Exchange sidings

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Bandit Mick
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Exchange sidings

#1

Post by Bandit Mick »

Wondered if someone could please answer this question. Have googled it but no luck so far. Were there such things as narrow gauge exchange sidings dropping loads into other narrow gauge wagons? E.g. narrow gauge wagons dispense their load of sand for example down a chute into waiting narrow gauge wagons on the level below. Am thinking of having a go at a micro layout using OO9. Thank you for any replies.
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LC&DR
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Re: Exchange sidings

#2

Post by LC&DR »

I suppose there will be examples of this, but I don't really see the point.

Once the goods (e.g. sand) is already in a narrow gauge wagon it seems pointless to tranship it into another narrow gauge wagon. Transhipping into a Standard gauge wagon makes a lot of sense so that it can be sent away on to the final customer by main line train.

Transhipment causes delay and costs money so would be avoided as far as possible.

However there are a few examples where mixed gauge working did happened to avoid transhipping.

The Padarn Railway near Llanberis was a 4 foot gauge railway which used special wagons fitted with 2 foot gauge rails to carry slate waggons which had been lowered from the quarries down inclines. Four 2 foot gauge slate wagons would fit on top of one four foot gauge transporter wagon. A train would head off to the coast near Bangor where the slates would be transhipped into ships.

The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway in Cumberland had a mixed gauge track from Ravenglass to Murthwaite where there was a stone quarry. Passenger trains used the 15 inch gauge rails in the centre, but wagons of stone used 4' 8 1/2 " gauge where the rails were outside the narrow gauge.

On the Leek and Manifold Railway in Staffordshire did it the other way about. Main line standard gauge wagons were put on to special 2' 6" gauge transporter wagons to be tripped over the narrow gauge to sidings down the line.

I suppose the most likely situation where material from one narrow gauge was tipped into wagons on another narrow gauge might be where there was two or more different gauges in use. So stone or sand from 2 foot gauge wagons might be tipped into three foot gauge trucks.
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Bandit Mick
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Re: Exchange sidings

#3

Post by Bandit Mick »

Thank you for your reply - seems logical using standard gauge to transport goods away now you’ve explained it. Was just thinking of the space/tight radius needed but have modified my plan so narrow to standard gauge it is. Many thanks again.
Mountain Goat
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Re: Exchange sidings

#4

Post by Mountain Goat »

Obviously it depends where one lives, but for most of the UK, with the early parts of the industrial revolution the sea was the main foem of transportation, and narrow gauge railways or canals were commonly used to get the products to the sea ports which were often nothing more elaborate then tidal inlets (Hence why little two masted ships made in places like Porthmadog were so common). Once loaded onto a boat or ship the vessel would then take the product to its awaiting customers. Hence why the industrial revolution hit the coastal areas earlier then it hit the rest of the country. Here where I live in Wales the industrial revolution started in force from the 15th centuary onwards, so by the time the 17th to 18th centuaries came in, there was already quite a trade. (They were not the first. Romans had a silica mine not far from here, and the mile was later re-worked to mine coal).
Now when the main railway network came which for us here started as broad gauge but was converted to what we now term as standard gauge, some of the later narrow gauge railways were cut off from reaching the sea so had no choice then to tranship ores and other produce to the standard gauges. Railways like the Cambrian Railway were underhanded and ruthless in their ways it trying to cut off or prevent some narrow gauge railways from raching the sea. Many narrow gauge railways or tramways simply had to close as once the main line came along and desicated their systems or scuppered their plans, the huge charges these new railways often charged for using their facilities forced many of the industries and narrow gauge railways into bankrupsy. Probably one of the most well known here in Wales was the Talybont and Hafan Railway (Also known as the Plynlimmon and Hafan) which closed not that long after it was opened, partly due to the charges the mainline decided to impose for the possibility of crossing their line. They did have a possible access to the sea, but it would involve ducking under a bridge so low that hardly anyting could fit under it let alone a locomotive.
But where there were great tonnages and the prices were right, transhipment points were used and were in fact often used. The Ffestiniog being one of the largest ones, but others like the Tal-Y-Llyn and many others were in use. At one time there were more narrow gauge railways then standard gauge due to the huge amount of industries so if one looks into the past one will be rather surprized to see many little known industrial likes where their waggons would be tipped (Sometimes by hand!) or offloaded by other meand onto standard gauge wagons and vans as the needs may be, and I have only covered outward ores and goods. There were also transhipments of items going inwards onto the narrow gauge railways, especially things like coal to run steam winding engines or the all important pumps for air or water which without these, many mines and quarries would not be able to operate, let alone coal to run the locomotives themselves!
Enjoying freelance modelling in 7mm narrow gauge Feel free to ask questions relating to the Mountain Goats Waggon & Carriage Works thread.
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LC&DR
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Re: Exchange sidings

#5

Post by LC&DR »

The Ffestiniog is an excellent example of how traffic could be exchanged between the Narrow and Standard gauge. Minffordd yard was deliberately laid out so that traffic could be exchanged both ways by building platforms and sunken rail roads to bring the floors of the wagons to the same level. In Blaenau too there were extensive exchange facilities between both the Great Western and London and North Western especially with slates coming down inclines from numerous quarries which might remain in the wagons to be gravitated to Porthmadog over the FR, or be shunted into a siding to be transhipped to main line wagons. The London and North Western even built their own 2 foot gauge slate wagons, and provided standard gauge transporter wagons to take the loaded wagons themselves down the Conwy valley. The GWR had extensive sidings at Duffws to exchange into trucks to go via Bala.

The main outlet of course was Porthmadog harbour where slate was loaded into ships, but it wasn't only the FR who brought slates there. The Croesor Tramway had a wharf north of the Cambrian line to put slate on to rail, but then crossed the Cambrian on the level to reach the harbour itself. Then the Portmadoc and Gorsddau Junction Tramway came into Porthmadog from the north west and also crossed the Cambrian on the level, before it to ran into the harbour.

Narrow gauge is undoubtedly a feature of Mid and North Wales, and was a pioneer which opened up countries all over the world,
LC&DR says South for Sunshine
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