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Pictures of council/local authority narrow gauge works


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3 minutes ago, RateTheFreight said:

Afternoon all,

 

Does anyone have any decent or interesting pictures depicting the use of narrow gauge locos and stock on council/local authority works such as road building etc? 
 

TIA 

 

G

Can't lay my hands on my copy at the mo but there might be a couple of photos in 'Industrial Railways of the South East', Middleton Press?

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Pictures of these don't crop-up very often, and you might need to wade through the entire Industrial Railway Record from issue 1 to date to assemble a good collection.

 

Here's one to start with https://welwyngarden-heritage.org/archive/item/112-wgc-light-railway

 

Pictures of the SCC work on the Guildford Bypass, and the OCC works on the Oxford Bypass I have seen, odd ones of house-building contracts/projects in various places, and IIRC some of work on the road at The Archway in Highgate.

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Thanks both, and you’re correct, a brief trawl of the internet makes reference to various types of council work undertaken but little in the way of picture evidence.

 

I’d particularly been hoping for picture evidence of one of the Devon council’s ‘Wrens’ (Lorna Doon, Peter Pan et al) at work but have lucked out this far.

 

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I was an obsessive narrow-gauger for about thirty five years, and I don't recall ever seeing a picture of them at work, although there are pictures of them disused at the council depot/quarry before they were rescued for preservation.

 

Dead easy to find photos of German Autobahn construction in the 1930s using NG railways, by contrast.

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3 hours ago, RateTheFreight said:

Afternoon all,

 

Does anyone have any decent or interesting pictures depicting the use of narrow gauge locos and stock on council/local authority works such as road building etc? 
 

TIA 

 

G

 

It would appear that this

 

Hudson Narrow gauge locomotive

 

may well be a West Riding County Council view.

 

John Isherwood.

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It’s a Hudson Go-Go, made using a Fordson tractor on an adaptor chassis. There is/was one preserved at Leighton Buzzard and if you look on YouTube there is film of one (maybe the same one) on the Abbey LR. There were slightly different models, but you will get the idea.

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20 hours ago, RateTheFreight said:

Afternoon all,

 

Does anyone have any decent or interesting pictures depicting the use of narrow gauge locos and stock on council/local authority works such as road building etc? 
 

TIA 

 

G

It would help if you could be a bit more specific, beyond your note re Wrens working for Devon Council.

Councils, especially Victorian ones, could be very entrepreneurial, promoting all sorts of schemes, such as roads, housing estates, sewage works, major drainage projects, gas works, electricity power stations, dams, water works, hospitals, mental asylums, tramways, bus companies, sand, gravel and stone extraction, even breweries, telephone companies and perhaps brickworks, all of which might involve railways, standard, narrow gauge or monorail, in the construction and possible operation. Presumably the reference to Wrens suggests a period up to the sixties, but again a better idea of what is of interest would help refine the search.

There are some scenes from the construction of the Sutton by-pass at https://sremg.org.uk/location/sutton_bypass.html and the Industrial Railway Society's book on locos in Sussex and Surrey has a couple of photos of locos operated by Surrey County Council and used on the Guildford by-pass.

There is a very blurred line between Council direct works and those carried out by contractors, but the hardware and methods would be the same, and Councils might hire in equipment for a project anyway.

Similarly the distinction between some of the activities I listed above being Council operated and by separate companies is minimal, such as many early water, gas and sewage works, although often these became absorbed into larger, more commercially minded operations.

Over the years the IRS has published many volumes of their magazine, which may contain something useful. There is a searchable index on their website which might give you clues (e.g. Devon Council Vol 1, Issue 5/6, Vol 11, Issue 2 and Vol 14, issue 157) and in their archive https://www.irsociety.co.uk/Archives/back_issues.htm#vol21 they have full listings of the contents of each, and many of the earlier issues are available to view on line, sadly only the first of the DCC references is available online. However there are hours of pleasant browsing of what is viewable, which may turn up something useful, including a detailed account of the Wren class, which appears in that first volume.

Archive and Railway Archive Magazines from Lightmoor Press have covered several of the relevant operations, such as water works, and their index is here https://lightmoor.co.uk/BDLpdf_files/Archive_contents.pdf and https://lightmoor.co.uk/BDLpdf_files/Railway_Archive_contents.pdf although none of the articles are available on line. 

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The book 'Oxfordshire Railways in Old Photographs (Laurence Waters, Alan Sutton 1989) has a couple of photos of narrow gauge locos used in the building of the Oxford Northern bypass in 1931-34. 

 

(My family moved to within hearing distance of the bypass in 1964 but until I bought this book about 5 years ago I had no idea that railways were involved in its construction !)

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Not sure if it’s in that book, but I’m fairly sure they used a Montreal Locomotive Works 0-4-0ST, typically North American looking animal, on that job.

 

WRONG: I checked, and the odd loco on that job was a Decauville 0-4-0T of unknown origin.

 

Must learn not to trust my memory on such things!

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ex Penrhyn quarry "Bronllwyd" has for some years now been in its original Surrey County Council livery

 

https://www.lynton-rail.org.uk/files/bronpic_statfold.jpg

bronpic_statfold.jpg

 

There used to be an O14 layout on another Forum called "Brookford" with a road construction scene, the layout is long gone now but the stock survives in other ownership

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums/72157629685907907

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