Brampton Railway - History

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Brampton Railway - History

  • Its almost certain that wooden waggonways were in use on Tindale Fell by 1775
  • Through Line to Brampton built in about 1798
  • The first wagon of Coal brought from Tindale Fell Colliery in April 1799
  • Between 1808 and 1812 3 miles of track were laid with wrought iron bars an the remaining 2 miles with cast iron rails.
  • James Thompson became Lord Carlisle's agent in 1819
  • About 1820 one of Thompson's first schemes was the sinking of Blacksyke Pit (1,000 feet above Sea level)
  • George Stephenson surveyed the route of new line from Brampton via Kirkhouse to Hallbankgate in 1835-36
  • Construction began on the new line in 1836
  • The new line opened and first train ran from Kirkhouse to Brampton on 18th July 1836 with 23 wagons hauled by two locomotives "Gilsland" and "Atlas".
  • In April 1837 James Thompson purchased George Stephensons "Rocket" from the Liverpool and Manchester Railway for the sum of 300
  • James Thompson died at the age of 56 on 14th July 1851 a man never given the recognition he merited as a railway pioneer.
  • Connecting line from Lambley-Alston line near Lambley Colliery opened in 1852
  • First steam passenger service began to Brampton Town on 4th July 1881
  • Passenger service between Brampton Junction and Brampton Town withdrawn 30th April 1890 for safety reasons
  • Passenger service resumed between Brampton Junction and Brampton Town on 1st August 1913 after a break of 23 years
  • During the war passenger sevices suspended from 1st March 1917 to 1st March 1920 tom Brampton Town
  • Passengers services finally cease bewtwen Brampton Town and the Brampton Junction on 29th October 1923
  • Goods traffic ceased 31st December 1923 with the closure of the coal depot severing a link of over 124 years
  • In January 1953 the national coal board announced it was relinquishing its lease of Brampton Railway
  • Final closure 30th March 1953 which went unrecorded in local papers

Locomotives - Below are the locomotives of the Brampton Railway:

