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Report - Longannet Colliery, Fife, Jan. 2009

BenCooper

Mr Boombastic
Regular User
#1
Longannet Colliery employed 366 miners and 150 support staff near Kincardine, Fife, mining low-sulphur coal for the neighbouring Longannet Power Station; the power station uses up to 10,000 tonnes of coal per day.

Longannet was the last deep coal mine in Scotland, and because of it's large reserves it had a bright future, until March 2002 when millions of gallons of water suddenly cascaded into the mine. Luckily no-one lost their lives, but the mine's fate was sealed. Various campaigns have suggested reopening the mine, but the costs of pumping out the water and making the mine safe and profitable have been put at up to £100M, so instead the shaft was filled in and the surface buildings mostly demolished - by the time of my visit, only a couple of surface buildings remain, but they have quite a bit of interesting stuff.

A map of some of the workings:

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I'm not sure what this is - it's a wooden fume cabinet, sort-of, perhaps for testing gas meters?

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caiman

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#2
Re: Longannet Colliery, Fife, Jan. 2009 - Report

Longannet was four or five mines connected - I had the dubious thrill of going underground there in 1980 through the Solsgirth mine and then again as part of the privatisation team working for Richard Budge down Castlebridge in 1994. Frankly, Longannet was a scruffy pit underground - much worse than Monktonhall which was the only other Scottish pit to survive into private ownership. But Longannet survived a lot longer. By a strange coincidence, water shut both of them.
 

caiman

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#3
Re: Longannet Colliery, Fife, Jan. 2009 - Report

Just looking into this, Solsgirth was linked to Longannet by a conveyor, that's 5 miles long, though you cant see it any more...QUOTE]

The conveyor link was underground. It was actually a big cable belt - very cutting edge 1970s. A cable belt was essentially a rubber belt coupled to two steel cables, one either side of the belt. The belt was driven by pulling the cables rather than the actual rubber belt as happens with most conveyors. The reason was that a conventional rubber belt could not handle the dynamic loads over that sort of length and so the system would have to be built up as a series of shorter conveyors - thus reducing reliability and increasing cost. The cable belt could be made much longer - the Selby one was 12 miles long.
 

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