Non-timetabled freight movements

Timetables, traffic, industries served, operational issues

Non-timetabled freight movements

Postby Sedge » Fri Jul 15, 2016 5:32 pm

Would there be a record, and if so where, of non-timetabled freight movements. I am particularly interested in the following which occurred during the 1950's. 1. Purely army transport that I can recall going through Fochriw and presumably originated or terminated at Brecon. These trains contained all sorts of army vehicles including tanks. 2. A number of "cattle" wagons were frequently shunted into the station siding and mostly contained sheep which were then driven on the public highway to regular fairs which were held at Pentwyn. The cemetery wall being used as part of the impounding pens. 3. Ryans began "recycling" the old coal tips of the Fochriw and South Tunnel collieries, the older tips yielded about 40% small coal, and the old colliery line which was connected to the old B&M metals was used. 4. A "breezeblock" factory was located at the site of Fochriw colliery and was adjacent to the colliery line that connected with the joint GWR/RR metals at Cwm Bargoed. It had it's own loading facilities and platform but require a mainline engine to transport the wagons to and from the sidings at Cwm Bargoed about 1 mile away. Apart from 1. if the wagons involved would have formed part of timetabled services, would the "regular" timings have been altered to incorporate the additional time involved with dropping off and collecting same?
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Re: Non-timetabled freight movements

Postby s.w.johnson » Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:40 pm

I can't give a definitive reply but I do have some notices relating to the working of troupe specials between Hereford and Sennybridge. I suspect there would be similar notices for the workings you are interested in. The problem you face is they are not readily available. Possible sources are eBay and the railwayana auctions.
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Re: Non-timetabled freight movements

Postby Noel » Sat Jul 23, 2016 11:49 am

Sedge wrote:1. Purely army transport that I can recall going through Fochriw and presumably originated or terminated at Brecon. These trains contained all sorts of army vehicles including tanks.


As SWJ as indicated, these are likely to have worked to Devynock & Sennybridge, which was the nearest station to an exercise area. Presumably the vehicles were those of a unit going to/from that exercise area. The unit in Brecon was infantry, and I believe [but am not sure, so I am certainly open to correction] that the exercise area was for infantry. "The Neath and Brecon Railway", Jones, Dunstone and Watkins has, on p109, an Alan Jarvis photo of the station from 1962, which shows a 'Dingo' scout car on a Lowfit plus what is probably an army lorry parked alongside the platform. Infantry units of the 1950s and early 1960s would have had 'Dingo' and its successor, the 'Ferret', both small 4 wheel armoured vehicles, and possibly 'Saracen', a six wheel armoured personnel carrier. No tanks, though. The contemporary tank was 'Centurion' which was too wide to travel by rail, although there were still a smaller number of specialist engineers' vehicles which were based on the wartime 'Churchill' which could, and did, travel by rail.

Sedge wrote:4. A "breezeblock" factory was located at the site of Fochriw colliery and was adjacent to the colliery line that connected with the joint GWR/RR metals at Cwm Bargoed. It had it's own loading facilities and platform but require a mainline engine to transport the wagons to and from the sidings at Cwm Bargoed about 1 mile away.


So far as I know, the Cwmbargoed system was owned by the NCB and worked by their own locos, which would therefore have been available to work this traffic. This would then have been collected by the same services as removed the outgoing coal traffic.

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Re: Non-timetabled freight movements

Postby Sedge » Sun Jul 24, 2016 9:51 am

Thanks for your contributions. I can recall seeing a "main line" engine and brake van on the Cwm Bargoed/Fochriw section. However, since there was no coal related operation I doubt whether the NCB would have had their own motive power there. At that time Cwm Bargoed sidings were probably used to hold traffic related to the Dowlais Foundary which did have its own engines that travelled from/to the foundary to Cae Harris station/MPB over two separate single lines that used to cross the main road. Some years ago I made enquiries at the Brecon military office who, by its own admission, have very little historical details of the past army activities and was very eager to obtain the sparse information that I had collected for their archives. The only place that I have obtained information is the Nation Archive at Kew and that was WAR DIARIES of the Petrol Depot that existed at Fochriw colliery site during the war years a page of which is on my website at http://www.fochriwhistory.co.uk/page242
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Re: Non-timetabled freight movements

Postby Sedge » Mon Jul 25, 2016 8:32 am

The link to my website is not complete. It should be http//www.fochriwhistory.co.uk/page242.htm
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Re: Non-timetabled freight movements

Postby Sedge » Mon Jul 25, 2016 8:34 am

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Re: Non-timetabled freight movements

Postby Sedge » Mon Jul 25, 2016 8:38 am

Well I am certainly having a few "senior moments" here. However this is it, I hope http//www.fochriwhistory.co.uk/page403.htm
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Re: Non-timetabled freight movements

Postby Sedge » Mon Jul 25, 2016 8:40 am

I give up. The system does not even copy correctly http://www.fochriwhistory.co.uk/page403.htm
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Re: Non-timetabled freight movements

Postby Newport_rod » Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:12 pm

That seems to work Sedge, thanks
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