Industrial Railways

At the Moseley Railway Trust, we are actually quite interested in railways. A well-kept secret I accept, but it cannot be hidden. In particular, we quite like industrial narrow gauge railways. Like most people with a passion for a subject, we are perhaps a little guilty of failing to see the bigger picture. After WW1, these railways became pre-eminent for any site where large amounts of stuff needed to be moved from A to B. This would include civil engineering contracts, for example. What we tend to forget is that when Nuttall or McAlpine or any of the other big civils companies decided to use a railway on a site, they did so because they wanted to move lots of stuff from A to B as quickly and as cheaply as possible. Contrary to popular belief, they didn’t use railways because they were fun things, or because the staff liked playing trains, or because it would give people something to preserve in many years time. We have been reminded of this recently at Apedale. One of the current major projects is to provide an inspection pit. To do this, the rails need to be above ground level. There are a number of ways of achieving this. One is to lower the ground. Another is to start from a place where the ground is already low, set the rails at a given height, and then build the ground up to match. In the words of a well-known meerkat, simples. Well, yes, but this needs a lot of stuff moving from A to B. Gosh, that sounds familiar. So, we have been using our industrial narrow gauge equipment to actually do what it was first intended to do. So far, we’ve only trialled the process, but five skip loads of fill were moved quickly and with relative ease, so it’s looking promising. Keep looking in, and we’ll update you on how it goes. Get in touch here.