Ironstone Train Project

The aim of the Ironstone Train Project is to assemble an authentic rake of Iron Ore Tippler wagons, which were once a common site in Northamptonshire.

The county has a long history of ironstone quarrying and these wagons are synonymous with the history of the Northampton to Market Harborough line, which the Northampton and Lamport Railway (NLR) is working to partially restore.

Historically, the line was not only a frequent route for ironstone trains passing through the county, but also had several ironstone quarries along its route, including Pitsford Quarry (closed 1965), where the exchange sidings are preserved as part of the NLR.

 

THE DREAM is to recreate the scene of mineral wagons being shunted in Pitsford Sidings, as would have been a daily occurrence between 1925 and 1965.

THE OBJECTIVE is to create a rake of at least 6 grey ‘Iron Ore Tippler’ wagons (the type most common on our line in the 1950s and 1960s). We currently have 3 BR Tipplers at the railway (see below), and have agreement to bring in 3 more on long-term loan. We would be very interested to possibly acquire more.

The Ironstone Train will be used on demonstration goods trains during special events and will also be available for photo charters.

The Project also includes the creation of supporting educational and interpretive information to help enrich the public understanding and appreciation of the local area’s rich history of ironstone quarrying.

Lamport Exchange Sidings on 6th April 1966. photo: Bryan Jeyes

If you have any pictures, stories, artifacts or relevant information relating to ironstone trains, or any of the former quarries, along the old Northampton to Market Harborough line, then please do get in touch via email (webteam@nlr.org.uk).

You can follow the Ironstone Train Project on the NLR’s main Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.

DONATE via our GoFundMe page here

We really need your help to make this dream a reality. Your support will make a huge difference to this project.

Your donation will help enable us to restore the 3 Tippler wagons already at the NLR, as well as the transport and restoration of the 3 additional Tipplers.

You can also DONATE by post. Please send cheques to: Ironstone Train Project,Northampton and Lamport Railway, Pitsford and Brampton Station, Pitsford Road, Chapel Brampton NN6 8BA.

Please remember to include your name and contact details.

Donation Incentives

  • Donate at least £150 – Receive a year’s free membership to the Northampton and Lamport Railway CIO, a free family ticket to any event (excluding Santa Specials) and a BRAKEVAN RIDE on the Ironstone Train.
  • Donate at least £250 – As above plus a FOOTPLATE RIDE on the Ironstone Train.
  • Donate at least £500 – As above plus DRIVER EXPERIENCE on the Ironstone Train.

If donating over £150, please ensure you provide us with your contact details when donating!

Hudswell Clarke No.1631 0-6-0ST ‘No.65’ prepares to pull away from the quarry face at Pitsford with a train of wagons filled with ironstone (early 1960s)

New interpretation board installed at Pitsford Sidings Dec 2021, telling a brief history of the exchange sidings and Pitsford Ironstone Quarry

Avonside No.1917 0-6-0ST ‘Pitsford’ shunting a rake of 7 Iron Ore Tippler wagons at Pitsford Sidings (date unknown). We hope to be able to recreate this scene in the near future.

The Wagons

388612
In 2021, the NLR purchased its first BR Iron Ore Tippler from a private owner. The wagon had previously been based at the Somerset and Dorset Heritage Railway at Midsomer Norton. Built at Derby in 1961 to diagram 1/185, it has a carrying capacity of 26 tons.

Work needed: This wagon has a seized vac cylinder, which will need overhaul or replacement before it can enter traffic. A re-paint will also be needed.

Please note: The wagon is currently carrying an incorrect number (B38862), which will be rectified as part of its overhaul.

386237
Built at Derby in 1958 to diagram 1/184 (carrying capacity 27 tons), this wagon arrived at the NLR in February 2021.

The wagon privately owned, but on long-term loan to the NLR. It was previously stored at the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway.

Work needed: This wagon requires a full inspection before it can enter traffic. The brakes are likely to need some work, and a full re-paint will be needed.

388107
Built at Derby in 1960 to diagram 1/185 (carrying capacity 26 tons), this wagon arrived at the NLR with 386237 in February 2021.

The wagon privately owned, but on long-term loan to the NLR. It was previously stored at the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway.

Work needed: This wagon requires a full inspection before it can enter traffic. The brakes are likely to need some work, and a full re-paint will be needed.

384074
Built at Shildon in 1955 to diagram 1/183 (carrying capacity 27 tons).

Currently located at the Rushden, Higham & Wellingborough Railway (also in Northamptonshire) awaiting transportation to the NLR.

The wagon is very kindly being loaned to us by our very good friends at Rushden Historic Transport Society (RHTS).

Work needed: This wagon requires a full inspection upon arrival at the NLR. The brakes are likely to need some work, and a full re-paint will be needed.

Number Unknown
Currently located at the Rushden, Higham & Wellingborough Railway (also in Northamptonshire) awaiting transportation to the NLR.

The wagon is very kindly being loaned to us by our very good friends at Rushden Historic Transport Society (RHTS).

Work needed: This wagon requires a full inspection upon arrival at the NLR. The brakes are likely to need some work, and a full re-paint will be needed.

Number Unknown
Currently located at the Rushden, Higham & Wellingborough Railway (also in Northamptonshire) awaiting transportation to the NLR.

The wagon is very kindly being loaned to us by our very good friends at Rushden Historic Transport Society (RHTS).

Work needed: This wagon requires a full inspection upon arrival at the NLR. The brakes are likely to need some work, and a full re-paint will be needed.

Thank you to Bloor Homes for supporting this project with a £500 donation!