The gauge question - David Mitchell Estate
Phil Rickard <chy_gwel_an_meneth@...>
John is correct in that the DME's overburden lines and works' lines
around the kiln's were 3ft-gauge. A very good photo of a TACL loco,
also on 3ft-ga exists - it is hauling skips around the kilns.
A 1920's (?) photo of the quarry also shows a loco therein - another
TACL maybe or the Whitcombe hauling trucks to the incline base?
The o/b lines used Western dump trucks and maybe it was on these that
the Whitcombe got a job. (The Commonwealth Engineer Nov 1926 only
shows std gauge and 3ft gauge - this is about the time of a major
upgrade of the plant and long after the original narrow-gauge firewood
tramway had give way to 4ft 8½ins-gauge)
The sleeper I found "out the back", next to the firewood tramway
formation, was a fair way from the works and the o/b dumps, but
immediately adjacent to the tramway (in the sort of position you might
toss it if you were re-sleepering and had no further use for it.) All
of which proves nothing.
I took photos and measurements at the time and 3ft 6ins comes to mind
but I'll go searching the Agfa boxes to confirm!
As Colin mentioned, scaling the best photo we have of the original
0-4-0G loco gives a gauge anywhere from 3ft to 3ft 6ins - maybe it was
one metre! I was hoping that roadworks on Swansea Road 11-12 years'
ago (Melway 38 G7) might find a sleeper from the 1890's but nothing
appeared, although the road people were looking (so they said).