camber Tramway nearby.

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  • 1 month later...

There was a tramway from Tynycoed Quarry to Garth on the Cambrain coast line near Fairbourne.  About  2/3 of a mile long and had an incline part way along.

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25 minutes ago, eastglosmog said:

There was a tramway from Tynycoed Quarry to Garth on the Cambrain coast line near Fairbourne.  About  2/3 of a mile long and had an incline part way along.

 

A bit different though, if I’m correct in identifying it as a slate quarry, in that an internal standard gauge line with a connection to the main line would hardly ever be a practical alternative in this kind of scenario.

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There was a narrow gauge tramway from Chelynch Quarries to Doulting Stone works which was situated along side the GWR Wells & Witham branch, better known as the East Somerset Railway. The works is not far west from Cranmore station.

I am guessing the line was between one and two miles long.

The tramway carried stone form the quarries to the Doulting Stone Works.

The stone works had its own standard gauge sidings accessed by a scissors crossover from the GWR.

 

Gordon A

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