Every corner of the country once had an industrial railway of some kind, and they were used to carry coal, iron ore, timber, stone, cement - in fact, anything - from its source to the mainline railway or docks. The engines that worked these lines were built in a rugged manner with as simple a design as possible. This was to satisfy the requirements of their owners, who wanted a machine that could do a great deal of work with little maintenance, often with a crew of one man. Frequently this was taken to extremes and many locos were thrashed mercilessly until they fell apart, only then receiving minimal attention. There were of course exceptions, and some companies maintained their locomotives as showpieces and as an advertisement for a well-run plant.
Text © Quainton Railway
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Page Updated: 16 June 2007