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With the exception of peat harvesting operations (see below) I would hazard a guess that possibly/probably the last regular use in UK was to assist the removal of spent sand from filter beds at Llanforda Water Treatment Works near Oswestry in Shropshire. The filter bed was drained, temporary track ("Jubilee" type 2ft gauge) was laid on the floor of the bed and sand was shovelled by hand into V skips which were propelled by hand to the edge of the bed where they were lifted out by a crane (rubber-tyred) onto the permanent track which surrounded the beds. Short trains of skips were then hauled by Hunslet and Ruston locomotives to a tip. This operation continued until at least the mid 1980s.
My caveat re. peat is because although peat harvesting operations in UK (and on a much larger scale in Ireland) involve a good deal of non-permanent trackwork, that trackwork is for the most part nevertheless of the same sort of weight as the permanent (i.e. not periodically moved) track on the same operations, as opposed to being of lightweight section and construction of "traditional" portable railways.
One "PS" to Stefan's comments - at a number of mills in Java where the rail operations have been reduced to relatively short hauls from truckyard to mill there were nevertheless still (in 2010) reasonable stockpiles of portable field track held at the mills - Pangka and Sragi come to mind.
Hope this is of some interest.
--- In LRRSA@..., "stefan_matthaeus@..." <stefan_matthaeus@...> wrote:
portable tracks still can be observed on Java on these mills:
- Maybe Olean (trains are often replaced by trucks now)
- Maybe Jatiroto and Semboro (I haven't been there yet)
All other mills have terminated their field line activities. Rail
activities in these mills have been reduced to shunting in the factory
or completely terminated.
Am 24.01.2012 08:32, schrieb Chris Stratton:
Last July I saw and photographed some bullocks pulling a couple of cane
wagons along some track in a paddock near Penang Mill in Fiji. The
just laid across an already harvested section so I guess it was portable
From: LRRSA@... <mailto:LRRSA%40yahoogroups.com.au>
Of A C Lynn Zelmer
Sent: Tuesday, 24 January 2012 6:25 PM
To: LRRSA@... <mailto:LRRSA%40yahoogroups.com.au>
Subject: [LRRSA] Researching Portable Railways
At John Browning's suggestion I've been working on a Light Railways
on portable railways, such as those used for manual and animal power
tramways in the early days of sugar plantations, some use of which has
lasted into the current century in Fiji, Indonesia, etc.
The article has now gone well beyond my knowledge base for modelling, and
John is busy finishing up a book, so I'm appealing for help from
knows what companies (Decauville, O&K, Hudson, Gregg, etc.) supplied
portable systems to what countries, mills or plantations, and at what time
and through what agents. I know about Decauville and Homebush Mill but
As well, under what conditions are portable railways still being used?
Many thanks for your assistance
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