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Discussion in 'Railway History & Nostalgia' started by SPNG1818, 7 Jan 2017.
What locomotive turning facilities existed at Mallaig in steam days?
Were you expecting something else?
I think OP may be thinking that there isn't much room with A830 as it is to have a turntable near the line, however I don't believe the current road existed there in those days.
It didn't - it was put in some time in the nineties I believe.
Some nice Mallaig pictures on this merailway blog, including one of the turntable:
Thank you very much for the link on the Mallaig extension. I expected that it would be turntable, but I didn't want presume. From the photo, it appears the turntable was a 50 footer.
Great pictures. Thanks for posting that.
I seem to remember reading how in bad weather the turntable used to get blown round and round which used to happen at a few windy open locations.
Probably needed to be a bit bigger than that to be able to turn round the observation car. What an effort that must have been, getting the loco off the front and the obs off the back, both turned, and then restored to opposite ends of the train, given that Mallaig didn't have a shunting loco.
A high tide and a westerly gale also used to result in the turntable well receiving large quantities of seawater and debris. The current carpark has the same problem in spite of being a foot or two little higher above the sea. Most islanders who leave their cars there have learned to leave them in the bays furthest from the sea.
The A830 alignment between the railway and the sea was opened in 1988. Between dieselisation (1963 IIRC) and 1967 the turntable was used only for turning the observation car. The sidings serving the turntable and those on the pier were lifted in 1967 when ownership of the harbour passed from BR to Mallaig Harbour Authority.
This link has photo of observation car being turned on the Mallaig turntable.