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Thursday, 30 August 2012

Rocks by Rail

Whenever we are with Father he finds unusual places to visit, Bank Holiday Monday it was the ironstone area around Corby. We first visited a country park for lunch near Corby, here where relics from the site of the Stewarts and Lloyds Corby Steelworks and some history of steel making and iron ore extraction from this area.
We then drove to Rocks by Rail, previously the Rutland Railway Museum, an unusual take on a preserved railway, this was the former 2 mile Midland Railway Ashwell to Cottesmore mineral branch off the Oakham and Stamford line from Ashwell Junction and is been preserved as an industrial line. The line was connected to various quarries around Exton and Cottesmore before closure in the 1980's. All the locos are ex industry from coal mines, steel works, and some loco's I remember from Barrington Cement Works, the last quarry to use industrial locos in 2005 near where I used to live in Cambridgeshire.

Collection of industrial locos.
Wagon stock under preservation.
Iron Ore Wagons.

The site has a workshop where locos and wagons are stripped for restoration along with a cafe and small museum. A nature trail follows the line which will be nice on a fine summers day, the line crosses the course of the Oakham Canal which was abandoned as long ago as 1897.

Abandoned course of the Oakham Canal from
Oakham to Melton Mowbray.

At one end of the line is a quarry with wagons and diggers that used to work in the quarry system.

Quarry, ore wagons, and digger.
Small Drag Line Digger and Dumper Truck.

An unusual museum, but interesting non the less.http://www.rocks-by-rail.org

On the way back to Market Harborough for father to catch the train back to York he wished to visit the longest viaduct in the uk, this is Harringworth Viaduct, also known as Welland Viaduct or Seaton Viaduct and crosses over the River Welland between Harrington in Northamptonshire and Seaton in Rutland. Its impressive span of 82 arches stretch for three quarters of a mile and having been completed in 1878 by the Midland Railway makes it over 131 years old. With its impressive length, Harringworth Viaduct is the longest masonry railway viaduct across any valley in Britain and carries a grade II listed structure status. Situated on the Oakham to Kettering line the viaduct carries double track across its entire length.

Harringworth Viaduct.

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