  • Atlas and Gilsland - It is thought both engines which were 0-4-0 tender engines could have been built by Robert Stephenson & Co at the Newcastle works but local tradition passed down through generations is that they were built on the spot at Kirkhouse either by George Stephenson himself or under his direction in 1835-6.
  • Rocket - Built in 1829 by Robert Stephenson & Co at Newcastle as works No 19 and designed as a 0-2-2 wheel arrangement with outside cylinders 8" x 17". It was sold to James Thompson for use on the Brampton railway in 1837 but was unable to cope with the demands of the line and was laid up by 1841. Her record run between Midgeholme and Hallbankgate on 10th August 1837 was never beaten by her succesors. Finally in a sorry state she was presented to the Patent Museum at South Kensington in 1862. The Rocket can still be seen today at the National Railway Museum in York.
  • Belted Will - The first engine built at Kirkhouse during the Thompson leasage was the Belted Will in 1839 no details are available on its design or working life which was probably about 5 or 6 years.
  • Mosstrooper - In 1842-3 the Kirkhouse workshops produced what is believed to be their second locomotive called Mosstrooper fitted with inside cylinders. No record exists of Mosstroopers working life but she seems to have been active for quite a lengthy period.
  • Loch -The most powerful of these early locomotives was the Loch built in 1848 to the design of Stephensons long boiler with a 0-6-0 wheel arrangement and steeply inclined cylinders of 13" x 22". The loch worked the mineral traffic for 37 years until 1885 and remained as a stationary engine for another 11 years at Howard Pit. The Loch was finally scrapped in 1896.
  • Garibaldi - The last of the Kirkhouse built engines Garibaldi was constructed to a superior design to her predecessors. She was completed in 1866 as an 0-6-0 without a cab and a small tender and a cab was fitted later. The cylinders were 14" x 22" with coupled wheels of about 4ft diameter in line with dimensions given to earlier locomotives. With her steam pressure of 80lb Garibaldi proved to be a very usefull engine and was occasionally called upon to relieve the Dandie Dinmont afte the steam passenger service was begun in 1881 from Brampton to Brampton Junction. After a working lifev of 34v years Garibaldi was finally scrappeed in the spring of 1900.
  • Tichborne - By 1872 an order was placed with R. Stephenson & Co Newcastle for a 0-6-0 saddle tank. This engine works No 2011 was delivered a year later and named Tichborne. It had outside cylinders of 14" x 22" and coupled wheels 3-9" diameter. Unfortunatley the engine proved to be too heavy for the permanent way and after 6 years service alterations were carried out in 1879 and she was converted from a saddle tank to a tender engine. She had a complete rebuild in 1901 at Andrew Barclays kilmarnock works emerging with a cab and new chimney. Her final reconstruction was carried out at Naworth Coal Company emerging from the engineering shop as a saddle tank bearing the name of Belted Will. She was finally cut up in 1922 after failing to find a buyer.
  • No 5 - The second locomotive from the works of R. Stephenson & Co was built in 1878 and delivered to Thompson and Sons on 18th November the same year. The engine was given the works No 2351 and built to same long boiler design as Tichborne in the form of a tender engine with 14" x 22" cylinders. This was the only loco never to have been given a name that worked on the Brampton Railway having been given the number 5. No 5 was an 0-6-0 and was given a major overhaul in 1903 at Andrew Barclay's Kilmarnock works and after another 12 years service was finally scrapped in 1915 at Kirkhouse.
  • Dandie Dinmont - Was proably more widely known of the engines connected with the Brampton Railway as it was ordered from Neilson's of Glasgow to operate the passenger service from Brampton Town to Brampton Junction. Dandie Dinmont was a 0-4-0 works no 2738 and was the only side tank ever purchased and had cylinders of 14" x 22". During her 9 years as a passenger train she was housed at a small loco shed at Kirkhouse and had a maximum speed of 20mph. With the ceasation of the passenger service in 1890 Dandie Dinmont was placed on mineral work and was fianlly sent to Andrew Barclay's of Kilmarnock for a complete rebuild in 1906. With the arrival of Tindale in 1926 she was no longer needed and remained in a siding at Plane Head Hallbankgate until late 1928 when she was finally cut up at Kirkhouse.
  • Sheriff - Towards the end of 1900 an order was placed with Andrew Barclay of Kilmarnock the engine weorks No 903 was built during 1901 as a 0-6-0 saddle tank with 14" x 22" cylinders and was named Sheriff. She had the shortest working life and after 7 years went to the Waterloo Main Colliery at Leeds where she remained until 1916. After being sold to Trafford Park Estates in Manchester and then Corn Products Limited she was finally scrapped in 1929
  • Naworth - By 1914 fresh motive power was required due to the poor condition of No 5 and order was placed with Andrew Barclay for a saddle tank of thec 0-4-0 class which was delivered in 1915. This engine works No 1365 was named Naworth followed by the inscription No 6 and had cylindes of 14" x 22" and weighed about 31 tons but unlike the previous engines it came with a steam brake. In 1927 with the arrival of Stephenson, Naworth became the spare engine. Due to the periodic decline in thev mineral traffic she was sold to Brereton Colliery in Staffordshire in 1933. After 27 years at Brereton she had a complete overhaul in 1950 and after Brereton Colliery closed in 1960 she was transferred to Cannock & Rugeley Colliery before being finally scrapped in 1962
  • Tindale - In 1926 Naworth Collieries decided the time was right to secure not one, but two locomotives and orders were sent to rival firms of Avonside Engineering at Bristol and Andrew Braclay of Kilmarnock. Avonside delivered their engine in 1926 as a standard outside cylinder 0-6-0 saddle tank works No 1954 and was named Tindale. It had cylinders of 14" x 20" and coupled wheels and weighed 23 tons empty. She was scarpped at Hallbankgate in 1954.
  • Stephenson - In February 1927 the other saddle tank arrived from Barclay's works NO 1879 which was a 0-6-0 and had cylinders of 14" x 22" and when loaded weighed 30 tons this was named Stephenson. Like Tindale she had a steam brake and a sizable bunker. After 3 years service she was returned to Barclays where a new firebox was fitted. With the closure of the brampton railway in 1953 Stephenson received a thorough overhall at West Wylam Colliery were she remained until 1960 when she was transferred to Burrandon Colliery and on October 1962 she was finally scrapped.
  • Alice - Late in 1936 Naworth collieries were confident that increased mineral traffic would arise from the Tindale Extraction Companies sudden decision to revive operations at their Tindale Spelter Works and with this in mind purchased a seconhand Avonside saddle tank engine from Cohen's of Leeds works No 1460 which bore the name Alice. She was an 0-6-0 closely resembling her sister engine Tindale and had 14" x 20" cylinders, coupled wheels and weighed 28 tons loaded. After closure of the Brapmton Railway in 1953 she was transported to Walbottle Colliery in Northumberland and after less than three years service she was scrapped in January 1956


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