Teeside current freight services

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Chris Butler

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I'd appreciate help in understanding what freight flows there currently are to/from the Teeside area. I've quickly searched RTT and the internet , but I've attached two maps with numbers that correspond to the comments/questions below:-

  1. Hartlepool Docks - I can't find any reference in RTT. I assume the branch is disused as the map says.
  2. Seaton-on-Tees - I see regular trains. I guess nuclear flasks ?

  3. 20" Pipe Mill - I see services in RTT. I guess finished steel.
    Are there any other flows on the branch, e.g. to the scrap metal yard shown on the map ?

  4. Coal & Lime Terminal - I guess there's no coal traffic, but is this facility used for biomass ?
    Any lime flows or anything else ?

  5. Redcar Corus - I assume no traffic with the demise of the furnace etc. or is there any specialist steel or services still generating traffic?

  6. Seal Sands/Port Clarence/Haverton Hill - I can't find any reference to flows to/from any location on this whole branch. It can't all be closed can it ?

  7. TRIP (Tees Riverside Intermodal Park)/Cobra/Middlesbrough Wharf - TRIP is still advertised as open, but I can't see any flows, nor to the other two locations. Are there any ?

  8. Tees Dock - I can see a number of flows to Tees Dock. Is this also the area called Teesport ? I also see plenty of traffic to "Tees Dock (FLT)", but the only container terminal on the map is the "Wilton - FLT" near my number 9. Are these the same place ?

  9. I guess this area used to be the steel works. What's left?. As I mentioned there is a container terminal shown. Is this where the waste terminal connected by the binliner to Knowlsely is ?
Any locations I missed ?

Many thanks for any help.

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plannerman

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I used to visit one of the terminals up at Seal Sands and the track around there is long disused, if not formally closed. There are sections where site fences have been built straight across the tracks, road crossing sections which have been concreted over etc.
 

ainsworth74

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1. I believe is out of use yes.

2. Yep flask trains for instance here is a video of one at Seaham on it's way from the terminal.

3. Not sure but I suspect it's only traffic to the pipe mill at the moment. I think they have had deliveries by rail of rail vehicles to be scrapped in the distant past.

4. I'm pretty certain that's now known as Redcar Bulk Terminal and is still active and but there's not much movement at the moment that I'm aware of. A few Q paths (runs as required) are present to a few different places. Biomass I believe requires special handling equipment so is unlikely to flow through there. If you look at Redcar B.S.C. Ore T. and Redcar Bulk Terminal Gbrf on RTT that should show the traffic down there.

5. I'm not actually sure what this is. It appears to be drawn in the location of the internal railway linking the blast furnace at Redcar with the steel plant at Lackenby (the 'Hot Metal' Railway) but that was internal traffic only as far as I'm aware (you used to see torpedoes full of motel iron making their way down it). In any event there is still some traffic bringing in steel slab (past the now cold and abandoned slab steel plant) for the remaining active facility. Slag Road lc is a good bet on RTT to find movements. See here for example.

6. Not sure. Some of the industry around there is certainly still active but I bet any rail flows are very ad-hoc and rare and I would gamble most of it is disused in all but name.

7. I don't think TRIP is a thing anymore but there are still movements to AV Dawson down there. Check Middlesbro' Dawson Ayrton and Middlesbrough Dawson Gbrf on RTT.

8. I believe the term Teesport basically covers everything in the area that deals with shipping by sea. Tees Dock is therefore a part of Teesport. I think the Wilton FLT is now closed and Freightliner's trains now use what on your map is Tees Dock - Cleveland Potash. It's a shared facility now with some siding for Potash and some as the freightliner terminal.

9. See my answer to 5 but to expand the actual BOS plant (the bit where they made steel from the iron out of the blast furnace) is closed and awaiting demolition at some stage. So most of the internal railway is now disused. British Steel (the resurrected version) still have a beam mill on site but I think the majority, if not all, finished traffic goes out by road with just slabs being imported. They also have various anciliary support services on the site but again very limited if any rail related activity. I would say on that map around 9 basically nothing is in use at all anymore apart probably a handful of sidings.

--

There is of course still flows to the steel works up at Skinningrove and the potash mine at Boulby as well which you've not mentioned but do travel through the area of your maps.
 

DarloRich

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Tesside is a shadow of its former self ( sigh)

4. I'm pretty certain that's now known as Redcar Bulk Terminal and is still active and but there's not much movement at the moment that I'm aware of. A few Q paths (runs as required) are present to a few different places. Biomass I believe requires special handling equipment so is unlikely to flow through there.

Biomass comes in through Tyne doesn't it?

There is of course still flows to the steel works up at Skinningrove and the potash mine at Boulby as well which you've not mentioned but do travel through the area of your maps.

Somehow Skinningrove keeps hanging on. No idea how really but it is an employment lifeline to east Cleveland.

4. I'm pretty certain that's now known as Redcar Bulk Terminal and is still active and but there's not much movement at the moment that I'm aware of. A few Q paths (runs as required) are present to a few different places. Biomass I believe requires special handling equipment so is unlikely to flow through there.

Is there still coal (?) from Redcar Bulk Terminal to Scunthorpe?
 

ainsworth74

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Tesside is a shadow of its former self ( sigh)

Pre-covid I used to get the train to Middlesbrough for work each day. Still depressing to see the cold and slowly rusting and deteriorating exteriors of the coke works and steel plant. Or going for a walk and seeing the carcass of the blast furnace in the distance. Anyway, progress I guess...

Biomass comes in through Tyne doesn't it?

Yep there's a biomass facility at Tyne and there's also one at Hull (I've been there on a railtour!).

Somehow Skinningrove keeps hanging on. No idea how really but it is an employment lifeline to east Cleveland.

Quite remarkable really that it's still a going concern. I'd have thought it would have been a prime candidate for closure but I'm not going to object.

Is there still coal (?) from Redcar Bulk Terminal to Scunthorpe?

There's quite a few paths for stuff from the Ore Terminal to Scunthorpe. Not sure what the cargo is but I think coal is probably a safe bet.
 

Chris Butler

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I used to visit one of the terminals up at Seal Sands and the track around there is long disused, if not formally closed.

