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Abandoned rails in the road.....(or elsewhere...)


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Rails across a road.  These cross the access road to fisheries and a nature reserve near Canterbury, formerly an aggregates site.  These are short sections of main-line type rail, no apparent rails either side.  Even though it looks like check rail, the paired rails seem not to be truly parallel or levelled.  The 'check' gaps aren't the same and the 'gauge' is about 6' 6".  No explanations are available, could be boundary markers, though in the distant past the site may have been connected to the main line through Sturry, not far beyond the vegetation in the background. 

IMG_20210717_120148.jpg.6d14dca0393406dad07dab5783e20850.jpg

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Thanks, good spot and good point on adjacent lines.  It was a site with narrow gauge lines in the past though these particular rails seemed just too beefy and there were no other remnants nearby. 

 

I was tempted to do some exploring in the Westbere area but ran short on time.

 

Area I was looking around was to the upper right of the sheet below, very much changed today.

https://maps.nls.uk/view/103679186

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Last one I took of Kings Cross Goods yard (looking towards the York Way entrance)  - somewhere around 2004 I think. This frontage is now the 'pretty face' of Central School, and doesn't look quite like this any more!

 

2006_02170023

 

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2 hours ago, Giles said:

This frontage is now the 'pretty face' of Central School, and doesn't look quite like this any more!

 

Same view not that long ago. I think I preferred the old.  A Glass turntable?

 

LondonFeb2017-061-EditSm.jpg.f8d0f5498a33054dfcffc79818d10ec9.jpg

 

Nice to see the acknowledgement of the past.

 

LondonFeb2017-066-Edit.jpg.b458d9740a7b1f226fb64e945cf42c46.jpg

 

P

Edited by Porcy Mane
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Some more abandoned rails.  Following a Prototype Questions post on Bailey Bridges

I was tempted to track down a former location - no bridge remaining but OS and Google suggested it was worth a look.  It's in the Sturry area near Canterbury where there were extensive gravel pits developed post war and operated until the 1970s.  OS sheet 173 revised to 1965 shows an earlier track layout on the site.

https://maps.nls.uk/view/197253421#zoom=8&lat=9937&lon=5135&layers=BT

 

A later version of sheet 173, revisions to 1968, shows the rail line crossing the Great Stour to give access to later gravel workings south of the river.  

https://maps.nls.uk/view/197237111#zoom=7&lat=9748&lon=5117&layers=BT

 

The bridge allowed diversion and extension of the narrow-gauge rail route that linked to the north-western corner of the site where the aggregates company retains a small presence.  Most of the pit areas are flooded now and converted to a nature reserve.  There was a clue to a railway heritage on the approach road to the aggregates site:

 

2049643347_Sturry02.jpg.d9e9e70e2b83e95aecd7c05ac406442c.jpg

 

7038065_Sturry01.jpg.65f492c8b30a0e842786da3be6143d06.jpg

 

Having found the former bridge site I followed the likely rail alignment, now a well-worn path heading roughly northward through woods and giving access to private fishing areas and also used by locals.  To the side of the path there were short, intermittent runs of buried, decaying timber sleepers which was a good sign.  

 

IMG_20210717_113813.jpg.5c77b9007ef20f9e6e52568240bca695.jpg

 

Reaching the edge of the Westbere reservoir and following the pathway and former rail alignment roughly westwards, occasional pieces of rail appeared, one section with both rails in place.  

 

266532106_Sturry05.jpg.dfb57a63bbff56cfb7d275f4ccb32795.jpg

 

682647171_Sturry03.jpg.7c847b97a40a186a4abd22a6ce2fccb3.jpg

 

At another place with only one rail, almost fully-buried, there was a removed section of rail with corroded remains of steel sleepers.  This laid in the grass alongside the path, rail head approx. 1 1/2" wide, rail depth just under 5".

 

410257480_Sturry04.jpg.af82d72cf6199180fcce2fd7e5dcb473.jpg

 

Further along, another two-rail section ran along the pathway and disappeared under a hedge.  

