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Author For the Narrow Gauge Fans - DBR
ICLOK

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Joined: 19/02/2008
Location: Ripley, Derbyshire up North.

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For the Narrow Gauge Fans - DBR
Posted: 16/02/2009 00:52:24
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I was going thru my photos tonight and found a digital file on the Duffield Bank Rly from 04/07/08.... Yes Mr Haywoods 15" prototype built into Duffield Bank Wood Quarry in Derbyshire. The reason I went was I aquired a DBR wagon plate and thought a trip up there would be good as I live so close.
I was fortunate to drop onto the right people who gave me access and in the end actually managed a full tour around the line... I'm told the first person in several decades to walk it all. The line is amazingly in tact with a short section of track in a short tunnel.
I had thought the line erased but was amazed by what was left inc all 3 tunnels and the hprshoe curve etc.
The route is totally on private property with no current access whatsoever.

Pics are posted in the DB album but here is one for starters.
Note the track.
I hope this is interesting for you NG fans.



(click image to open full size image in new window)


--

The railway isn't run simply for the convenience of your dragon!
IP: 78.150.34.23 Edited: 16/02/2009 00:53:08 by ICLOK
merddinemrys

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Posted: 16/02/2009 09:55:31
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Wow, fascinating. I've always been interested in this line and wondered what if anything remained. Have you read Minimum Gauge Railways ICLOK?

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Life is a place, where we dig in a hole, to earn enough money, to buy enough bread, to get enough strength, to dig in a hole.
IP: 81.141.137.129
ICLOK

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Posted: 16/02/2009 10:10:47
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I have mate and the newish book on Hayward is fabulous bringing all the pics together. I just realised I have not put up the inside of the quarry tunnel which I got thru much to the locals amusement .... again a first, the engineering works on this route are excellent inc the deep cuttin after quarry tunnel. The only thing missing of any size was the timber viaduct at North end and the buildings, but all the platform edges survive.

This line was a legend around here and I remember being told of it as a child and saying "Yeah right"

There is no real trace of the works but the horshoe incline can be traced down to it.... sad its no longer accessible again... for now... Innocent

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The railway isn't run simply for the convenience of your dragon!
IP: 78.145.183.135
merddinemrys

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Posted: 16/02/2009 10:14:46
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I'm suprised that with the interest there has been in Heywood recently (I think there are replicas of most of his locos and rolling stock now) that there are no schemes to reopen it!

--

Life is a place, where we dig in a hole, to earn enough money, to buy enough bread, to get enough strength, to dig in a hole.
IP: 81.141.137.129
ICLOK

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Posted: 16/02/2009 10:24:17
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Totally private property hence regd user on my pics and railway abbreviated to rly Wink
I was given access by the people leasing the whole site...

It will never be allowed to re-open, the last people to walk whole route was in 1950s. It took me 3 hours to walk the 1 mile. Shocked

Pic of inside of Quarry tunnel now on. Looks hand picked.
The long tunnel goes right under the house and is Stone lined. He spent a fortune on the route, the track seems mega light and it was lucky the small section was left.

Its an eerie place, like walking round someones failed dreams.... , much of the route is now grown over by trees so virtually black hence low quality of some pics.

The rectangular wagon plate was given to me and that was what persuaded me to go and look for the route, I was however very doubting I'd find owt when I went, given the mythilogical status of the line...

--

The railway isn't run simply for the convenience of your dragon!
IP: 78.145.183.135 Edited: 16/02/2009 10:30:14 by ICLOK
AR

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Posted: 16/02/2009 10:32:24
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I don't think the quarry tunnel was completely hand-picked, probably dressed back after blasting out. Even so, it's still a lot of effort, and as for the engineering works on the railway line, I'm amazed to see this done on what looks to be someone's personal toy.....

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I think I'll have the sheep first, then I'll have the abbot
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ICLOK

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Posted: 16/02/2009 10:38:04
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The book "Sir Arthur Heywood and the 15" gauge railway" by plateway press is brilliant, detail on the stock, the routes, the histories.... brilliant. Cover Eaton and Duffield Bank Rlys.

Superb pictures... you will not be dissapointed! Thumbs Up

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The railway isn't run simply for the convenience of your dragon!
IP: 78.145.183.135
ICLOK

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Posted: 16/02/2009 10:42:34
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Well it was his pet theory.... he believed in the min gauge railway and put his money where his mouth was....

The engineering work on this line is good, and although overgrown has survived well.

Some toy.... more of a test track... but lovely... if I only had the dosh I would buy the lot!!!

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The railway isn't run simply for the convenience of your dragon!
IP: 78.145.183.135
Ben Fisher

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Posted: 16/02/2009 23:20:24
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Fascinating! Thanks for putting those up.

Heywood viewed DBR as more than a toy, he also intended it as a showcase, mainly to try and interest the military in 15" gauge.

The loosely recreated Heywood line at Eaton Hall is worth a visit on the rare occasions the public is allowed in - only short parts of it use the original route but there's more character than might be expected. Had great fun there on the 2007 open day when three replica Heywood locos and a mix of original and replica rolling stock were running. [web link]
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ICLOK

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Posted: 16/02/2009 23:26:12
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My pleasure Ben... I wish i'd known of this open day... Bet it was great! Thumbs Up

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The railway isn't run simply for the convenience of your dragon!
IP: 78.150.10.154
derrickman

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Posted: 18/02/2009 21:34:39
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Heywood was a fascinating character and an original thinker, but the unfortunate fact is that he was wrong... there were 18" gauge industrial railways in various places ( the Guiness brewery and the LNWR works ) and it was widely used for contractors' railways in smaller diameter tunnel projects ( typically 4ft to 6ft diameter ) but the smallest gauge generally used for any serious work is 24" ( 60cm ) with 30" bein preferred for longer sections.

the 30" gauge also has the great advantage that the locos are powerful enough, and the wagons sufficiently stable, to carry standard gauge wagons on transporters - the Manifold Valley line did this, for one.
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Peter Burgess

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Posted: 18/02/2009 21:50:05
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derrickman wrote:

.... the 30" gauge also has the great advantage that the locos are powerful enough, and the wagons sufficiently stable, to carry standard gauge wagons on transporters - the Manifold Valley line did this, for one.


Very much off topic, but you mean like this....

[web link]

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ICLOK

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Posted: 18/02/2009 21:58:17
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Having read most stuff on him I'd tend to agree with you but nevertheless it's nice that his place in railway history is celebrated.... I think he successfully demonstrated the minimum gauge railway option, but for the all the good reasons you give any advantages were out weighed by the fact that other narrow gauge systems were already well proven and much of the track and infrastructure readily available off the shelf.





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Whoops.... don't touch that... too late!!
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derrickman

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Posted: 18/02/2009 22:02:19
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I didn't think it was off topic at all. There was no connection between the Ecton mines and the L&MVLR, they were already closed; but the Channel Tunnel was driven using a 30" gauge railway for transport. I worked on a main sewer tunnel project in Sheffield in the late 1970s using 30" gauge in a 21ft diameter tunnel.

I was just making the contrast between the respective capacities of the various generally-used narrow-gauge sizes, with emphasis on the fact that no-one apart from the Ravenglass and Eskdale ever used 15" gauge for any mineral application, and that didn't really work in that respect.

love the film, though
IP: 82.32.67.44
Peter Burgess

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Posted: 18/02/2009 22:09:54
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Good, isn't it? Smile I didn't mean your post was off-topic - just the film.

--

Hey, who turned out the lights!
IP: 92.2.125.24 Edited: 18/02/2009 22:10:37 by Peter Burgess
JohnnearCfon

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Posted: 18/02/2009 22:10:20
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derrickman wrote:

there were 18" gauge industrial railways in various places ( the Guiness brewery and the LNWR works )


The Guiness Brewery Railway was 1' 10" (and 5' 3" of course). Several of the locos are preserved.

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Cadwch Cymru'n daclus-Taflwch eich ysbwriel yn LLoeger
IP: 78.145.116.219
ICLOK

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Posted: 18/02/2009 22:18:34
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Blimey Peter missed that on YT... thanks for.that... brilliant Thumb Up , I believe the transporter wagon(s) were re-used off the Manifold on the Ashover Light Railway... but I don't think they saw much use if any.


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derrickman

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Posted: 18/02/2009 22:18:39
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oh ok, I stand corrected on that, then. The main thing which sticks in my mind about the Guiness railway is those wierd converter wagons so the narrowgauge locos could shunt SG wagons.

there were a range of minimum gauge experiments around at one time - Decauville experimented with various gauges in the 40cm - 50cm range as well - but for various technical reasons to do with loco tractive effort and range, and proportion of deadweight to payload, the 60cm gauge is demonstrably the smallest effective gauge unless overall space constraints ( especially minimum radius ) are the deciding factor

I can't find any reference to the transporter wagons going to the Ashover, the Lynton and Barnstaple had some though. That was a 60cm gauge line using locos which were very large, by the standards of British 2ft gauge anyway, if nothing like the South African monsters the Welsh Higland now has.

some ex-Ashover bogies are now in temporary use at the L&B project.. small world
IP: 82.32.67.44 Edited: 18/02/2009 22:32:02 by derrickman
JohnnearCfon

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Posted: 18/02/2009 22:30:51
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derrickman wrote:

The main thing which sticks in my mind about the Guiness railway is those wierd converter wagons so the narrowgauge locos could shunt SG wagons.


At least one of the convertor wagons is preserved too, at Chalk Pits Museum, Amberley, Sussex.

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Cadwch Cymru'n daclus-Taflwch eich ysbwriel yn LLoeger
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derrickman

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Posted: 18/02/2009 22:34:45
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I've seen it.. as an exercise in applying maximum weigh to minimum power it even puts Harley-Davidsons and Land Rovers in the shade! IP: 82.32.67.44
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