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flyingsignalman

NCB Gatewen Opencast Disposal Point

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In my thread on Wirral industrials I posted a photo of exBR class 03 D2182. I've now scanned some photos of the depot and I thought they might be of interest.

The depot was built on the site of Gatewen Colliery and dealt with coal from opencast mining in the North Wales area brought in by road. The colliery was served by both the Great Western Moss Valley branch and the Great Central Brymbo branch.

The first few were taken on 4.3.1978 and start with a look at the ex GCR branch to Brymbo that ran under the north end of the sidings.

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The GCR track bed looking East towards the Wrexham - Bidston line; the Moss Valley line went over the bridge.

 

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The remains of Moss& Pentre station taken from under the bridge looking West towards Brymbo.

 

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On top of the bridge looking up the valley, the stop block can just be seen.

 

3 views of the loader all looking north.

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The crossover partly in this view allowed BR locos to run round without going over the weigh bridge (not in these photos).

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Edited by flyingsignalman
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The weigh bridge looking north, the line BR used is on the left (the photos in this post are undated but Ca1980).

 

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The notice board which prohibited BR locos from crossing the weigh bridge was repeated on the other side of the building.

 

Further south towards Croes Newydd yard but still looking north from under a road bridge.

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Looking back to the road bridge. The hand worked trap points were provided due to the gradient towards Croes Newydd.

 

Some signs at this end of the yard.

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A bridge on the line between Croes Newydd yard and Gatewen looking north

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Finally, the photo of D2182 taken on this same visit

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Edited by flyingsignalman
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A final selection of photos, taken on 4.3.1983 (honest! )

The depot saw only intermittent use, often with many months of inactivity, which seem to have occurred when I went to visit!

From the bridge in the 2nd to last photo in the previous post,

looking to Croes Newydd

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and looking north to the depot

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Approaching the depot

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A view of the double track bridge (a convenient leftover from the old colliery sidings layout)

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Looking from the double track overbridge looking to Croes Newydd

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and north over the depot

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The weigh bridge again, this time boarded up, looking north. The loco shed and the loader are in the background.

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and looking south

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Looking north from by the weigh bridge

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The front of the loco shed

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and the rear

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2 views looking south from the north end

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Under the headshunt at the north end of the depot was this occupation bridge

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The line closed a year or two after these last photos due to a derailment on the branch.

Edited by flyingsignalman
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Thanks for posting those, they're incredibly atmospheric.

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This site used to have an Austerity saddletank, I think it was black and an RSH build, a rather anonymous machine. A friend went to photograph it and saw it in action. When the BR train of empties arrived the driver said "In a few minutes lad you'll see this engine ----ing dance ", moving the wagons then took place with copious amounts of slipping. Given the good state of the trackwork, free of the usual coal slurry covering the rails this must have been due to poor handling of the engine.

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Looking at the buildings in the background was the site once an MoD railhead?

 

Gordon A

Bristol

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Wow what potential for a layout - or two.

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This site used to have an Austerity saddletank, I think it was black and an RSH build, a rather anonymous machine. A friend went to photograph it and saw it in action. When the BR train of empties arrived the driver said "In a few minutes lad you'll see this engine ----ing dance ", moving the wagons then took place with copious amounts of slipping. Given the good state of the trackwork, free of the usual coal slurry covering the rails this must have been due to poor handling of the engine.

 

There is a photo, credited to P.G. Hindley on p87, in "Marcher Railways" published by Bridge Books in 2008. It shows RS&H 0-6-0ST, 7162 0f 1944 shunting in 1965. The track layout is a lot different though the weighing machine office is the same.

Looking north from the bridge, a single line (used as a head shunt) went under the bridge; from this it split into 5 lines (presumably loops) 2 were in front of the weigh bridge and 3 behind it. At this time the site was served from the ex GCR Wrexham - Bidston line. The track is not in as a good a state as in my photos.

On p88 there is a photo taken in 1979 of D2182 shunting full 16t mins over the weigh bridge.