Thanks to all for a great set of replies. Keep any other info coming, but the picture is a lot clearer now. The only thing not mentioned by anyone is the Knowlsey - Wilton binliner. Where does that go to ?

I'm not actually sure what this is. It appears to be drawn in the location of the internal railway linking the blast furnace at Redcar with the steel plant at Lackenby (the 'Hot Metal' Railway) but that was internal traffic only as far as I'm aware (you used to see torpedoes full of motel iron making their way down it).
Yes, if you look at both maps combined they confirm what you say. It is (was) part of the 'Hot Metal' Railway.

In any event there is still some traffic bringing in steel slab (past the now cold and abandoned slab steel plant) for the remaining active facility. Slag Road lc is a good bet on RTT to find movements. See here for example.
There's two Scunthorpe flows shown on the Freightmaster maps. One steel (which is the one you linked to that goes to Lackenby) and one that is coal/biomass, but looked to me like biomass. It's now clear that is coal to the ore terminal (see below).

I would say on that map around 9 basically nothing is in use at all anymore apart probably a handful of sidings.
When I looked on Google Earth there did look to be a couple of rail served places that look active round there. That's not to say they actually use the adjacent sidings of course .

There is of course still flows to the steel works up at Skinningrove and the potash mine at Boulby as well which you've not mentioned but do travel through the area of your maps.
Yes, I had checked those flows and could see they are still active. Thanks for mentioning them though.

Somehow Skinningrove keeps hanging on. No idea how really but it is an employment lifeline to east Cleveland.
I assume (but am not sure) that it is because Caterpillar has an adjacent site to which Skinningrove supply parts to make up caterpillar tracks for enormous diggers etc. I guess the integration of the steel works and Caterpillar plant makes it still viable versus re-locating.

Is there still coal (?) from Redcar Bulk Terminal to Scunthorpe?
Yes. There are two flows from Scunthorpe. One (see the link ainsworth74 posted) is steel to Lackenby. The other (which is missing from the Freightmaster timetable) is to Redcar Ore Terminal, but is shown on their map. That could well be coal because it is shown on the coal/biomass map. It seems to be biomass, but it's probably coal.

By the way, the coal flow goes via Knottingley and doesn't join the ECML till Colton Jnc. I guess because of speed limitations, but I don't really know.

Again, thanks for the responses.
 

Freightmaster

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Yes. There are two flows from Scunthorpe. One (see the link ainsworth74 posted) is steel to Lackenby. The other (which is missing from the Freightmaster timetable) is to Redcar Ore Terminal
The Redcar to Scunthorpe coking coal traffic hasn't run for several months now, I'm afraid.

I fact, I'm not aware of any remaining freight traffic from either of the two terminals at Redcar these days... :frown:




MARK
 

ExRes

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DCR undertook some route learning from Carlisle to Seaton in the early part of last year which was rumoured at the time to be for aggregate trips, nothing has ever come of it though, perhaps still in the future or not found to be worthwhile I wonder?
 

marsker

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I was past the entrance to the Redcar Ore Terminal just before the latest lockdown started and the track didn't look to have been used for some time. Traffic there was normally empties in and loaded out. Back in the day when Corus/Tata ran the steelworks there, I was told that bulk carriers frequently part unloaded there and then went to Immingham to unload for Scunthorpe as Redcar has the deepest water of the East Coast ports and they could only get into Immingham once the draught was reduced.

Traffic from Boulby is partly to Teesport (mainly Polyhalide these days) and partly to Middlesbrough Dawson's Wharf (mainly road salt).

The rolling mills at Lackenby and Skinningrove are fed with steel from Scunthorpe. Normally trains to Skinningrove are shown as from Tees Yard, so I assume that they are split there. Skinningrove appears to have survived as it serves a niche market roilling "Special Sections".
Traffic to Hartlepool is steel slab and comes from Margam.

Freightliner moved their operation from Wilton into Teesport a few years ago, as has been alluded to above. There are other intermodal services operated into and out of Teesport by GBRf, DB(C) and DRS. I think the DRS traffic is mainly Tesco related (They have a big distribution centre at Teesport), the others are mainly maritiime.

The Knowsley services runs into the Wilton site using the route to the old Freightliner depot. There is a combined heat and power plant there that takes the rubbish.

I haven't seen any traffic to Port Clarence recently, the line has been abandoned beyond that. There were occasional oil trains there last year.

There is some freight traffic through the area, Biomass trains from Port of Tyne tend to run down the Durham Coast line through Eaglescliffe to Northallerton and oil tanks, certainly from Jarrow, are routed via the Stillington line from Ferryhill to Stockton, then on via Eaglescliffe to Northallerton.

Hope this helps
 

Chris Butler

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Skinningrove appears to have survived as it serves a niche market roilling "Special Sections".
Yes. The special sections are sections of caterpillar track for the Caterpilar (company name) diggers that I mentioned above.
The Knowsley services runs into the Wilton site using the route to the old Freightliner depot. There is a combined heat and power plant there that takes the rubbish.
Ah. I though that maybe was it. I think that explains the site I can see on Goole Earth that I mentioned above.

Thanks for your help. Yes, it was useful.
 

Freightmaster

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I fact, I'm not aware of any remaining freight traffic from either of the two terminals at Redcar these days...
Only a few days after I made that bold statement, a new flow of ballast from Redcar to Doncaster
has started running this week!





MARK
 

stantheman

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Does Thrislington near Ferryhill still send out traffic to Tees ?
Also there is coal from Blyth to somewhere which is staged at Tees I think , this does not seem to have run for a while but did yesterday although it seemed to terminate at Darlington ?
Is the bridge over the middle of the yard still there , last time I visited many years ag9 there was plenty of freight but I ignored the Pacers , regret it now
 

Freightmaster

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Does Thrislington near Ferryhill still send out traffic to Tees ?
The Thrislington to Port Talbot (via Tees yard) lime traffic ended a few years ago,
but GBRf still operate occasional trainloads to Scunthorpe.



