Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways
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DVD Running Time: 59 minutes

By the start of 2001, there were just 4 peat railways used for the transport of peat in England. A further railway ceased operation in the 1999-2000 season at Solway Moss, and the railway at Joseph Metcalf LTD, had been the previous casualty in 1998.

All six of these sites are seen operating in this DVD. All the railways were filmed in digital video with the exception of Solway Moss, which was filmed in Hi8. The video forms a full record of all the narrow gauge railways used in the peat industry in England since 1997.

Please see below for stills from the production

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The two Schöma locos plus slave units at Hatfield peatworks (date: 1997).

The Lister slowly makes its way back to the tipping shed at Wilmslow(date: 1999).


One of the few Motor Rails in near original external condition crosses a small bridge on the way for loading at Solway Moss(Date: 1996).

Solway Moss operated the only rotary tippler in England. It discharged two wagons at a time (Date: 1996).


Sand is loaded into the cab of a Motor Rail just prior to moving up to the tippler at Bolton Fell Peatworks (Date: 1999).

The tippler at Bolton Fell consisted of a platform that was hydraulically tilted up to about 50 degrees. This tippler also accommodates two wagons at a time (Date: 1999).


The Thomas Buck, the single Schöma loco currently at Swinefleet Peatworks approached Bank Top returning with a loaded train (Date: 1997).

An empty train just about to turn away into the peat fields with the usual train of 35 wagons (Date: 1997).


At Chat Moss, the works of Joseph Metcalf employed a similar process for emptying the wagons as at Swinefleet and Hatfield. The dumper truck uses a modified fork attachment which slots into channels under the wagon frame (Date: 1997).

In the last couple of years of operation Joseph Metcalf LTD had obtained a Motor Rail from Alan Keef as operations had expanded to take over the nearby Hollands site (date: 1997).


Steve Thomason 2013

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Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways