Saturday, September 11, 2010

How much stock did each UK narrow gauge railway have?

As the Peckforton Railway is intended to be a model of a hypothetical complete narrow gauge railway system (albeit compressed in mileage), I decided to do some research on other UK NG railways to determine their stock levels. I share my findings here in case you too might find the information useful. Please note that I have focused on public passenger carrying narrow gauge railways rather than industrial or miniature railways. I have included the Irish narrow gauge railways as they were almost exclusively 3 foot - which is the gauge closest to that on my railway.

I've drawn upon a range of sources - both book- and internet-based, but sometimes the information they gave was incomplete, contradictory or vague. In some cases, I have been able to find quite detailed breakdowns of the various types of rolling stock owned by a line - in others the information provides only an overall picture. In addition, of course, stock levels will have varied across the lifespan of the railway. Where possible I have tried indicating the levels towards the end of the line's life.

If you find errors or have more accurate or more detailed information, please let me know and I will amend the table accordingly. For more information on UK Narrow Gauge Railways please see my other blog (Narrow Gauge Railways UK).

England
Railway
 (alph order)
Lifespan
Gauge
Length
Motive power
Passenger stock
Goods stock
Alford & Sutton Tramway
1884-1889
2’ 6”
7 miles
3 steam trams
1 bogie
4 four-wheeled
? opens
Ashover
1925-1950
1’115/8
7¼ miles
6 steam
4 tramcar
8 bogie
40
Leek & Manifold
1904 – 1934
2’ 6”
8¼ miles
2 steam
4 bogie
2 opens
1 van
5 transporter wagons (for std gauge wagons)
Lynton & Barnstaple
1898 - 1935
1’11 ½“
19¼ miles
5 steam
17 bogie
8 four wheel opens
9 bogie opens
6 four wheel vans
4 bogie vans
2 bogie flats
2 bogie brake vans
2 breakdown cranes
1 match truck
Rye & Camber
1895-1939
3’
2¼ miles
2 steam
1 i/c petrol
2 bogie
6(?) opens
Southwold
1879-1929
3’
9½ miles
4 steam
Six 6-wheeled
37 open
2 vans
? private owner opens
Volk’s electric railway
1883 -
2’ 8½“
1¼ miles
10 railcars

?
Wolverton & Stony Stratford Tramway
1887 - 1926
3’ 6”
4½ miles
3 steam trams
1 steam
5 double deck bogie
? parcel vans
? opens
Scotland
Railway

Lifespan
Gauge
Length
Motive power
Passenger stock
Goods stock
Campbeltown & Machrihanish
1906 - 1932
2’ 3”
6 miles
5 steam
6 bogie
2 opens(?)
1 brake van
1 milk wagon
150 private owner (?)
Isle of Man
Railway
 (alph order)
Lifespan
Gauge
Length
Motive power
Passenger stock
Goods stock
Groudle Glen
1896 -
2’
1000 yd
2 steam
2 battery
1 i/c petrol
8 four wheel
0 (?)
1 coach converted to flat wagon
Isle of Man
1873 -
3’
46½ miles
(now 15½ miles)
16 steam
2 diesel railcars
? four wheel
14 six wheel
75 bogie

? opens
? four wheel brake end vans
2 bogie vans
? cattle vans
? fish wagons
? ballast hoppers
1 breakdown crane
Jersey
Railway
Lifespan
Gauge
Length
Motive power
Passenger stock
Goods stock
Jersey Rly & Tramway
1870 – 1936
3’ 6”
7½ miles
5 steam
4 diesel railcars
23 coaches / brake vans
21 wagons
Wales
Railway
 (alph order)
Lifespan
Gauge
Length
Motive power
Passenger stock
Goods stock
Corris
1859 - 1948
2’ 3”
6½ miles
4 steam
11 four wheel (originally)
8 bogie (5 rebuilt from above)
? opens
1 guards van
? privately owned slate wagons
Festiniog Railway
1836-1946
(re-opened 1955)
1’ 11½“
14 miles
12 steam
8 (?) four wheel
12 (?) bogie
2 bogie luggage

1 van
?
? privately owned slate wagons
Glyn Valley tramway
1873 - 1935
2’ 4½“
8 miles
4 steam
14 four wheel
258
NWNGR / Welsh Highland
1877 – 1923
1932 – 1937
1980 –
1997 -
1’ 11½“
21 miles (originally)
23½  miles (now)
5 steam
? diesel
8 bogie
104
Talyllyn
1866 – 1951
1952 -
2’ 3”
7¾ miles
2 steam
3 four wheel
1 guards van (4 wheel)
200?
1 gunpowder van
Vale of Rheidol
1902 – 1988
1988 -
1’ 11½“
11¾ miles
3-4 steam
12 bogie (originally)
16 bogie (now)
1 brake van
14 (originally)

Welshpool & Llanfair
1903 – 1956
1963 -
2’ 6”
9 miles
2 steam
 + preservation = 8 steam + 6 i/c
3 bogie
32 opens
4 vans

Northern Ireland
Railway
 (alph order)
Lifespan
Gauge
Length
Motive power
Passenger stock
Goods stock
Ballymena, Cushendall & Red Bay
1876/84 – 1937/9
3’
22¼ miles
3 steam
10 four wheel tramcar carriages
1 bogie saloon
160 (?) goods
2 brake vans
Ballymena & Larne
1878/89 - 1950
3’
12 miles (+ 1½ miles)
6 steam
15
347 goods
Ballycastle
1880 - 1924
3’
16¼ miles
3-4 steam
7 six wheel
4 bogie
1 guards van