Also there is coal from Blyth to somewhere which is staged at Tees I think , this does not seem to have run for a while but did yesterday although it seemed to terminate at Darlington ?
North Blyth to Port Talbot - yesterday's train was the first of the year, but it ran so late
that it missed out Tees yard altogether, hence appearing to 'terminate' at Darlington!





MARK
 

bearhugger

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Is the bridge over the middle of the yard still there , last time I visited many years ag9 there was plenty of freight but I ignored the Pacers , regret it now
I'm assuming you mean the road bridge that runs from the Teesside Park turnoff of the A66 ovr to the Tees Barrage ( Google maps link)? If so, then yes it is still there. Though there's not as much to see in Tees Yard as there has been a recent spate of track lifting and general clearing up by all accounts.
 

stantheman

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Yes . Looking back at slides in 2003 from there I see a rake of large black pipes in the yard . What were these anyone ? Also the Redcar to Hardendale with its Class 60
 

Harvester

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Is the north side of the Norton triangle (East to West Junctions) out of use. The main traffic flow was Dolomite from Thrislington to the Steetley magnesite works at Hartlepool, but this ceased over ten years ago. The latest (15th edition) of Rail Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland, still shows the triangle intact.
 

marsker

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As far as I am aware, the north side of the triangle (the original Clarence Railway route from Shildon to Port Clarence and the straightest side of the triangle) is still "in use" though now very rarely. Norton East box is normally locked out and needs to be opened specially for the curve to be used. The area is about to be resignalled and this change might bring some use, as any trains to/from the north from Hartlepool Pipe Mill currently run via Eaglescliffe and Darlington, time will tell whether this is to be the case. There is a little bit about it here: https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/handsome-little-signal-box-demolished-19695962
 

Adrian Barr

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I like looking taking a look at specific areas, especially freight-wise, and Teeside is fascinating, if nowadays in decline.

For a really good background look at Teeside freight locations (back in EWS days) I strongly recommend the poolieboy07 channel on youtube. The quantity of videos is overwhelming but if you click on the "playlists" tab there are separate playlists for Billingham/Norton, Thornaby/Tees, Ferryhill, Thompsons scrapyard & Stockton, and the Seal Sands Branch - the latter is particularly fascinating as it includes views of internal movements in ICI Billingham along with views of the HCN (Hydrocyanic acid) tanks.

For some freight cab rides in the Teeside area from a similar era, there are several on the KennyQ08 channel including Redcar, Tees Dock and the Stillington branch.

For a general guide to the port infrastructure and how it relates to rail traffic in the area, the "Tees and Hartlepool Port Handbook 2017/18" is an interesting PDF document from PD Ports:
https://www.pdports.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Tees-and-Hartlepool-2017.pdf

(When I'm referring to Quail maps below I mean the Trackmaps series, for any younger readers).

1) I honestly can't think what the last regular freight was into Hartlepool Docks. A lovely 1989 OPC Book "Rail Freight Today" by C.R. Anthony & B. Rogers mentions the "Linkflow" private siding in the docks occasionally handling imported steel 'forwarded as required.' Linkflow is also mentioned as handling Reed Paper "much of which goes to Carlisle." I think the Reed Paper factory is still open, now trading as Saica Pack, and produces corrugated cardboard and related packaging. Looks like it's not actually located in the docks but close enough for it to have been a convenient loading point in Speedlink days. I assume there has been occasional traffic from the docks since Speedlink ended, but I can't think what or when. Hartlepool Docks is owned by PD Ports and their website mentions that "Hartlepool offers rail access." Probably falls into the "not in use but could be reactivated if required" bracket. I think PD Ports see rail access as an asset that might be potentially useful for future contracts. The "Invest in Hartlepool" website to this day proudly boasts that "British Rail also operate regular speedlink freight services to Harwich, Southampton, Stranraer and Warrington. Space is bookable on air braked rolling stock for next day delivery." If only!

A bit further north, I found this video of a scrap train from Sunderland South Dock in 2016 -
Video: South Dock Freight 2016
Channel: 54A
Another more recent video shows the track recording unit visiting the branch.
Some good historical pictures in this RMWeb thread:
https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/i...-dock-branch-to-reopen-2015/?findpost=1609701

Seaham appears to be taking a trainload of cement about once a week from Tunstead at the moment, and has previously had trains from Oxwellmains. One of the KennyQ08 cab rides goes right down into the cement terminal. I have a vague idea that there was a trial of steel coil from Seaham a few years back, although I could be confusing it with somewhere else...

2) Seaton on Tees - still in use for Flask trains, already mentioned.

3) Hartlepool Pipe Mill. The pipe mill receives regular trainloads of steel coil, on open coil carriers, from Port Talbot (I believe this goes into the area marked "20 inch pipe mill" on a quail map). The pipe mill dispatches the big diameter pipes up to Georgemas (also to Leith in the past). Not sure when these last ran; I think this flow depends on individual contracts rather than being continuous. Smaller diameter pipes also used to be sent up to Laurencekirk (and later Raiths Farm at Aberdeen) but I don't think these have run for a few years.

I'm slightly baffled by the "Graythorp scrapyard" on that map. Able UK appear to be located adjacent to the Seaton on Tees branch and had a planning application in 2007 for "Installation of a railway track. This would branch off from the power station line and would further branch into two routes either side of the dock". From google satellite imagery there is no evidence of a scrapyard near the sidings for the pipe mill, and no evidence of any sidings being constructed as per the planning application. Might be some kind of planning saga with the plans changing, or perhaps this is fantasy railfreight planning syndrome - locals might know more.

