Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Duffield Bank Railway

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Narrow gauge railway built in 1874 by Arthur Percival Haywood at Duffield Bank, near Derby. [1] [2]

Sir Arthur wished to explore the possibilities of such railways for mining, quarrying, agriculture etc. He believed that they would be relatively easy to build, and to move. He saw possibilities for military railways behind the lines carrying ammunition and supplies. Some other small railways had been built to 2 ft gauge, but he wished to use the minimum that he felt was practical. Having previously built a small railway of 9 in (229 mm) gauge, he settled on 15 in (381 mm).

His first engine was an 0-4-0T "Effie" simply to provide motive power for his first experiments. Like his other locos, it used a boiler with a cylindrical "launch"-type firebox manufactured by Abbott and Company of Newark-on-Trent.

His next engine was an 0-6-0T "Ella", a six-coupled tank engine, with a larger boiler and firebox, working at a higher pressure. A third engine "Muriel" was built to the same pattern as Ella, but eight-coupled and even larger.

The Duke of Westminster asked him to build a line at Eaton Hall in Cheshire. The first engine on this the Eaton Hall Railway, was "Katie", an 0-4-0T but larger than Effie and using Brown/Heywood valve gear. Following this were two identical 0-6-0T locomotives, "Shelagh" and "Ursula".

1916 Arthur Percival Haywood died, and the Duffield Bank system was closed. Most of the stock was acquired for the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway which was in the process of gauge conversion. The Eaton Hall railway continued for a number of years, carrying timber and building materials around the estate, until it closed in 1947. None of Sir Arthur's lines now exist, but in recent years, enthusiasts such as the Heywood Collection, have recovered various items of interest.[3]

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