Scunthorpe Steeltracker Eggstravaganza
Monday 28th March 2016
On Easter Monday, 28 March our longest and most ambitious railtour here took place (at the time it was possible it could even have been the last one) from 09.30 to 18.45 with 49 participants. A donation of £1,900 was made to the Appleby Frodingham Railway Preservation Society, which included the cost of the food and drink for two breaks when the party was very well refreshed. Three new Society Scunthorpe records were set (duration, number of participants and the amount raised). There were quite a few 'Scunthorpe Virgins' including a pleasing number of new and younger members who were very impressed and amazed by what they saw and the track covered.
Since our 19 Sep 2015 visit, Scunthorpe Plate Mill had ceased rolling (on 17 December), ending over 75 years of plate production there. Its final stock had been cleared out in early March. All its entrances have been sealed up (to prevent metal theft) and 12/13 of its access lines were OOU (so as not to require maintenance). The trip did indeed cover the remaining and longest branch to the limit. It looked very strange, particularly with no activity there. Similarly, Dawes Lane Coke Ovens ceased production on 8 March after 40 years, was allowed to go cold and the brick lining had 'collapsed' inside (a terminal event). Coke is still produced at the 1938 Appleby Coke Ovens, upgraded over the years and receiving investment to reduce pollution and extract Benzene more efficiently.
The railtour, mostly with loco No.1 and an after tea Class 20 finale site circuit, included:
●Frodingham AFRPS platform line end & loop.
●Dawes Lane Coke Ovens Branch.
●Appleby Coke Ovens - stub by Basic Slag Road.
●Plate Mill Road 23 (to the 'Old Stripper Shed').
●Rail Service Centre 6 Bay West & East.
●Rail Service Centre 2 Bay West, 3, 4 & 5 Bay.
●End of siding (left) alongside Concast.
●End of Road 2 in front of Concast.
●Stores Road (underneath the High Line).
●Scrap main, Loop and Left Bay Road.
●East Bank to end of line (normally occupied).
●'Soaker side' and the short siding off this.
●Corus Rail Sidings, start of Road 2.
●Anchor Exchange Sidings 1, 3, 4 & 5.
●Container Terminal D - all three lines to end.
●Loop east of Mills Exchange Sidings.
●P. Way headshunt and both lines to gates.
●Iron Pits, right hand branch both lines.
● Queen Anne / Queen Victoria Blast Furnaces
north (terminal) branch, both roads.
●Torpedo Repair Bay lines 1, 4 & 5 and loop.
●Caparo Gate 15.
●South Melting Shop Running Road & Loop.
Thanks to the many Society and AFRPS volunteers (most work at the plant) involved in our excellent full day visit to Britain's largest private railway. Particular thanks to our member Alan Sheppard for planning and directing the route and Martyn Brailsford for cartography. With the subsequent good news that the plant is to continue in production, we hope to run more of these tours in the future.