4) There are two terminals at Redcar, shown on a quail map as "Redcar Mineral Terminal" and "Redcar Ore Terminal" (the whole complex is known as Redcar Bulk Terminal). A quail map shows a junction off the main line at Redcar Ore Terminal Junction, the branch then splitting shortly afterwards at Tod Point Junction into the two terminals. To the left (mineral terminal) the track gives the appearance of being disused on google maps. To the right, the track looks in better condition and leads beneath the massive overhead bunkers and conveyors which can be seen in this view of a jumbo train leaving the terminal for Scunthorpe last year loaded with either coal or coke (?).
https://www.railfreight.com/railfre...ing-forecast-tidal-wave-of-trains-for-redcar/

A promotional video on youtube shows the dock area and has some interesting glimpses of the rail facilities -
Video Title - RedcarBulkTerminal.
Channel - Redcarbulk
The sight of a Freightliner coal train dropping coal into a hopper is confusing me, but pausing the video at 1.12 shows a GBRF coal train under a massive overhead bunker / conveyor system. On google maps, the track running down the side of the bunker runs beyond this point to a roadway next to stockpiles of coal and aggregates. This must be the siding pictured in this article, which shows a DRS 66 with a rake of sidetippers loaded with ballast:
https://www.railfreight.com/uk/2019...ling-bulk-to-regenerate-the-north-of-england/
These trains are mentioned in previous posts as running to Doncaster this week. Last year they were running to Carlisle-
Video: DRS Class 66302 with ballast wagons pass Darlington on Redcar B.S.C Ore to Carlisle 20/04/20
Channel: Darlington Railways

Historically, I think the mineral terminal was where minerals such as the lime from Thrislington / Hardendale was offloaded for use in the steelworks. The ore terminal had a connection into the steelworks internal railway as well as the link to the main line. The power station coal traffic obviously dwindled with the rundown of coal, but in EWS days Redcar also used to send out coal in MEAs to cement works at Penyffordd, Ketton, Clitheroe, and Rugby yard (for New Bilton). Coke from Redcar to Scunthorpe ran for a long time in HEA wagons, but I believe it switched to HTAs (?) and has also run to Port Talbot in these wagons. There's also a Facebook post from GBRF in summer 2019 referring to a short term contract moving coke nuts from Redcar to Scunthorpe in box wagons - https://www.facebook.com/GBRailfreight/posts/2302547669828160
There have been "jumbo" trains of double-headed 66s hauling HKAs from Redcar to Scunthorpe, but I'm not 100% sure if this was coal or coke.
Video Title: Jumbo Coal Train with DB Cargo 66044 and 66136.
Channel - stephensrailways
To confuse things further, in 2019 a new flow started from Redcar to Scunthorpe conveying some kind of substitute mineral product similar to PFA (pulverised fuel ash) for use in the manufacture of GGBS (Ground Granulated Blast-furnace Slag - a cement additive / partial substitute) in a plant at Scunthorpe. I think this was to replace material normally obtained from coal-fired power stations. This was conveyed in open boxes (MBAs, MEAs and SSAs) but I don't think this has run for a while. There's a video here where you can see a small dust cloud being created by something which is clearly light-coloured, unlike coke:
Video: DB 66192 works 6D15 Redcar BSC Ore Terminal to Scunthorpe Trent Sidings @ Sherburn-in-Elmet | 1/9/19
Channel: 317 Dan

5) "Redcar Corus" on the map was the Redcar blast furnaces which had an internal "hot metal railway" connecting them to the steelmaking plant next to the rolling mills at Lackenby, already mentioned. I don't think this line was used by any locos or wagons coming from the main line network, I think it was purely an internal system.

6) Seal Sands / Port Clarence / Haverton Hill. I don't think there are any current flows on the branch. The most recent traffic was probably the GBRF petroleum flow in the distinctive "Greenergy" tanks from Port Clarence to Cardiff Docks which I believe ended early in 2019.
There's a nice video on youtube showing the loading process:
Video: Loading a train
Channel: Greenergy International
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5F_iwssLL-Q
There appear to have been four terminals at Seal Sands. Right at the very end of the branch is Simon Storage North. The last traffic out of here that I can remember was caustic soda in tank wagons for Dalry, tripped to Tees yard and then moved by Enterprise (I believe this switched origin to Runcorn Folly Lane in 2002). There were also some fuel oil trains running from here in the early 2000s, I remember seeing one running to West Burton with a class 56 and 2-axle tanks. I suspect Simon Storage might also have dispatched odd wagons to Sellafield - maybe sulphuric acid - but I could be confusing this with similar flows from Sandbach and Middlesbrough Goods.
Simon Storage South is shown on quail maps as a polypropelene terminal (its the one on your map opposite BASF) - the siding still appears to exist but I've no knowledge of when it was last in active use; I suspect it's not been active since British Rail days.
BASF at Seal Sands despatched Hydrocyanic acid to Haverton Hill. From youtube it appears trains arriving here diverged from the branch, immediately crossed a road on an open crossing, ran into a run-round loop labelled as "Monsanto sidings" on older quail maps, ran round, drew forward into a headshunt not shown on the quail map, then backed into the BASF sidings themselves. The track in this area appears to have been lifted according to google maps, but you can see the outline of the lifted sidings.
Video - 56131 hcn tanks seal sands 28 12 00
Channel - poolieboy07
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVMqDuPxvpA
For a blast from the past, below is a link to a picture of the first recorded working from Seal Sands in 1970 - presumably from the Monsanto sidings mentioned above, next to BASF.
https://picturestocktonarchive.com/2013/12/13/first-timetabled-train-seal-sands-c1970/

If you skip to 9min in this video you get a window view on the branch past Port Clarence:
Video: The Durham Coast Railtour..37415 and 37428..12/08/2000
Channel: Nick Parry
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eze8ghJ28MM
A line from the Greenergy terminal joins from the right. There is a run round loop here, which would be where the Greenergy trains ran round to propel into the terminal. The line into "Port Clarence Sidings" is about to join from the left just before the end of the sequence. These sidings were used for tank wagon repairs during the EWS era. I believe the actual refinery (owned by Petroplus) ceased production in 2012 (presumably the tank trains stopped at the same time?), and the later Greenergy traffic was from a storage terminal on the site.

At Haverton Hill (ICI Billingham), I think the last chemicals traffic was the HCN train from Seal Sands. Paul Shannon's "EWS" book says the last chemicals workings at Haverton Hill ceased in 2002. Apparently the last carbon dioxide rail traffic in the UK was from Haverton Hill to Willesden, ceasing in 1998. Haverton Hill sidings (or at least parts of the rail system there) remained open; on the poolieboy07 channel there is footage of DRS using the location in 2005 (presumably for wagon repairs) - see all the videos from Belasis Lane. There have been some other odd bits and pieces on the branch - on the same poolieboy07 channel there is footage of freightliner 66s on trains of contaminated ballast at Port Clarence - but apart from the petroleum traffic from Port Clarence, the line hasn't seen much use in recent years.

