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Ellesmere Port Sand Train


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  • RMweb Gold

Last Friday (08 April) a new working to Ellesmere Port commenced, sand, for Quinn glass. The empties run from Basford Hall to Middleton Towers, the loaded runs to Ellesmere Port and then the empties return to Basford Hall.

 

The train comprises 26 MJA wagons, and each takes 15 minutes to unload, timing is very tight, they are trying to get an earlier arrival at the Docks (currently 01:15, allowing only 6 hrs, 30 mins to unload, which is exactly right, so no leeway)

 

Here's a simplified plan of the unloading area

 

post-6662-0-48992600-1302686034_thumb.jpg

 

The loaded train runs from "the station" to Manisty, where it runs round, it then returns up the branch and propels the wagons into the old Cawoods siding (not the original, this has been relaid), and unloading commences, from the rear, i'e the loaded train is gradually pushed further into the siding as unloading continues, this means it blocks the Station/Manisty line but there is (currently) no traffic so it's not an issue.

 

Some shots of the first working, showing unloading and the train at Ellesmere Port, please note these were taken with permission of the staff, this is a working railway and should not be walked upon without correct safety gear (orange vest, toe 'tectors and hard hat)

 

The first train, with 66601, The Hope Valley in charge, was unloaded from the front, ie the whole train propelled into the siding, apparently this caused some wheel burn so the unloading was reversed to commence from the rear,

 

post-6662-0-86507500-1302686204_thumb.jpg

 

post-6662-0-61662100-1302686282_thumb.jpg

 

The train viewed from a new foot crossing

 

post-6662-0-27888000-1302686326_thumb.jpg

 

Waiting a path at the station ...

 

post-6662-0-94811200-1302686429_thumb.jpg

 

and off we go ...

 

post-6662-0-95837700-1302686460_thumb.jpg

 

The second train, with 66607 in charge, offered more photo opportunities, but again these were only taken after agreement with all the staff.

 

The sand piles are visible in the background

 

post-6662-0-41087300-1302686569_thumb.jpg

 

post-6662-0-35439500-1302686586_thumb.jpg

 

post-6662-0-47199700-1302686606_thumb.jpg

 

post-6662-0-78635500-1302686628_thumb.jpg

 

post-6662-0-14651400-1302686650_thumb.jpg

 

post-6662-0-79553400-1302686677_thumb.jpg

 

post-6662-0-82408400-1302686697_thumb.jpg

 

This time I went to Ince and Elton for the empties, I told the driver I wanted a "speed shot" - he obliged :O :)

 

post-6662-0-44864800-1302686751_thumb.jpg

 

The train is booked to run again on Friday this week,

 

The train in the photos is 6Z89 07:42, Ellesmere Port Cawoods - Crewe Basford Hall empty MJAs - the loaded train arrives around 01:15 (!)

 

A video of the first working

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poI9VnBnPzg

 

:)

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  • RMweb Gold

Great shots and a really interesting read! Ellesmere Port is becoming a bit more interesting railway wise!

 

Ta.

 

Indeed, and the Vauxhall car traffic will, hopefully, start in a couple of months.

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That grab is an interesting machine- it would appear that the cab has its own hydraulic lifting and lowering mechanism, rather than being fixed in a 'high' position. I wonder how good a job they do of clearing out the inside; does some poor soul have to climb in with brush and shovel for the last bits (the sort of job Manpower used to send me on..)?

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  • RMweb Gold

That grab is an interesting machine- it would appear that the cab has its own hydraulic lifting and lowering mechanism, rather than being fixed in a 'high' position. I wonder how good a job they do of clearing out the inside; does some poor soul have to climb in with brush and shovel for the last bits (the sort of job Manpower used to send me on..)?

 

I don't think they worry about the last grains, the corners and ends must be really tricky but I suppose their calculations include this as a residue.

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  • RMweb Gold

Todays working had 66620 at the helm,

 

The empties had left the dock early, I arrived at 07:15 and they'd gone, bit of a pain as I wanted to video the departure, so off to the station in case they were being held, and fortunately they were, in fact they were held until booked departure at 08:02

 

post-6662-0-26640700-1302866424_thumb.jpg

 

Off we go, same friendly driver as Wednesday, notice the light approaching on the left, the next terminating service off the Wirral lines

 

post-6662-0-10546700-1302866542_thumb.jpg

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Great photos. Just had a look on Google Earth at the Ellesmere Port area and had a hard time finding where this was - there are so many disused sidings around that area. If only rail had managed to stay competitive with road, that area would be buzzing with freight activity all day long!

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  • RMweb Gold

Am I right in thinking the Quinn glass plant is on the old site of Ince B power station, which is near the UKF/Kemira plant- which was rail served. I would have thought that it would make more sense to use this line, unless there are no suitable unloading points or the spur is no longer useable?

 

Nice to see an increase in freight in the area (I'm an ex Helsby man)

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  • RMweb Gold

Got you, thanks. Does the train rejoin the main line on a gradient, then? I'm struggling to grasp how loading from the other end can make a difference.

 

The siding is on a rising gradient, and then the branch itself climbs and eventually does a near 180 left hand curve, hopefully this helps

 

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&q=maps&ie=UTF8&ll=53.287154,-2.899017&spn=0.014367,0.042186&t=h&z=15

 

The line heads up the page from the left of Ellesmere Port station, the right hand side of Junction 8 on the M53 is over where the new siding joins the branch, just to the "up" of that (J8) is "Gibson CT", that is where the sand siding is now located.

 

hth

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  • RMweb Gold

Am I right in thinking the Quinn glass plant is on the old site of Ince B power station, which is near the UKF/Kemira plant- which was rail served. I would have thought that it would make more sense to use this line, unless there are no suitable unloading points or the spur is no longer useable?

 

Nice to see an increase in freight in the area (I'm an ex Helsby man)

 

Hi Stuey,

 

Yes and yes, but give it about 12-18 months and the connection, "hopefully" will be back into use, when West Cheshire Junction box burnt down the connection was put onto Helsby box, this is still intact but only the first few yards into where the sidings used to be, so a lot of (siding) relaying required,

 

hth

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  • RMweb Gold

Great photos. Just had a look on Google Earth at the Ellesmere Port area and had a hard time finding where this was - there are so many disused sidings around that area. If only rail had managed to stay competitive with road, that area would be buzzing with freight activity all day long!

 

After the fuel price rises it's a lot more competitive, the Peel guys have ambitious plans but they probably aren't for sharing on an open forum, if their ambitions are realised there will be a lot of trains around the area over the next few years B)

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • RMweb Gold

Here's another couple of shots of the empties, taken on Royal Wedding Friday (29/04/2011)

 

Frodsham Junction

post-6662-0-18245800-1304428394_thumb.jpg

 

and, after reversal at Warrington, at Acton Bridge

post-6662-0-24176600-1304428443_thumb.jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Last Friday (08 April) a new working to Ellesmere Port commenced, sand, for Quinn glass. The empties run from Basford Hall to Middleton Towers, the loaded runs to Ellesmere Port and then the empties return to Basford Hall.

 

...

 

The sand piles are visible in the background

 

post-6662-0-41087300-1302686569_thumb.jpg

 

 

Great pictures and information on this interesting working! May I ask the meaning of the sign in the picture above, white backed black cross?

 

Ronan

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  • RMweb Gold

Great pictures and information on this interesting working! May I ask the meaning of the sign in the picture above, white backed black cross?

 

Ronan

 

Ta,

 

It's an advanced warning board for the crossing.

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  • 3 years later...

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