Industrial Railways UK 1966 – 1980

Industrial Railways UK 1966 – 1980

After the end of steam on BR (August 1968) quite a few of us switched our attention to the remaining – and very extensive – industrial railway networks. They were mostly colliery lines, operated by the National Coal Board (NCB). Attention switched from Bolton loco shed to Walkden Yard and Astley Green. But I got further afield too. Places like Maerdy, Talywain, Philadelphia, Methil, Polkemmet, Haig, Gresford and West Cannock became familiar, including the pit canteens where I was always made welcome and fed well! Very glad I managed to get to them.

‘Astley Green favourite, ‘Harry’ brings a train of empties back from Astley Moss, October 1969

 

Another early morning at Astley Green with ‘Harry’ returning from Astley Moss. Some people would do anything to get a ride…
The coal staithes at Amble, 1969. Coal was taken from Broomhill Colliery for export at the staithes – a scene that hadn’t changed much since the early 1800s.
‘Repulse’ blasts under the L&Y main line at Walkden on its way to Ashton’s Field
Not the 1920s…1969 at Whitehaven
Whittle Colliery, Northumberland. The branch from the East Coast Main Line was steeply graded. The playelayers’ cabin half way up the branch made for very comfortable accommodation once the stove got going….The pretty village of Alnmouth is in the distance.
Lynemouth Colliery was part of the extensive Ashington system in Northumberland. Here, one of their chunky RSH saddletanks does a shunt. The North Sea forms a backdrop
The line from Pontardulais was remarkably scenic. It also had its own passenger service – for miners but they’d let anyone else going up to the pit have a ride. Here’s the 0-4-0 Barclay taking the pitmen to work for the afternoon shift.