7) I'd never heard of TRIP, but it appears to be an extension of the AV Dawson facility more commonly referred to by the railway as "Middlesbrough Goods." There are some pictures here, including the resident class 08 shunter (you can click on the cycling pictures halfway down the page to see slightly bigger versions):
https://www.portofmiddlesbrough.com/rail-freight/
This article in the Northern Echo has a bit more info (lots of ads, best viewed with an ad blocker)!
https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/b...n-moving-tar-tanks-port-talbot-port-clarence/
It refers to a contract to receive "tar tanks" from Port Talbot, which are ISO tank containers loaded on FKA intermodal flats. I assume the contents are some residue of the steelmaking process, possibly coal tar, which has industrial uses. This runs as a block train overnight from South Wales and is fairly distinct compared to the average intermodal train as it consists only of 20ft ISO tank containers.
So TRIP at Middlesbrough goods is active, but I don't think the actual wharf itself right by the river is currently in use (judging from Google maps).
There is a modern steel warehouse which receives regular trainloads of steel coil (in covered wagons) from Port Talbot and Llanwern (same train calls at both). Cobra / Aryton is the long established terminal for the Boulby traffic and there appear to be a couple of trains running per day.
There are also gypsum trains loaded at Middlesbrough goods. On the website already linked is a picture of some GBRF box wagons being loaded, probably with gypsum. There are paths to/from Hotchley Hill, but I don't know how recently those have run. On google maps you can see blue gypsum containers on flat wagons in the terminal (along with the tar tanks mentioned above). There are currently regular gypsum trains from Middlesbrough Tees Dock to Kirkby Thore (Newbiggin) using MBA box wagons.
Middlesbrough Goods was also used as the loading point for tanks of nitric acid to Sellafield (maybe a couple of tanks at a time, not a full trainload), but I don't think this has run since last year.

8) Tees Dock and Teesport are the same place (I think the port is named Teesport and Tees Dock is more of a railway name)

Wilton freightliner terminal was replaced by Teesport intermodal terminal in 2014, already mentioned.
Freightliner run a daily service to and from Felixstowe. DB run trains to both Mossend and Grangemouth. GBRF are running a service to and from Doncaster Iport, and DRS have a triangular Daventry - Iport - Tees Dock - Daventry service for Tesco.
There is also the Cleveland Potash terminal which can receive 2 or 3 trains daily from Boulby.
If you look on google maps satellite imagery you can see a potash train at Tees Dock, more potash wagons being unloaded in the terminal (is that an internal shunting loco?), and a Freightliner intermodal train on the container loading pad, plus more intermodal wagons stabled in sidings nearby, beside which there appear to be 2 or 3 shunt locos stabled/ stored (?).
Tees Dock also sometimes receives trainloads of steel slab from Scunthorpe for export - these presumably run as required to connect with loadings of specific ships. When Redcar was producing steel, slabs were also exported through Tees Dock. In latter days some of these ran on main line trains (reversing at Grangetown I think), although there was also access from the internal steelworks railway onto Tees Dock. Another flow that used to run in EWS days was containerised chemicals to Workington.

Wilton: The "coal terminal" shown at Wilton would have been the power station for the ICI works which used to receive trainloads of coal in HAAs. Siding looks intact on google maps but I don't know if the power station is still there. "Wilton FLT" is now the Suez terminal for containerised household waste from Knowsley, as already mentioned. The other sidings here at Wilton appear to be disused and there hasn't been any chemicals traffic out of Wilton for many years, perhaps since British Rail days.

Lackenby: Although steelmaking has ceased at Redcar, Teeside Beam Mill still produces steel sections using steel slab from Scunthorpe. Slab trains on the Scunthorpe - Tees - Lackenby route (2 trains a day usually) also convey slab for Dalzell and Skinningrove which is detached at Tees, as suggested in another post.

In general, steel traffic heading for Teeside is either slab from Scunthorpe (to Lackenby / Dalzell / Skinningrove / Tees Dock), Coil on open wagons from Port Talbot to Hartlepool, or coil in covered wagons from Port Talbot & Llanwern to Middlesbrough goods.

Sorry for the rambling nostalgia and some repetiton of points already mentioned, but I hope some of those links are useful. If anyone can clarify some of the above where my memory is hazy or my knowledge is fuzzy, it would be appreciated!
 
Last edited:

Chris Butler

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Messages
225
I like looking taking a look at specific areas, especially freight-wise, and Teeside is fascinating, if nowadays in decline.

For a really good background look at Teeside freight locations (back in EWS days) I strongly recommend the poolieboy07 channel on youtube. The quantity of videos is overwhelming but if you click on the "playlists" tab there are separate playlists for Billingham/Norton, Thornaby/Tees, Ferryhill, Thompsons scrapyard & Stockton, and the Seal Sands Branch - the latter is particularly fascinating as it includes views of internal movements in ICI Billingham along with views of the HCN (Hydrocyanic acid) tanks.

For some freight cab rides in the Teeside area from a similar era, there are several on the KennyQ08 channel including Redcar, Tees Dock and the Stillington branch.

For a general guide to the port infrastructure and how it relates to rail traffic in the area, the "Tees and Hartlepool Port Handbook 2017/18" is an interesting PDF document from PD Ports:
https://www.pdports.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Tees-and-Hartlepool-2017.pdf

(When I'm referring to Quail maps below I mean the Trackmaps series, for any younger readers).

1) I honestly can't think what the last regular freight was into Hartlepool Docks. A lovely 1989 OPC Book "Rail Freight Today" by C.R. Anthony & B. Rogers mentions the "Linkflow" private siding in the docks occasionally handling imported steel 'forwarded as required.' Linkflow is also mentioned as handling Reed Paper "much of which goes to Carlisle." I think the Reed Paper factory is still open, now trading as Saica Pack, and produces corrugated cardboard and related packaging. Looks like it's not actually located in the docks but close enough for it to have been a convenient loading point in Speedlink days. I assume there has been occasional traffic from the docks since Speedlink ended, but I can't think what or when. Hartlepool Docks is owned by PD Ports and their website mentions that "Hartlepool offers rail access." Probably falls into the "not in use but could be reactivated if required" bracket. I think PD Ports see rail access as an asset that might be potentially useful for future contracts. The "Invest in Hartlepool" website to this day proudly boasts that "British Rail also operate regular speedlink freight services to Harwich, Southampton, Stranraer and Warrington. Space is bookable on air braked rolling stock for next day delivery." If only!

