Early Tramroads in the Telford Area (East Shropshire)

Roger Farnworth Apr 28, 2022

  1. Roger Farnworth

    Roger Farnworth TrainBoard Member

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    Having moved to Telford relatively recently, I have started to look in detail at the railway heritage of the area. This starts with a waggonway being in existence by at least 1605 (but maybe earlier). Over four centuries of various forms of railway!

    My first offering on the Railways of Telford was a review of a book by David Clarke with the same title, see this link ....

    https://rogerfarnworth.com/2021/12/26/the-railways-of-telford-part-1-a-book-review

    This second offering begins a series looking at the waggonways/plateways/tramways/tramroads which preceded the coming of the more modern railways. There is probably a debate to be had over the correct names to use for these lines. I have not decided but I have used the word 'tramroad' in the title of the series. Perhaps 'plateways' would be better as most of these lines were in the end made up of a series of short L-shaped rails sitting on stone blocks and were used by trams/wagons which had wheels without flanges. Others may have firm opinions about this!?

    OS Maps seem invariably to use the word 'Tramway' for these old lines.

    http://rogerfarnworth.com/2022/04/25/ancient-tramroads-near-telford-part-1-tramroads
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2022
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  2. Roger Farnworth

    Roger Farnworth TrainBoard Member

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    The second post in this series has been completed. It covers the Coalbrookdale Company Tramroads which appear on the 6" OS Maps from 1882/83 and later map series, particularly the 25" series from the turn of the 20th century.

    I have walked a major part of the network as it existed in around 1882 and have provided present day photographs of the routes where ever possible.

    http://rogerfarnworth.com/2022/04/2...6-os-maps-published-in-1887-and-later-surveys
     
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  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    It always amazes me just how fast the landscape can be altered. Especially such that nothing visible remains, and the public doesn't even know what went before their time. :(
     
  4. Roger Farnworth

    Roger Farnworth TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, it is disappointing. Hopefully information boards will make a difference. In this case there is only one which provides an indication of the past.
     
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  5. Roger Farnworth

    Roger Farnworth TrainBoard Member

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  6. Roger Farnworth

    Roger Farnworth TrainBoard Member

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    Just a short distance from our home, no more than 200 metres, is the site of what was Little Eyton Colliery. The colliery was served by a tramway/tramroad which was used to carry coal/ironstone to the Coalport Branch of the Shropshire Canal and later to the LNWR's Coalport Branch which followed the route of the erstwhile canal.

    The linked article below follows the route of the tramway down into what is now Telford Town Park.

    http://rogerfarnworth.com/2022/06/15/ancient-tramroads-near-telford-part-4-malinslee-part-1

    The featured image shows typical trams and pit head gear at Blists Hill Victorian Museum.
     
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  7. Roger Farnworth

    Roger Farnworth TrainBoard Member

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  8. Roger Farnworth

    Roger Farnworth TrainBoard Member

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    A second installment of the review of old tramways in the area in and around what is now Telford Town Park. This article covers the tramway which ran North from the site of Dawley & Stirchley Railway Station on the LNWR Coalport Branch through the site of Jerry Furnace(s) and Stirchley Ironworks to the site of Old Park Ironworks with its myriad of tramway lines in the mid- to late-19th century. ... These tramways were known locally as 'Jerry Rails' and a new estates in Hinkshay bears that name.

    http://rogerfarnworth.com/2022/06/2...r-telford-part-6-malinslee-part-2-jerry-rails
     
  9. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Seeing these types of rails has me wondering- how deep are the anchoring stones into the earth? Just thinking they had to be fairly well set, or the track gauge might spread, causing a derailment. Or was the rolling stock light enough back then that it was not a concern?
     
  10. Roger Farnworth

    Roger Farnworth TrainBoard Member

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    Stones were about a foot deep. The major problem with early wooden tramrails was wear of the surface of the rails. Once they became cast iron, breakage became a problem. Loads were not that great when horse were pulling waggons but once steam loco's started to be used, there was a risk of lateral movement of the rails and stones.
     
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  11. Roger Farnworth

    Roger Farnworth TrainBoard Member

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    A third installment of the review of old tramways in the area in and around what is now Telford Town Park. The linked article covers the training Tramroads in the immediate area with the exception of those in the vicinity of the old Coalport Branch (LNWR) and the Stirchley Branch (GWR). ....

    http://rogerfarnworth.com/2022/06/26/ancient-tramroads-near-telford-part-7-malinslee-part-3/

     
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  12. Roger Farnworth

    Roger Farnworth TrainBoard Member

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    Part 10 - An overview of the East Shropshire Area's Tramroad Network

    I have been asked to give a talk at one of the meetings of the Friends of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust about the tramroads/tramways in East Shropshire. I have begun preparation and drafted some notes which may be of interest to others.

    R.F. Savage and L.D.W. Smith wrote a thesis entitled, The Waggon-ways and Plate-ways of East Shropshire in 1965. Their work was well- timed as it recorded circumstances existing in the years before the development company began major work to rehabilitate the area and many industrial features were lost.

    I have begun the process of walking all of the old tramroad routes identified by Savage and Smith.

    The link gives some idea of the work that Savage and Smith undertook and a link to the detailed notes which give an overview of the tramroads/tramways of the area.

    http://rogerfarnworth.com/2023/01/2...of-the-east-shropshire-areas-tramroad-network
     

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