Report - Doxford's Pallion Yard Railway, Sunderland, January 1971

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28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Oct 18, 2008
There were a number of small shipbuilding yards in this area and Doxford either started or took one over in 1869. Other nearby yards were later incorporated.
The rail system was at first worked by conventional industrial steam locomotives, but from 1902 onwards, these were displaced by a unique design of crane engine. This was a four wheeled side tank loco, but with a simple crane mounted above the cab. The jib was raised or lowered by the admission of steam to one side or other of a piston in a large vertical cylinder. Rotation was provided by a slewing engine acting on a large toothed wheel at the base of the jib pivot.
When the company decided to abandon rail transport, a visit was called for, so on a clear January morning access was gained to the shed area. I was able to see the remaining engines departing for their work and the arrival of a security guard shortly afterwards, who escorted me off the premises. I did get these pics, however, which are a bit of history.


What passed as the engine shed


Moving to work


A rear view, showing the counterbalance


Using the crane


Showing jib hooks for various lifting capacities


The scrap line, including the one ordinary loco, a 1944 Peckett.


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