A bit further north, I found this video of a scrap train from Sunderland South Dock in 2016 -
Video: South Dock Freight 2016
Channel: 54A
Another more recent video shows the track recording unit visiting the branch.
Some good historical pictures in this RMWeb thread:
https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/i...-dock-branch-to-reopen-2015/?findpost=1609701

Seaham appears to be taking a trainload of cement about once a week from Tunstead at the moment, and has previously had trains from Oxwellmains. One of the KennyQ08 cab rides goes right down into the cement terminal. I have a vague idea that there was a trial of steel coil from Seaham a few years back, although I could be confusing it with somewhere else...

2) Seaton on Tees - still in use for Flask trains, already mentioned.

3) Hartlepool Pipe Mill. The pipe mill receives regular trainloads of steel coil, on open coil carriers, from Port Talbot (I believe this goes into the area marked "20 inch pipe mill" on a quail map). The pipe mill dispatches the big diameter pipes up to Georgemas (also to Leith in the past). Not sure when these last ran; I think this flow depends on individual contracts rather than being continuous. Smaller diameter pipes also used to be sent up to Laurencekirk (and later Raiths Farm at Aberdeen) but I don't think these have run for a few years.

I'm slightly baffled by the "Graythorp scrapyard" on that map. Able UK appear to be located adjacent to the Seaton on Tees branch and had a planning application in 2007 for "Installation of a railway track. This would branch off from the power station line and would further branch into two routes either side of the dock". From google satellite imagery there is no evidence of a scrapyard near the sidings for the pipe mill, and no evidence of any sidings being constructed as per the planning application. Might be some kind of planning saga with the plans changing, or perhaps this is fantasy railfreight planning syndrome - locals might know more.

4) There are two terminals at Redcar, shown on a quail map as "Redcar Mineral Terminal" and "Redcar Ore Terminal" (the whole complex is known as Redcar Bulk Terminal). A quail map shows a junction off the main line at Redcar Ore Terminal Junction, the branch then splitting shortly afterwards at Tod Point Junction into the two terminals. To the left (mineral terminal) the track gives the appearance of being disused on google maps. To the right, the track looks in better condition and leads beneath the massive overhead bunkers and conveyors which can be seen in this view of a jumbo train leaving the terminal for Scunthorpe last year loaded with either coal or coke (?).
https://www.railfreight.com/railfre...ing-forecast-tidal-wave-of-trains-for-redcar/

A promotional video on youtube shows the dock area and has some interesting glimpses of the rail facilities -
Video Title - RedcarBulkTerminal.
Channel - Redcarbulk
The sight of a Freightliner coal train dropping coal into a hopper is confusing me, but pausing the video at 1.12 shows a GBRF coal train under a massive overhead bunker / conveyor system. On google maps, the track running down the side of the bunker runs beyond this point to a roadway next to stockpiles of coal and aggregates. This must be the siding pictured in this article, which shows a DRS 66 with a rake of sidetippers loaded with ballast:
https://www.railfreight.com/uk/2019...ling-bulk-to-regenerate-the-north-of-england/
These trains are mentioned in previous posts as running to Doncaster this week. Last year they were running to Carlisle-
Video: DRS Class 66302 with ballast wagons pass Darlington on Redcar B.S.C Ore to Carlisle 20/04/20
Channel: Darlington Railways

Historically, I think the mineral terminal was where minerals such as the lime from Thrislington / Hardendale was offloaded for use in the steelworks. The ore terminal had a connection into the steelworks internal railway as well as the link to the main line. The power station coal traffic obviously dwindled with the rundown of coal, but in EWS days Redcar also used to send out coal in MEAs to cement works at Penyffordd, Ketton, Clitheroe, and Rugby yard (for New Bilton). Coke from Redcar to Scunthorpe ran for a long time in HEA wagons, but I believe it switched to HTAs (?) and has also run to Port Talbot in these wagons. There's also a Facebook post from GBRF in summer 2019 referring to a short term contract moving coke nuts from Redcar to Scunthorpe in box wagons - https://www.facebook.com/GBRailfreight/posts/2302547669828160
There have been "jumbo" trains of double-headed 66s hauling HKAs from Redcar to Scunthorpe, but I'm not 100% sure if this was coal or coke.
Video Title: Jumbo Coal Train with DB Cargo 66044 and 66136.
Channel - stephensrailways
To confuse things further, in 2019 a new flow started from Redcar to Scunthorpe conveying some kind of substitute mineral product similar to PFA (pulverised fuel ash) for use in the manufacture of GGBS (Ground Granulated Blast-furnace Slag - a cement additive / partial substitute) in a plant at Scunthorpe. I think this was to replace material normally obtained from coal-fired power stations. This was conveyed in open boxes (MBAs, MEAs and SSAs) but I don't think this has run for a while. There's a video here where you can see a small dust cloud being created by something which is clearly light-coloured, unlike coke:
Video: DB 66192 works 6D15 Redcar BSC Ore Terminal to Scunthorpe Trent Sidings @ Sherburn-in-Elmet | 1/9/19
Channel: 317 Dan

5) "Redcar Corus" on the map was the Redcar blast furnaces which had an internal "hot metal railway" connecting them to the steelmaking plant next to the rolling mills at Lackenby, already mentioned. I don't think this line was used by any locos or wagons coming from the main line network, I think it was purely an internal system.

