Industrial Railways

Series: Britain's Heritage

Publication Date15th November 2022

Book FormatPaperback





The very first railways were built by British industry, and at their height private industrial railways could be found all over Britain, moving mined and quarried raw materials, finished goods and much else. This is their story.
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Away from the glamour of the main line express, thousands of miles of industrial railway moved raw materials and finished products from the very dawn of railways in the UK. From sewage works to sugar factory, all manner of industries were served, employing on occasion dozens of locomotives or in other cases simply a horse or a petrol tractor. The Beckton gas works in London ran a massive railway, complete with locomotive roundhouse and signals, whilst the ironstone industry of the East Midlands operated on the edge of fields. Truly it can be said that one was never more than a mile or two from an industrial railway, though often its existence might not be well known. Cable worked lines abounded in town brickworks, and a cornucopia of locomotives provided power, whilst a fantastic array of specialist wagons moved all manner of goods, some of them hardly salubrious! A few industrial lines have survived to be kept as heritage attractions, one is even a Scheduled Ancient Monument. Part of the book looks at these heritage lines, as well as the ways in which you can find out more about them and their history or even become a spare time coal train driver.

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