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Steve O.

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Hi,

- I'm planning a model of part of the Consett line between South Pelaw / Stella Gill and Beamish 1960-1970.

 

I lived nearby as a kid and have a vague memory of crossing the line ~1980 (iron ore pellets made good catapult ammo) and noticing that the uphill track had concrete sleepers but the downhill had wood.

 

While this is plausible (due to higher pounding stresses / heavier loads uphill), is it real or a fake memory?

 

If true, when was the concrete track laid (and which stretch?).

If false, please set me straight.

 

Thanks,

Steve O.

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Steve, I used to frequent the same area as I have many family members who hail from that area (some still live there!). From what I can remember there was several sections of track that had been replaced with concrete sleepers, but there was also still large sections of timber sleepers.

 

Sorry I couldn't be more exact but I'll have a look through the books I have for the area and see what I can find.

 

Graham

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The up line through Beamish itself was still wooden sleepers in 1964, two pics here:

 

http://www.railbrit.co.uk/imageenlarge/imagecomplete.php?id=22966

http://www.railbrit.co.uk/imageenlarge/imagecomplete.php?id=23814

It appears that the line at South Pelaw Junction was all wooden sleepers in the early 70s, a few pics here:

 

 

http://www.railbrit.co.uk/location.php?loc=South%20Pelaw%20Junction

 

John

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noticing that the uphill track had concrete sleepers but the downhill had wood.

 

Could be as simple as one road was renewed sooner than the other - there are plenty of photos of lines with one road FB and one BH. In the case of four track mainlines, often you could see in the fifites and sixties the fasts with FB and slows with BH, just reflecting that faster lines would be renewed sooner due to higher speeds and thus greater wear.

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Thanks to all for the feedback. Looks like I may be able to have a stretch or two of concrete.

Having said that...

When were the first concrete sleepers used? Before 1960?

Cheers,

Steve.

I'm not sure when concrete sleepers were first used in the UK on standard gauge, The Lynton and Barnstaple certainly experimented with them so that would place the experiment no later than the 1930's. In Europe the first ones were apparently used in 1906 on the Nuremberg to Bamberg line.

 

There was mention in another thread on here that it was 1942 or 1943 when concrete was 'rolled out' for general use in the UK (http://www.rmweb.co....se-broad-dates/). Oh - that thread mentions that Tallington is closing - well it hasn't - yet. There was a batch of brand new sleepers outside the plant last week.

 

I have also found reference that the WC&P (Weston, Clevedon and Portishead) used concrete 'bar' sleepers, 2 concrete pads joined by a bar to control the gauge.

 

There is an interesting and informativer article by Manchester MRS here - http://www.mmrs.org.uk/technical/track.html

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I have a vauge memory of a conversation with my grandad (he used to be a fireman on the steel works shunter), he mentioned the lines being lifted in the works as part of an overhaul in the early 70's and the company decided not to have them replaced and bought a couple of road-going slag transporters from America to do the work of the shunter (he was re-trained and allocated to one of these transporters). This would seem to tie in with the wooden sleepers being replaced with concrete.

 

Hope this helps

 

Kev

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  • 1 year later...

I appreciate that this is an older thread but I've now got photographic evidence that the 'up' line to Consett was concrete sleepers through Beamish Station in 1979.

 

370620-on-County-Durham-Crusader-Railtou

Photo is copyright Alan Lewis and used with permission.

 

The line was also concrete sleepered through Pelton, photo below from 1984:

 

Last-train-at-Pelton.jpg

Photo copyright Neil Young, used with permission.

 

John

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It's doubtful that the concrete sleepered track on one line had any thing to do with heavier load carrying capacity. It would just have been a simply a case of more modern concrete track panels replacing wooden, when replacement was due, or became necessary.

There are plenty of photographs that show Main Lines particularly in the 1950's & 60s that show one side with concrete and the other with wood.

A good example was the Leamside line through Co. Durham. Both up and down lines at certain places had 60foot track panels of wood/bullhead, wood/flatbottom, concrete/flatbottom and concrete/bullhead intermixed on the same running line. I'm sure that wouldn't have been unique and this track was the normal route of the heavier Redcar Consett Iron ore Trains. (I'll not mention axle loadings)

 

Somewhere... I have pictures.

 

Porcy

 

EDIT:

Although only flat bottom rail here's an example of Intermixed concrete and wood track panel.

 

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/72757-class-37-photos/page-18&do=findComment&comment=1393870

 

 

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