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Report - Esholt Sewage Works Railway, 1981

Bovine

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#1
In 1862, work started on some 30 miles of sewers, to take Bradford's sewage to a new works at Frizinghall. This quickly became overloaded, with no room for expansion. In 1906, the council purchased the Esholt Estate for over £239,000 and constructed a massive sewage works, finishing it in the1920's. A 3 mile tunnel was bored to divert the feed from the Frizinghall works, which closed in 1926.
The new works was equipped with 128 steam filter presses, to extract the large amount of wool grease present, which was graded and sold for axle grease or paint and varnish. The sewage cake remaining was sold as fertiliser.
To service all this, a standard gauge railway was built, complete with a connection to the main line railways at Apperley Junction. Extensive sidings serviced the various sections, and the works had its own fleet of wagons. The last 2 steam locomotives to be used here were converted to burn wool grease, though latterly they used gas oil.
The use of the railway declined in the 1970's when the press house was closed and no more coal was worked in for the boilerhouse. Diesel locomotives had been obtained, but their duties had degenerated into the odd trip to the tip with grit.
With a sale of the waggons, track and plant announced, it was time for a mooch, so on a Sunday afternoon, this was the result.

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The ornate end of the 3 mile tunnel from Frizinghall

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Rail mounted grab for the detritus tanks, skip waggon for the tip in the background

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End of the line at Apperley Junction

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Apperley Junction loop

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Former press house sidings

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The engine shed contained the 1958 built Hudswell Clarke steam loco

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A modern building contained plant and a Hudswell diesel loco

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The plates on the side of the diesel showed a build date of 1957 and that it previously worked at Guest, Keen and Nettlefolds, Cardiff.

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Waggons with Lot Numbers

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Dereliction abounds

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More mouldering stuff!