6) Seal Sands / Port Clarence / Haverton Hill. I don't think there are any current flows on the branch. The most recent traffic was probably the GBRF petroleum flow in the distinctive "Greenergy" tanks from Port Clarence to Cardiff Docks which I believe ended early in 2019.
There's a nice video on youtube showing the loading process:
Video: Loading a train
Channel: Greenergy International
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5F_iwssLL-Q
There appear to have been four terminals at Seal Sands. Right at the very end of the branch is Simon Storage North. The last traffic out of here that I can remember was caustic soda in tank wagons for Dalry, tripped to Tees yard and then moved by Enterprise (I believe this switched origin to Runcorn Folly Lane in 2002). There were also some fuel oil trains running from here in the early 2000s, I remember seeing one running to West Burton with a class 56 and 2-axle tanks. I suspect Simon Storage might also have dispatched odd wagons to Sellafield - maybe sulphuric acid - but I could be confusing this with similar flows from Sandbach and Middlesbrough Goods.
Simon Storage South is shown on quail maps as a polypropelene terminal (its the one on your map opposite BASF) - the siding still appears to exist but I've no knowledge of when it was last in active use; I suspect it's not been active since British Rail days.
BASF at Seal Sands despatched Hydrocyanic acid to Haverton Hill. From youtube it appears trains arriving here diverged from the branch, immediately crossed a road on an open crossing, ran into a run-round loop labelled as "Monsanto sidings" on older quail maps, ran round, drew forward into a headshunt not shown on the quail map, then backed into the BASF sidings themselves. The track in this area appears to have been lifted according to google maps, but you can see the outline of the lifted sidings.
Video - 56131 hcn tanks seal sands 28 12 00
Channel - poolieboy07
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVMqDuPxvpA
For a blast from the past, below is a link to a picture of the first recorded working from Seal Sands in 1970 - presumably from the Monsanto sidings mentioned above, next to BASF.
https://picturestocktonarchive.com/2013/12/13/first-timetabled-train-seal-sands-c1970/

If you skip to 9min in this video you get a window view on the branch past Port Clarence:
Video: The Durham Coast Railtour..37415 and 37428..12/08/2000
Channel: Nick Parry
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eze8ghJ28MM
A line from the Greenergy terminal joins from the right. There is a run round loop here, which would be where the Greenergy trains ran round to propel into the terminal. The line into "Port Clarence Sidings" is about to join from the left just before the end of the sequence. These sidings were used for tank wagon repairs during the EWS era. I believe the actual refinery (owned by Petroplus) ceased production in 2012 (presumably the tank trains stopped at the same time?), and the later Greenergy traffic was from a storage terminal on the site.

At Haverton Hill (ICI Billingham), I think the last chemicals traffic was the HCN train from Seal Sands. Paul Shannon's "EWS" book says the last chemicals workings at Haverton Hill ceased in 2002. Apparently the last carbon dioxide rail traffic in the UK was from Haverton Hill to Willesden, ceasing in 1998. Haverton Hill sidings (or at least parts of the rail system there) remained open; on the poolieboy07 channel there is footage of DRS using the location in 2005 (presumably for wagon repairs) - see all the videos from Belasis Lane. There have been some other odd bits and pieces on the branch - on the same poolieboy07 channel there is footage of freightliner 66s on trains of contaminated ballast at Port Clarence - but apart from the petroleum traffic from Port Clarence, the line hasn't seen much use in recent years.

7) I'd never heard of TRIP, but it appears to be an extension of the AV Dawson facility more commonly referred to by the railway as "Middlesbrough Goods." There are some pictures here, including the resident class 08 shunter (you can click on the cycling pictures halfway down the page to see slightly bigger versions):
https://www.portofmiddlesbrough.com/rail-freight/
This article in the Northern Echo has a bit more info (lots of ads, best viewed with an ad blocker)!
https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/b...n-moving-tar-tanks-port-talbot-port-clarence/
It refers to a contract to receive "tar tanks" from Port Talbot, which are ISO tank containers loaded on FKA intermodal flats. I assume the contents are some residue of the steelmaking process, possibly coal tar, which has industrial uses. This runs as a block train overnight from South Wales and is fairly distinct compared to the average intermodal train as it consists only of 20ft ISO tank containers.
So TRIP at Middlesbrough goods is active, but I don't think the actual wharf itself right by the river is currently in use (judging from Google maps).
There is a modern steel warehouse which receives regular trainloads of steel coil (in covered wagons) from Port Talbot and Llanwern (same train calls at both). Cobra / Aryton is the long established terminal for the Boulby traffic and there appear to be a couple of trains running per day.
There are also gypsum trains loaded at Middlesbrough goods. On the website already linked is a picture of some GBRF box wagons being loaded, probably with gypsum. There are paths to/from Hotchley Hill, but I don't know how recently those have run. On google maps you can see blue gypsum containers on flat wagons in the terminal (along with the tar tanks mentioned above). There are currently regular gypsum trains from Middlesbrough to Kirkby Thore (Newbiggin) using MBA box wagons.
Middlesbrough Goods was also used as the loading point for tanks of nitric acid to Sellafield (maybe a couple of tanks at a time, not a full trainload), but I don't think this has run since last year.

8) Tees Dock and Teesport are the same place (I think the port is named Teesport and Tees Dock is more of a railway name)

Wilton freightliner terminal was replaced by Teesport intermodal terminal in 2014, already mentioned.
Freightliner run a daily service to and from Felixstowe. DB run trains to both Mossend and Grangemouth. GBRF are running a service to and from Doncaster Iport, and DRS have a triangular Daventry - Iport - Tees Dock - Daventry service for Tesco.
There is also the Cleveland Potash terminal which can receive 2 or 3 trains daily from Boulby.
If you look on google maps satellite imagery you can see a potash train at Tees Dock, more potash wagons being unloaded in the terminal (is that an internal shunting loco?), and a Freightliner intermodal train on the container loading pad, plus more intermodal wagons stabled in sidings nearby, beside which there appear to be 2 or 3 shunt locos stabled/ stored (?).
Tees Dock also sometimes receives trainloads of steel slab from Scunthorpe for export - these presumably run as required to connect with loadings of specific ships. When Redcar was producing steel, slabs were also exported through Tees Dock. In latter days some of these ran on main line trains (reversing at Grangetown I think), although there was also access from the internal steelworks railway onto Tees Dock. Another flow that used to run in EWS days was containerised chemicals to Workington.

