MOVING COAL - A Colliery Layout in 0 Gauge

Discussion in 'Layout Progress' started by PhilH, 8 April 2019.

  1. PhilH

    PhilH Western Thunderer

    My first recorded visit to an industrial railway system was in August 1958 to Penrhyn Slate Quarry in North Wales. In the late 1950's to early 1960's much of the school holidays were spent with a like minded school friend exploring the railways of North Wales, travelling on many of the BR lines closed by Beeching, visiting quarries still using narrow gauge railways or walking long abandoned quarry tramways. On a visit to Port Penrhyn we were told that a school party would be travelling up the railway to the quarry later that day and we could travel with them. This was long before I started making proper notes or taking photographs, and only recorded because at the quarry we were taken through the mills on Red Lion Level to see the production of slates and were each given a slate as a souvenir on which I scratched the date of the visit.
    So began a lifetime interest in industrial railways.

    As the use of narrow gauge railways in the North Wales slate quarries declined in the 1960s interest widened to standard gauge systems, particularly those of the National Coal Board which were easy to access, included many lengthy systems serving several collieries and with plenty of steam power. In the next 20 years or so I made over 400 visits to various collieries, many being repeat visits to the same systems, until the last use of steam at Bold Colliery in the early 1980s.

    Dunaskin 117B.jpg
    On a typical 3 or 4 day trip to collieries in Scotland and the North of England I would have travelled up overnight with the first call being the loco shed at Waterside, Dalmellington, to find 3 locos being prepared for the days work. The first train would then be followed to the end of the line at Pennyvenie Colliery, where I could conveniently park alongside the line to photograph the arrival of Giesl fitted Andrew Barclay 0-6-0T No.24 with 17 empty NCB wooden internal user wagons for coal destined for the Waterside Coal Preparation Plant and 10 empty BR steel mineral wagons for larger sized coal to be despatched direct to BR. Coal was screened at the colliery into various sizes and dirt removed but much of the output went to the Waterside Plant for further treatment.

    Dunaskin 120B.jpg
    No.24 back at Waterside, the wagons in the background are on the line leading to the coal preparation plant wagon tipplers. The locos here ran coupled to an open wagon with the end door removed as a 'tender'. This is perhaps the opposite of what some might imagine as a typical industrial system - a filthy locomotive working in a grimy industrial location.

    My own interest is primarily the Lancashire Coalfield, which probably had more variety of locomotives than any other colliery area, including three unique and individual designs built by the colliery owners and also the only three industrial 0-8-0Ts in the UK. In the NCB period the longest systems were at Standish, to the north west of Wigan, where a coal washery adjacent to the West Coast main line served two deep pits and two drift mines; Haydock, where a coal preparation plant served four collieries; and probably the most well known and extensive system, Walkden Railways, the main inspiration for the layout.

    Loco Shed.jpg
    The colliery loco shed - based on the prototype shed at Walkden Yard reduced in length by a half to fit in a corner of the layout.

    The layout represents a section of NCB line from a colliery, where the coal is loaded, to a coal preparation plant or washery, where the coal is unloaded for further treatment. En route the line passes a canal tip where coal will be also be discharged (theoretically into off scene canal barges). So within the layout there are three potential complete traffic movements - colliery to washery, colliery to canal tip and washery to canal tip.

  2. Pencarrow

    Pencarrow Western Thunderer

    Very nice Phil, I'm sure there's more than a few on here will enjoy your posts!
    john lewsey likes this.
  3. Brian T

    Brian T Western Thunderer

    Hi Phil,
    Good to see you over here on WT.

    I`ve followed your thread over on RM web with interest,and have looked on in awe at your metal bashings skills.(re; the rail to barge transfer)
    All in all it`s a superb layout for those that don`t know it......

    Look forward to some more top draw modelling.

  4. Rob Pulham

    Rob Pulham Western Thunderer

    Welcome to WT Phil, likewise it's good to see your layout over here.:thumbs:
    Lightman likes this.
  5. PhilH

    PhilH Western Thunderer

    Thanks for your comments Chris, Brian and Rob and any other members that find this topic of interest. Most of the information has been posted "in another place", but hopefully there will be some members who haven't seen it before. If you have please bear with me while I wade through it all again, there might be a teeny bit of progress towards the end !

    The layout occupies a slightly 'L' shaped room (originally two rooms joined into one) 16'-4" long x 9'-4" wide at one end and 12'-10" wide at the other, less a chimney breast. The baseboards are a mixture of fixed sections, either free standing or resting on shelves and a cupboard, removable sections across window openings and a hinged flap across the entrance. The emphasis on building the layout was mainly on operation, so the scenery is rather minimal. Minimum radius is 3 foot.

    Track Layout.jpg
  6. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Yes, welcone to WT, I was hoping you would post something soon and you have. Looking forward to much more! I never visited the Lanncashire coalfields until it was all over and a company asked me to look into coalbed methane and so on. Simply not economic due to the many regulations, particulatly water treatment. The same applied to South Wales.

    By the time ondustrial steam was the only game in town I was overseas and so I never experienced it. More’s the pity.

  7. PhilH

    PhilH Western Thunderer

    1A. Colliery.jpg
    Panoramic view of the colliery scene, left to right - winding engine house, screens with downcast shaft behind, upcast shaft, ventilating fan and extreme right the fulls weighbridge. The chimney hides a join in the backscene, the join continues down the retaining wall hidden by a vertical pipe and across the baseboard disguised by the timber walkway in front of the screens. Critics may complain about the lack of clutter, but with only ½" width on top of the pitbank retaining wall, which has to incorporate a walkway in front of the buildings, and little space between the sidings there isn't much room for it. In any case the sidings were usually clear of obstructions in deference to the wagon lowerers, the men who worked the wagons along the sidings and through the screens by gravity. A NCB rule book "The Operation of Surface Railways - Rules for the guidance of N.C.B. Personnel" defines the different duties - the wagon lowerers worked independent of the locomotives controlling wagons on the gravity worked sections of track, principally through the screen roads, while the shunters worked with the locomotives.

    Layout 01B.jpg

    The line begins with a headshunt in a tunnel capable of taking a small loco and three empty wagons.
    It's assumed that the empties weighbridge is somewhere down there as there isn't room for it elsewhere.

    Layout 02B.jpg

    Pointwork leads off for the screen roads, this section is on a hinged flap.

    Layout 03B.jpg

    The empties side of the colliery screens, note the difference between the brickwork of the pitbank retaining wall and winding engine house, built when the colliery was first sunk, and the later pithead buildings and screens. Empty wagons go in here and……

    Layout 04B.jpg

    ……come out full here

    Layout 05B.jpg

    then they pass over the fulls weighbridge

    Layout 06B.jpg

    the line then curves right past the colliery loco shed

    Layout 07B.jpg

    and disappears under a road overbridge to run on a shelf at the rear of the workbench

  8. Tappa

    Tappa Western Thunderer

    So pleased this has tuned up on WT. The video of the wagon tippler that got posted on RMWeb is a sight to behold.
  9. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Phil, I see your layout has the North Warwickshire Coalfield Beyer Peacock William Francis on loan from Baddesley Colliery!

    I have been tempted but so far avoided buying a 15xx kit and setting up a small shunting plank based on the prototype workings at Coventry Colliery. The excuse for not doing it is simple - too many other projects on the go!

  10. daifly

    daifly Western Thunderer

  11. 3 LINK

    3 LINK Western Thunderer

    In Phil's photo, those cylinder covers have taken a bashing....
  12. daifly

    daifly Western Thunderer

    The front buffer beam and front steps have taken a substantial bashing too.
  13. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    1509 got bashed in too when at Coventry. It has to be wondered what happened to the third, 1502. Any of the three might have been preserved as 1501. I guess the SVR knows!

    Photos of 1509 here.
    3 LINK likes this.
  14. PhilH

    PhilH Western Thunderer

    The colour photo of 1501 was taken on 5/3/1967 by the late John Wiltshire and posted on Flickr by the copyright holder Peter Brabham. Its part of a collection of outstanding industrial railway photos by John Wiltshire which are well worth viewing for any member interested in industrial railways.

    The John Wiltshire Industrial railway collection

    It would be helpful if members who post photos not of their own taking could state their origins so we could all have the benefit of viewing similar photos from the same source - and, if its not too much trouble, a credit to the original photographer might be appropriate.
    Wagonman likes this.
  15. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Thanks for that Phil, a fantastic resource and given a few recent comments about copyright issues a very useful reminder about the importance of acknowledging copyright where known. The image is copyright "All rights reserved" so where possible we should endeavour to provide the correct attribution to the copyright holder. Unfortunately some photographs end up on general circulation without the correct attribution so it can be difficult to ascertain at times the original source. In this case finding that source has been extremely interesting so thanks for that and I'll update as required.
    AJC and Dog Star like this.
  16. daifly

    daifly Western Thunderer

    Agreed. But if one obtains an unascribed photo it is not possible. Thank you for the link.
    I have thousands and thousands of uncredited postcards. I shall not post any of them lest I offend.
  17. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    I don't have a problem with that - as I tried to intimate I know an awful lot of photos surface without attribution. So if they are of interest then please please post them, that is not a problem at all. However by publishing them if with the collective knowledge we can ascertain the owner then I can always go back and provide the appropriate attribution. In this case there is another great resource to browse through.
    Dog Star likes this.
  18. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    As one has has suffered copyright abuse I fully understand, but if you are really unsure of the provenance of a photo or postcard, simply say so and offer to take down the image if the copyholder objects. Pre-empting an awkward situation is always a good idea! Clearly there is a judgement call to be made in each case, inanimate objects are easier than animate objectors! I see Adrian just agreed in principle.

    adrian likes this.
  19. PhilH

    PhilH Western Thunderer

    No problem Adrian. I just typed "Coventry Colliery Photos" in Google search, the photo in question is fairly near the top, clicked on the photo, then "view page" takes you straight to the flickr image giving full details of photographer and copyright holder, total time about 30 seconds. Identifying the source still doesn't give you the right to use it though. If you wish to refer to a copyright photo published on the internet the correct way is to provide a link to it, not copy and republish it as though it was your own.

    The excuse of not knowing any details of the photo's origin is because people will download an image but can't be bothered to record those details and then assume they can reuse it as they wish, in effect as if its their own photo. Most digital images have probably been downloaded at some time and the original posting can usually be found on the web with a bit of time and effort. I stopped posting on another forum because of a flagrant disregard of photo copyright, after posting 1148 prototype images, mainly scanned from my old negatives and slides - a fairly time consuming process. Several were copied and republished on or off the forum without my approval or credit, probably many more I don't know about. About halfway through I went back and amended all the images with the copyright symbol and my initials - more wasted time. The most annoying incident was when one member reused one of my photos in his own thread without asking, but with a query. When I pointed out that the answer to his query was in the caption he said he hadn't bothered to read the caption but just copied the photo ! The reality is that most forum users aren't worried about the origins of a photo, whether its the member posting it who has taken just a few seconds to download it or the poor sod who has taken the time and effort to actually take it, process the image and publish it.

    Of course the idea of posting photos is so the maximum number of people can see them, but I think its only reasonable that where known the original photographer gets the credit and has some say in the way they are used. The solution is if you don't like your material being copied and reused without your approval don't post on a forum or anywhere else on the web for that matter, its just too easy for people to copy and reuse.
    cmax and allegheny1600 like this.
  20. PhilH

    PhilH Western Thunderer

    I'm not sure where to go with this, most members seem to have already seen it on RMweb so there is little point in repeating all that information here.

    For anybody that hasn't, the operation may be summarised in these three videos:-

    Last edited: 14 May 2019