The line towards Croes Newydd Yard was relayed about 1970 and the line to the GCR was then lifted.

Also according to this book the derailment that closed the line occurred in August 1983, the line then laying out of use for another 6 years before being lifted at the end of 1989.

Edited by flyingsignalman

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Does your friend still have the photos of the Austerity Saddletank RSH 7162 of '44 taken in 1965?? I would be glad to pay for some copies.

 

 

The photo I have seen is the one published in the book cited above.

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As my name was mentioned in this topic with regard to a published photo I think it might be of interest if I add a few more notes and photos on this subject.

Gatewen D.P. was operated in three separate phases.
The first phase was 1957 to early 1966 when it was used to load coal from the Pool Covert opencast site, which was situated south of the A525 Wrexham to Coedpoeth road. During this period the rail connection was to the ex WM&CQ line at Stansty because the trackbed south of Gatewen was used as part of the haul road to the opencast site, i.e. it would have been impossible to fit both the haul road and shorter main line connection to Croesnewydd in the single track formation. I made a track plan of the sidings just after closure and this shows the track terminating in a headshunt just beyond the Wrexham to Brymbo road overbridge (from where RSH 7162 was photographed in 2/1965) and the remainder of the trackbed south still occupied by the haul road.
The site was operated by Sir Alfred McAlpine & Sons Ltd. on behalf of the NCBOE (NCB Opencast Executive). Resident loco throughout this period was Austerity 0-6-0ST RSH 7162/44, which was probably a NCBOE, loco although initially it did carry Sir Alfred McAlpine lettering on the saddle tank. On 25/1/1964 I photographed BR 1628 shunting the yard, but I'm not sure whether it was on loan covering servicing or repairs to RSH 7162 or had just brought in an empty train. The only other known loco here during this period was the Peckett 0-6-0ST BERWYN from Brymbo Steelworks, on loan 12/1965-1/1966 per Industrial Railway Society records, but found to be unusable.
By 4/1966 the site had been closed, with no wagons in the yard and the loco locked in the shed. The loco remained there until late 1967 when it was disposed of, either removed for scrap or cut up on site.


To be continued

 

Edited by PGH
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Many thanks for posting these photos and the information. Is there any chance you could post the track plan you mention?

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Gatewen D.P. continued

The second phase of operation was from c1972 to c1/1980 when the site was operated by Lindley Plant Ltd. on behalf of the NCBOE. During this period the connection south to BR at Croesnewydd was used instead of the former connection to Stansty.

Operation began with a Unilok road-rail tractor, then for a short period ex BR 03 D2148, followed by the longer term resident D2182

(info from Industrial Railway Society North Wales Handbook)


to be continued.........
.
 

Edited by PGH
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Gatewen D.P. continued

The final phase of operation at Gatewen was for the storage of coal.

In August 1983 coal was being brought in from Point of Ayr Colliery by two BR trains per day. On 10/8/1983 I noted 25315 and 25320 arriving on a loaded train which they took to the top (Moss) end of the yard and backed into the loop. They then returned to the bottom (Croesnewydd) end to pick up the empties before returning to Point of Ayr. Wagons were unloaded by mobile grabs and run down through the loop by gravity, there being no resident shunting loco.

I assume this activity was for stocking coal in anticipation of the 1984 miners strike.

 

Edited by PGH
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Track Layout of Gatewen DP in 1966 as requested



 

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I remember the Pool Covert opencast! Living in Rhostyllen, if the wind blew in the 'wrong' direction, you got either dust or noise - or more often a combination of both! I think the opencasting removed some industrial archaelogy from the area as I can remember seeing a note of a tramway or similar on an old map that crossed it, possibly going to Wilkinson's site at Bersham?

 

What I didn't appreciate was the scope of the Gatewen site. Just up the road and I missed it completely!

 

Anyway, it was just an 'old industrial' working there. :fool:

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Many years ago I bought a plan entitled "Moss Valley Branch, sheet 1" from Collector's Corner at Euston.

Dated August 1882 it shows the Colliery at Gatewen and thought it may be of interest to others.

 

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