Wilton: The "coal terminal" shown at Wilton would have been the power station for the ICI works which used to receive trainloads of coal in HAAs. Siding looks intact on google maps but I don't know if the power station is still there. "Wilton FLT" is now the Suez terminal for containerised household waste from Knowsley, as already mentioned. The other sidings here at Wilton appear to be disused and there hasn't been any chemicals traffic out of Wilton for many years, perhaps since British Rail days.

Lackenby: Although steelmaking has ceased at Redcar, Teeside Beam Mill still produces steel sections using steel slab from Scunthorpe. Slab trains on the Scunthorpe - Tees - Lackenby route (2 trains a day usually) also convey slab for Dalzell and Skinningrove which is detached at Tees, as suggested in another post.

In general, steel traffic heading for Teeside is either slab from Scunthorpe (to Lackenby / Dalzell / Skinningrove / Tees Dock), Coil on open wagons from Port Talbot to Hartlepool, or coil in covered wagons from Port Talbot & Llanwern to Middlesbrough goods.

Sorry for the rambling nostalgia and some repetiton of points already mentioned, but I hope some of those links are useful. If anyone can clarify some of the above where my memory is hazy or my knowledge is fuzzy, it would be appreciated!

Wow ... just, wow !

A wonderful reply. I love all the background about the products involved and how they fit into the production processes.

Thanks so much.
 

Harvester

Member
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Messages
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Location
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As far as I am aware, the north side of the triangle (the original Clarence Railway route from Shildon to Port Clarence and the straightest side of the triangle) is still "in use" though now very rarely. Norton East box is normally locked out and needs to be opened specially for the curve to be used. The area is about to be resignalled and this change might bring some use, as any trains to/from the north from Hartlepool Pipe Mill currently run via Eaglescliffe and Darlington, time will tell whether this is to be the case. There is a little bit about it here: https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/handsome-little-signal-box-demolished-19695962

Thanks Marsker.

It is around ten years since I last travelled over Norton east junction, and back then the track, viewed from the train window, on the north side of the triangle looked in poor condition and unused.
 

stantheman

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Messages
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I recall a flow from Haverton Hill to Grangemouth of some very dangerous chemicals which needed a barrier wagon ...orange and white wagons with a code 8x or 9x ...ring any bells ?
Also there were regular trainloads of something to Leith South in large bogie tanks ...ammonia maybe
 

Dr Hoo

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I recall a flow from Haverton Hill to Grangemouth of some very dangerous chemicals which needed a barrier wagon ...orange and white wagons with a code 8x or 9x ...ring any bells ?
Also there were regular trainloads of something to Leith South in large bogie tanks ...ammonia maybe
Hydrocyanic acid or something (?) Must dig that old Working Manual 'Pink Pages' out sometime...
 

ainsworth74

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I recall a flow from Haverton Hill to Grangemouth of some very dangerous chemicals which needed a barrier wagon ...orange and white wagons with a code 8x or 9x ...ring any bells ?
Also there were regular trainloads of something to Leith South in large bogie tanks ...ammonia maybe
Hydrocyanic acid or something (?) Must dig that old Working Manual 'Pink Pages' out sometime...

Yep Hydrocyanic Acid between Grangemouth and Haverton Hill with quite a lot of special arrangements including a brake van and guard on a fully fitted freight so protection could be laid quickly and easily without needing to pass the possible leaking tankers(!) and special medical kits to enable the speedy administration of a treatment to help anyone exposed in the event of an accident. One of them actually derailed in 1975 at Ferry Hill and Railway Archive has the details including the report here which goes into some of the arrangements.

"The first wagon to be derailed was the rearmost of five unladen tank wagons of a special design for the conveyance of hydrocyanic acid forming part of a Haverton Hill (Billingham) to Grangemouth freight train. The wagon was first derailed on plain track some If miles south of Bishop Middleham Signal Box on the Up Ferryhill line and continued for a further 3,' miles until, at a trailing connection at Ferryhill South Junction, it was thrown onto its side and parted from. and derailed, the tank wagon ahead of it. Most OF the train in rear also became derailed at the damaged connection.

The guard immediately alerted the signalman. and the fire services and police were called by the Newcastle Divisional Control of British Railways at 09.03 and 09.06 respectively; both messages included a warning that the derailed wagon contained hydrocyanic acid. The Fire Services arrived at 09.17 and the police at 09.20. All persons were kept clear until a special team from Imperial Chemical Industries at Haverton Hill, who had first been warned by the Fire Services Control at 09.08, arrived at 10.00. In the meantime, following a short inspection by firemen wearing breathing apparatus and protective clothing, and in consultation with the senior fire officcr present, the police had decided to evacuate the occupants of houses to the west of the lines to a safe distance from the tank wagon.

On the arrival of the specialist team from Haverton Hill the tank was found to be intact and normal recovery operations proceeded. The adjacent lines, none of which had been obstructed, were re-opened to traffic at 10.15 and the residents were permitted to return to their houses. Three railway personnel, including the driver and guard of the train concerned, complained of feeling unwell and-were taken to hospital suffering from shock, being detained overnight for observation."
 

class 9

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The sight of a Freightliner coal train dropping coal into a hopper is confusing me, but pausing the video at 1.12 shows a GBRF coal train under a massive overhead bunker / conveyor system. On google maps, the track running down the side of the bunker runs beyond this point to a roadway next to stockpiles of coal and aggregates. This must be the siding pictured in this article, which shows a DRS 66 with a rake of sidetippers loaded with ballast:
https://www.railfreight.com/uk/2019...ling-bulk-to-regenerate-the-north-of-england/
These trains are mentioned in previous posts as running to Doncaster this week. Last year they were running to Carlisle-
Video: DRS Class 66302 with ballast wagons pass Darlington on Redcar B.S.C Ore to Carlisle 20/04/20
The Freightliner train was delivering coal for the steelworks, this for a time came from Maltby Colliery.
RBT is divided into two parts, the low level(mineral terminal) and the high level(ore terminal)
When I worked these jobs, we used to work from Ferrybridge to the low level, tip the train then run to Grangetown round round and back into the high level to load up power station coal, then return south.
 
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