Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways
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Briqueterie Chimot
Marley
Valenciennes
 
Gauge : 500mm and 600mm
Status : Working
(click on photos to enlarge)

 
 

 

Date: July 2004

Date: July 2004

Date: July 2004

Approximately halfway back to the brickworks the Plymouth loco travels past signs of an older shallow clay pit. A train of 6 skips was about the maximum load. The skips were push/pulled in this fashion because there was no run round loop at the end of the line. The loco could therefore leave the skips infront and behind it at one of several tipping points.

There is no mill where the bricks are made. This is done by one of several rail (600mm gauge) mounted brick forming machines at the head of the drying sheds. The bricks are then loaded into barrows for stacking.

The 500mm gauge line runs from the rows of drying sheds, down a small tree lined dirt road to the kiln.

 

Date: October 2003

Date: October 2003

Date: July 2004

Here the 500mm gauge loco returns with a load of 5 wagons of dried bricks ready for firing in the kiln.

The kiln has 500mm tracks running around its perimeter and portable wagon turntables are laid at the relevant point to load the bricks inside.

The Plymouth loco on the 600mm gauge tracks at one of the tipping points.

Date: July 2004

Date: July 2004

Date: July 2004

At the claypit a small bucket and chain excavator is used to load finely crumbled clay into the skips.

The 500mm Lilliput loco seen waiting by the kilns. There is only one loco on the 500mm gauge and one on the 600mm gauge tracks.

The 500mm gauge tracks laid along the drying sheds. To access a specific shed, a portable turntable is used, and track then laid the length of the shed to manually load the bricks on and off the wagons.

Date: September 2015

Date: September 2015

Date: September 2015

By 2015, the site was still using both railways, and in fact had extended the use of the 600mm gauge line right into the main yard to dump the clay in a newly built shed. Here the loaded train on the 500mm gauge line is due to leave for the drying sheds, and in the background the Plymouth and skips can just be seen under the shed.

The 600mm gauge extension into the yard had been laid alongside the 500mm gauge line. The only place in France to see 2 loco worked narrow gauge lines of different gauges side by side. Sadly only a couple of years after these photos were taken, the use of the 600mm gauge line was stopped by 2017. A tractor and trailer being employed to transport clay from the pit. The 600mm gauge continues to be worked for a short time to deliver clay from the stockpile to the brick forming machines.

Here the small Lilliput loco heads out to the drying sheds to pick up a loaded rake of dried bricks ready for firing in the kiln, crossing the 600mm gauge tracks as it does so.

 
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Steve Thomason 2019
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Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways