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Loading Iron Ore

Loading the Iron Ore at Storefield Quarry 1968

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Ironstone Railways

This film shows operations on several industrial railways used for carrying iron ore from quarries in the East Midlands of England, including loading operations in the quarries and haulage to Corby steel works or British Railways exchange sidings. A range of tank engines are shown in use in the late 1960’s, just before the lines were either closed or dieselised.

The film initially shows two ironstone quarries south of Corby - firstly Storefield Quarry, near Glendon, where in 1968 a train hauled by an Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST is loaded by mechanical diggers before departing; then, secondly, Cranford Quarry near Kettering, where in 1968 we see a train hauled by Bagnall 0-6-0ST 'Cranford No. 2' departing from the quarry, under a road bridge and reversing to the BR exchange sidings. At Storefield we also see the huge dragline excavators removing the overburden that covers the ironstone seam.

The scene changes to a quarry site at Gayton Wood Farm, near Blisworth in 1967 - we see 'Siemens', an 0-4-0ST, propelling loaded wagons down to the exchange sidings on the Blisworth-Banbury branch line, and running round them before propelling back the empties.

Then we see haulage of ironstone trains on the extensive Corby railway system of Stewarts & Lloyds in 1967. This extensive system, over 40 route miles in length, enabled ironstone to be brought to the steelworks from several nearby quarries. A variety of 0-6-0ST locomotives are seen, designed by Manning Wardle, Stephenson & Hawthorne (the Class 56), and Hunslet (the Class 50550, which was in effect the prototype of the War Department 'Austerity' tank locomotive). The film shows two Class 56s hauling a train up the steep gradients from the quarries, one at each end of the train.

The film ends near the Glendon exchange sidings serving Storefield Quarry in 1968, showing a Manning Wardle design of 0-6-0ST locomotive working hard to haul a loaded train up from the quarry before returning with the empties.

This film is featured on the DVD "Britain in the Days of Steam"

Ironstone Railways Date of Film: 1994 11 Minutes

Places and Dates of Identifiable Locomotives:

Also in Cranford Quarry, Avonside 0-6-0ST "Cranford" can be glimpsed (now preserved)

S&L 0-6-0T at Corby

Stewart & Lloyds 0-6-0ST at Corby 1967

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