 

777770385_Sturry07.jpg.5465e2c1e63f74cc27399ab73325b268.jpg

 

The earlier 'rails across the road' post came from the western extremity of the same pits area, and there's no hard evidence - so far - to reveal the relevance of the feature to the area.
 

Edited by Engineer
Adjusted map links and added information
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11 hours ago, Engineer said:

In response to the last but one post [1339hrs], here's a side-by-side view with the OS, but can't get a more modern 25-inch scale map.  Exact cursor co-ordinates for the location of the rails 51.30142, 1.12970.

 

https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/side-by-side/#zoom=19&lat=51.30158&lon=1.12961&layers=168&right=ESRIWorld

 

 

 

This map shows something

 

https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/side-by-side/#zoom=15&lat=51.30201&lon=1.13918&layers=11&right=ESRIWorld

 

Now we need the IRS on board to tell us what it was.

 

Regards

 

Ian

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Many thanks for the continued interest in the 'rails' question and all the practical suggestions.

 

"Now we need the IRS on board to tell us what it was."

 

Even without the IRS, we have the superlative Nearholmer.  

Very useful confirmation of the site and NG presence, and I like his suggestion of gate rails in an earlier post above.  Here is my rationale at the outset, and some new clues to change direction subtly.
 

I visited the area because of the the chance of seeing bridge remains, having posted the original excellent narrow gauge scene from 1976, referenced above.  

 

Before making a site visit I, too, looked at sheet 173 for general information, both revisions to 1965 and 1968.  The earlier version, as mentioned in the previous post, shows a slightly curving line following the southern edge of a pit or lake.  The later version shows the line diverted south across the bridge in question.  With these clues in mind I extended my walk of exploration culminating in finding rails and sleepers in the post of yesterday evening, above.
 
The 'rails across the road' was the furthest west of my walk, at map cursor 51.30142, 1.12970 [spot A}.  The furthest west remains of narrow gauge track were at cursor 51.300878, 1.131869 [spot B].  I've taken a scrap screen view of the side-by-side view to indicate relative positions: 

623577275_NLSOSBrettsitescrapmark.jpg.16ff99286c2c86517e1b556b70abe58a.jpg

 

The new clue is from 'Britain from Above'.  It hadn't been an initial line of enquiry as I'd not expected any coverage to overlap the date range of interest for the Brett gravel railway.  This was a mistake, in hindsight, and there is something quite useful, from 25 April, 1947:

 

https://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/en/image/EAW004813

 

The linked image, with excellent definition, shows very early development of the gravel workings.  Machinery for loading and transhipment is in place and the online map now has a pin - imagine a line dropped from this pin and also imagine an extension of the roadway coming from the left.  The remaining 'rails in road' are slightly left of the intersection of these imaginary lines, where the machinery is.  Tentatively, I reckon the buried rails are part of the base for the loading machinery yet there could be other explanations.  There is generic evidence that some quarry plant ran on rails with gauge of the order of 6 feet - see:  

http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/features/dunton_green_brickworks/index.shtml

Images:  

http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/features/dunton_green_brickworks/brick6.jpg

http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/features/dunton_green_brickworks/brick8.jpg

http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/features/dunton_green_brickworks/brick7.jpg

 

It looks like there are NG lines around the site, the possible wagon discharge terminal visible [with pin added] further right on the aerial image.  There seems to be facilities to unload to a conveyor, crossing the water to the transhipment machinery.  The path I followed, with its surviving NG rails, heads away further to the right and upward in this image.


In the image there's also evidence of a small rail yard by Sturry station.  I'd wondered about a later rail connection from the yard to the fairly close gravel site but no evidence at this time.

 

Another BfA image of the same date shows the same site:  

https://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/en/image/EAW004812

 

Some years after this image was taken, there would be another rail route leaving the path, heading to the right on the image, across the marshland, reaching the Great Stour and the future bridge site.


 

 

 

Edited by Engineer
Added information, corrections and links to sources and related posts
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Snailbeach District Railways, @Andy Y covered this nicely in another thread. Seen here in 1974, didn't look much different when Andy went there.

