Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways
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DVD Running Time: 72 minutes

Within a short drive from the French coast there were several small narrow gauge railways mainly associated with the building industry. This video captures 7 of these railways, with several still hard at work when this DVD was produced.

There is a wide variety of locomotive builders represented, with Gmeinder, rebuilt Rustons, Plymouth, Moes, Alsthom, Whitcomb and Jung motive power seen working.

Additional footage has also been added of the French brickworks that operates railways of 2 gauges, Briqueterie Chimot. This location still operates today.

Please see below for stills from the production

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The Moes loco hauls 12 empty skips around the back of Ploegsteert Brickworks. Date: Oct 1998.

Travelling under the road leading to Lomme town centre, a rebuilt Ruston from Lomme Brickworks pulls a train of skips to the claypits. Date: June 1999.


A rebuilt Whitcomb stands outside the tipping shed of Templeuve Brickworks. Date: Oct 2001.

As a train of empties is pushed away in the distance, a full train nears the road crossing at Lomme Brickworks. Date: June 1999.


Leaving the pit at Templeuve another rebuilt Ruston crosses a minor road on route to the brickworks. Date: Oct 1998.

Briquetieries du Nord No.27 was a small Plymouth loco, seen here shunting skips outside Templeuve tipping shed. Date: June 1999


A yellow Moes loco gently pulls forward the tain of skips under the large bucket and chain excavator at Ploegsteert. Date: Oct 1998.

At one of the tipping sheds at Ploegsteert the loco moves slowly inside as the skips are emptied. Date: Oct 1998


An elderly Jung loco backs skips to the clay pit along the 500mm gauge railway at Lagrive Brickworks. Date: July 1999.

After loading the skips at Lagrive Brickworks, the Jung loco moves back to couple up the train for the return journey. Date: July 1999.


No.1, a small Gmeinder loco pushes 4 loaded skips back to the brickworks at Rejou Brickworks. Date: July 2001

At Rejou Brickworks a small bucket and chain excavator fills the skips from a clay stockpile. Date July 2001.


The drying sheds at Leers are served by a network of tracks. The trolleys are hand pushed on this part of the railway. Date Aug 1996.

hree SW locos arrive out of the mine at Terres Rouge, the last narrow gauge system operated by Arbed. Aug 1996.


Steve Thomason 2013

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Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways