Coal yard sidings

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tigger449
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Coal yard sidings

#1

Post by tigger449 »

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I'm building a layout based on Derby Road, Ipswich around 1959. The layout will include the coal yard that was supplied by the line at the time. There's nothing left of the original yard to give me any idea of how it looked, but I have found this picture. It looks like there's a conveyor lifting coal from ground level to (I presume) road vehicles. Can anyone give me some idea of how this operation would have worked?

Thanks in advance!
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Walkingthedog
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Re: Coal yard sidings

#2

Post by Walkingthedog »

How about coal taken out of wagon onto conveyer then in to building. Lorry parks at building, coal loaded in to lorry or sacks.
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darkscot
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Re: Coal yard sidings

#3

Post by darkscot »

Have a look here:

http://igg.org.uk/rail/7-fops/fo-coal.htm

Coal yards are quite a fascination for me. I learned this week that what are commonly called 'coal staithes' in the modeling world are actually 'coal bins' and were not really as common as layouts would have you believe.
Many times the wrong train took me to the right place.
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LC&DR
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Re: Coal yard sidings

#4

Post by LC&DR »

Originally a coal yard would be a fairly simple arrangement where loaded coal wagons would be unloaded by men with shovels, the coal being shovelled out of the side door, and placed in sacks on a set of scales standing alongside. These sacks would then be placed on the coalman's cart and delivered to customers. Surplus coal would be stored in bins made of old railway sleepers, there being a range of bins to segregate different sizes and types of coal and coke. A coalman would have an office either brick built or wooden, and some yards would have a weighbridge to weigh carts.

Some stations had coal staithes or coal cells where wagons with bottom doors could drop the coal through the rails which were raised above the level of the goods yard. Not all coal wagons had these bottom doors, so coal for such sidings needed to be served by wagons equipped with trap doors in the floor. In the North East of England the North Eastern Railway promoted the use of hopper wagons and most stations in Northumberland, Durham and parts of Yorkshire had these raised staithes. Before World War 2 hopper wagons were not common elsewhere.

Many coal wagons also had an end door, but these were intended for shipment coal, so in South Wales, and on Merseyside and Humberside for example special towers were provided on the quayside so that wagons would be run up an incline and tipped on their ends and the coal would cascade down into the ship's hold. End tipping in local goods yards was not common.

Mechanical handling of coal in goods yards was virtually non-existent prior the the formation of BR. However from the 1950s onwards schemes were developed to abolish manual handling and yards were equipped with conveyors and high level bunkers. A pit between the rails was provided to receive the coal and hopper wagons were used instead of the more familiar mineral wagon to bring larger consignments from the collieries. BR built a large fleet of hopper wagons developed from the NER / LNER types, now with large capacity steel hoppers holding 21 tons. These wagons were also used to take coal to factories, gas works and power stations.

A conveyor driven by an electric motor would lift the coal from the pit and distribute it into bunkers raised up on legs from which the coalman could draw down the fuel and load into sacks by gravity. Different bunkers were provided for different classes of fuel like the primitive bins of bygone days. The conveyor could be swung from side to side to fill the appropriate bunker. Bigger depots were built in the late 1950s to replace a group of smaller depots and these would be called Coal Concentration Depots. Wagons fitted with automatic brakes were provided so they could run at express freight speeds as block loads to these CCDs. Coal Concentration Depots might be very large and there would be frequent series of coal lorries taking coal out to various customers.

Not everywhere got a Coal Concentration Depot and small station goods yards with a coal merchant lasted until the 1980s, the last one I saw was at Deepcar in South Yorkshire where a couple of mineral wagons would arrive each day for the local coalman. The clean air acts however sounded the death knell of the local coal business and there are no coal yards at railway stations anymore.
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LC&DR
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Re: Coal yard sidings

#5

Post by LC&DR »

You may like to read the attached extract from Modern Railways from 1963. Dealing with a new CCD at Chessington.

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