1380507425_Snailbeach29-09-743S-001.jpg.328bc07229ea8677891776c6f0941a20.jpg2001519475_Snailbeach29-9-1974Zenit15-(1).jpg.1cbcf1aaf263fddb96f14c55d32f819f.jpg

 

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On 18/07/2021 at 22:24, Nearholmer said:

A gate on rails? I can’t remember whether this site had them, but many did, some even gates on skip chassis.

 

Until relatively recent times, Cambridge Marshalls Airport (Newmarrket Road) had emergency gates mounted on NG skip chassis, so that they could be rolled quickly to one side in the event of an incident.

 

I'm pretty sure that they were recovered for refurbishment - possibly by the local FR / WHR support group.

 

John Isherwood.

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Might it be worth contacting Brett Aggregates for any details of their operation at Sturry? They've recently had a big anniversary, so might have slides etc. They've apparently lodged some documents (and larger items) with Dover Transport Museum recently. Here are contact details for the museum:-

https://www.dovertransportmuseum.org.uk/

Bretts still have a standard-gauge railway presence, with a long-established terminal at Cliffe, another recently opening at Newhaven.

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17 minutes ago, Axlebox said:

 

Passing loop on the 4' gauge Colne & Trawden Light railway.  Here's an earlier photo when it was less built up.

 

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Colne_and_Trawden_Light_Railway_Company#/media/File:Private_right_of_way_tram_track_to_Trawden_-_geograph.org.uk_-_625245.jpg

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9 hours ago, Moxy said:

 

Passing loop on the 4' gauge Colne & Trawden Light railway.  Here's an earlier photo when it was less built up.

 

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Colne_and_Trawden_Light_Railway_Company#/media/File:Private_right_of_way_tram_track_to_Trawden_-_geograph.org.uk_-_625245.jpg

 

It was the terminus Moxy, I saw the above picture on ebay and that sparked my interest.

https://maps.nls.uk/view/126517151

 

Rails still in the road here...

https://www.google.com/maps/@53.8417279,-2.1342135,3a,75y,18.69h,74.4t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sAtAoBD8oRNjDK3QsLrOCRg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

 

A/box

Edited by Axlebox
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Some rails around the docks in Liverpool, obviously been restored in places around the Albert dock but the ones further out are a bit less ‘pristine’ but look to be original rails into a former warehouse of something 

001(946).JPG
 

001(931).JPG
 

001(942).JPG
 

Albert dock, outside the maritime museum

001(935).JPG

 

001(934).JPG
 

 

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9 minutes ago, big jim said:

look to be original rails into a former warehouse of something 

 

Rails into Liverpool Riverside.

 

http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/l/liverpool_riverside/index22.shtml

 

https://flic.kr/p/BR5r99

 

50674680088_5446524f4a_b.jpgMD&HB No16. by Philip Parker, on Flickr

 

5878182335_be9d67e8b5_b.jpg48293 on Dock estate by Chris, on Flickr

 

5878742482_434d600ebf_b.jpg48293 crossing Dock Road by Chris, on Flickr

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2 hours ago, big jim said:

Some rails around the docks in Liverpool, obviously been restored in places around the Albert dock but the ones further out are a bit less ‘pristine’ but look to be original rails into a former warehouse of something 

001(946).JPG
 

001(931).JPG
 

001(942).JPG
 

Albert dock, outside the maritime museum

001(935).JPG

 

001(934).JPG
 

 

Before you shunt some 12t vans in to the warehouse.....going to have to move that fishing hook!

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Earlier post "Middleton Railway to Moor Road coal depot and Leeds Corp. tramway to Middleton." showed the tramway still in use.

 

Here, a 1960 image shows the double-track electric tramway abandoned, rails not yet removed.   Leeds car 601, part of a preservation project, stands on the Middleton line crossing

 

https://thetransportlibrary.co.uk/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=145564

 

I believe the crossing is at the centre of this map extract:

https://maps.nls.uk/view/125642515#zoom=6&lat=4250&lon=5337&layers=BT

 

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