55 opens/vans
5 cattle wagons
1 guards van
Castlerigg & Victoria Bridge Tramway
1883 – 1933
3’
7¼ miles
6 steam
1 railcar
?
31 opens/vans
Clogher Valley tramway
1887 – 1941
3’
37 miles
8 steam
2 railcars
6 brake vans
13 bogie

42 open
2 bogie open
8 ballast wagons
16 covered
27 cattle
2 horse box
2 butter wagons
4 timber trucks
Cross border
Railway
 (alph order)
Lifespan
Gauge
Length
Motive power
Passenger stock
Goods stock
County Donegal
1906 - 1959
3’
124½ miles
19 steam
9 petrol railcars
11 diesel railcars
11 six wheel
48 bogie
2 horse box

113 four wheel flat
1 six wheel flat
4 bogie flat
1 open
150 four wheel covered
6 six wheel covered
11 bogie covered
13 four wheel cattle
20 goods/horse/cattle
8 tank
2 breakdown cranes
Londonderry & Lough Swilly
1862-1953
3’
99½ miles
17 steam
22 six-wheel
16 bogie
1 horse box
145 flat wagons
107 vans
1 mess van
1 stores van
1 crane
Eire
Railway
 (alph order)
Lifespan
Gauge
Length
Motive power
Passenger stock
Goods stock
Cavan & Leitrim
1887 - 1959
3’
33 ¾  miles + 14 ¾ mile branch
9 steam
20 (?)
1 (?) horsebox
? opens
? vans
? brake vans
Cork, Blackrock & Passage
1846 – 1932
3’ (originally 5’3”)
16 miles
4 steam
30 bogie

12 open
10 covered
11 cattle
2 brake vans
Cork & Muskerry Light Railway
1887 - 1934
3’
17 ½ miles
9 steam
22 - 27 bogie (?)
31 open
32 covered van
4 timber
8 brake vans
Schull & Skibbereen
1886 -1947
3’
15 ½ miles
4 steam
5 four wheel
3 bogie
2 brake van
5 open
10 small box
2x 12ton box
3 large box
25 cattle
4 bolster
Tralee & Dingle
1891 – 1939 (passenger) 1953 (goods)
3’
31½ miles + 6 mile branch
8 steam
1 petrol inspection car
20 bogie
1 horse box
7 open coal
5 open ballast
25 open cattle
15 closed
4 closed ventilated
3 bogie closed
1 bogie closed ventilated
1 butter van
5 cattle/goods
6 cattle/goods ventilated
8 cattle
2 bogie bolster

West Clare
1887/1892 - 1961
3’
48 miles
11 steam
4 diesel railcars
29 six wheel
5 six wheel brake
13 bogie (ex Tralee & Dingle)
2 bogie brake (ex T&D)
1 horse box
74 opens
16 ballast wagons
11 open coal wagons
6 cattle opens
3 flat wagons
76 covered vans
9 luggage vans
70 cattle vans
1 timber wagon
1 water wagon
3 spray wagons

It has been difficult to format the table in the editor for the blog, so my apologies for some of the formatting going awry.

2 comments:

Tim Lockley said...

This is a fun topic to speculate on. I've taken a slightly different approach for answering this question on my garden line. I have a weakness for railway "professional textbooks" dealing with the practicalities of everyday railway work, and they shed an interesting light on the subject.

The laws governing railway goods charges were created in the dawn of the railway age, when most of the working experience of the transport business was in ships, narrow boats and carts. One provision which haunted the industry for over a century was "demurrage" charges and when they could be levied. If you delivered a load, and the customer didn't unload his wagon you could charge him, like a fine for an overdue library book, BUT only after it had been standing at destination for three full days. Most business were glad of three days' worth of free warehouse space and took full advantage. Add similar delays at the other end and most wagons were lucky to manage one round trip a week.

Wagons make expensive "scenery" and we modellers can generally get by with far less than the prototype to simulate the actual movement of traffic (the bit we're interested in). I did some calculations for my own line (10.5 miles long) based on population data, which gave me a rough estimate for traffic of 73 wagonloads a week- and if each wagon manages one round trip I need 73 wagons. With my modellers' hat on I reckon I can simulate the movement of that much traffic with around 25, plus brake (12 maximum in any train, plus a few to "dress" the sidings and make them look lived in) but numbering them much higher- I may not really own 73 wagons but if I have a No73 that kind-of hints at the existence of 72 more somewhere out of sight.

Also, the statistics for ownership of vans and other specialist vehicles can be a little misleading. A lot of purists will wheel out stats for real fleet sizes and use them to "prove" that the average modeller has too many vans, cattle wagons &c and not enough opens BUT those wagons were used for high-value traffic which would be unloaded and returned to traffic much more quickly, as a rule. A line might not have many vans, but would probably make much better use of their more expensive assets. If like me you're not too concerned about modelling vehicles standing around doing nothing (I haven't the siding space or funds for that many wagons, for one thing) but their movement a higher proportion of vans and "special" vehicles is no bad thing.

Ge Rik said...

Thanks Tim. Really interesting approach. My 'real' railway would be around seven miles in length (with five stations) and I've now ended up with 60 wagons (including three brake vans and a mobile crane) (see - Stock List. My main restriction is sidings and storage space. I can't fit any more wagons into the storage roads in the garage.