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1860 and all that
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1965
Location: London

PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two more pictures from a photo shoot yesterday - the results of which should be in print in a year's time!
A contrast in saddle tanks. Number 1 runs into Great Sutton with a train from Bridgnorth, made up from the line's newer coaches. Looks like there's some unfinished shunting on the branch line.


Number 5 arrives, heading for Ludlow
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1965
Location: London

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just had an opportunity to visit the area where the MSR is supposedly located, and drove up Corve Dale from Ludlow to Bridgnorth to see just how feasible a railway up the valley might have been. On the whole, not too bad, as it turned out only involving a little cut-and-fill in places, although my Great Sutton village turns out to be a bit optimistic; the actuality being a couple of farms (one named Great Sutton) and a cottage or two.

The area is deeply agricultural, so one might assume a good traffic in farm produce, supplies and cattle. The villages, however, are small - often just a scatter of farm cottages. Diddlebury and Munslow are more substantial and might have warranted modest stations with a siding or two, while the others might have only needed a single siding and an unstaffed halt. Nearer Bridgnorth, Stanton Long and Monkhopton would have been halts with minimal goods facilities while Morville might have warranted a station.

Salop Street in Bridgnorth has a falling gradient, so the railway would need to approach the site of the terminus by following the contour of the hill, rather than running roughly parallel to the road. There wasn't time for more than a drive-by survey, but it would seem that a cutting to ease the gradient on the approach would have provided some spoil to level the station site. I must try to find a larger scale map of the area, but think a solution would have been possible at a price to suit a small railway company.

I didn't have an opportunity to visit Clee St Margaret, but noted the road to the village started from quite near Ludlow's outskirts and that further up the valley the slopes were steeper than a railway could easily negotiate, so the quarry branch might be a fantasy too far.
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Blackcloud Railways



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1983
Location: Sandbach UK

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As long as the main traffic flow (outbound minerals) is with the grade a steep quarry branch could have a mixture of horse working and self acting inclines. Horses could pull the empty wagons uphill easier on a tramway than on a road and loads coming down inclines would pull the empties up... In fact the "branch" might even pre-date the main line, having been built to carry the load to the road.

The coal tramways around Mow Cop predate the local railways and had horse working on quite fierce uphill grades (against the load) on the Biddulph side while the descent to the canal (with the load) at Scholar Green was largely handled by inclines. The route down to a landsale yard at Congleton Moss remained horse worked and didn't last as long as the canal interchange.

It was only the introduction of steam locos, and associated problems of grip between wheel and rail, that created the need for waggonways to be re-engineered with easier gradients.
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Playing Trains

Once there were mountains on mountains and once there were sunbirds to soar with and once I could never be down.


Last edited by Blackcloud Railways on Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1965
Location: London

PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been giving in to temptation today.......a while ago a fellow member of the Wealden Railway Group came up with a neat concept for a small Cornish harbour layout. Essentially it's an Inglenook, but with plenty of scenic interest.

As much of the track is flanked by stone setts, and there is only a minimum of ballasted track visible, it struck me that it might work as a good concept for a "crossover" plan on which to use either my Victorian, or 1930s GWR, rolling stock.

I drew it up full-size today, and it would work for either period. One could, just about, use it for a timetabled service in 1860 - a bit like the Redruth & Chacewater Railway, while in the 1930s passenger services would have ceased and it would be a goods only branch, perhaps with china clay or granite traffic keeping it open. Here operation would be merely shunting, with the train being propelled onto the wharf, dropping one set of wagons and picking up another set - the extra wagons in the sidings adding complications to the work.

Thus one might get two periods and two differing operating patterns out of the same plan. I'm waiting for the plan to arrive by email (don't ask - it's the only way I can get a scan to "stick" on this website). Back tomorrow with the drawing.
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