Lee Moor Tramway water tank wagon

Alec K

Registered
25 Oct 2009
1,192
156
The Vale of the Avon
This is one of those mixed scale and gauge projects, but here goes...

The actual Lee Moor Tramway was constructed to the 'Dartmoor Gauge' of 4'6" and eventually opened in 1858 as a horse-worked/gravity operation to convey china clay from the pits at Lee Moor to the wharves at Cattewater in Plymouth. In 1899, on the upper levels, two steam locos were introduced to deal with heavy traffic, but rope-worked inclines at Cann Wood and Torycombe meant that the start and finish of the system was horse- and gravity-worked until the end came on 26 August 1960. My scratchbuilt model is of one of the LMT water tank wagons that were used to balance the weights of ascending empty or descending loaded wagons on the principal inclines. Very simply, the amount of water in the tank was adjusted to achieve the necessary balance against the train of two to three wagons.

So, to 1:20.3 scale, on 45mm gauge track, here it is, for all its shortcomings! The wagon is made from thick plastic card and a selection of Evergreen rigid plastic sections, with Tenmille running gear, Brandbright safety chains and a spare LGB couping. As well as the eclectic scale/gauge mix, I've had to estimate the dimensions from photographs and the only known (to me, anyway) dimension, which is the wheel diameter. I hope I've captured the workaday character of the originals.

All the best,

Alec

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brianthesnail96

Registered
25 Oct 2009
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Gloucesterestershire
Very nice indeed :)

Local to me too, not that there's much to see of it now of course.
 

Alec K

Registered
25 Oct 2009
1,192
156
The Vale of the Avon
Many thanks to Matt and Mel respectively for the customary encouragement! As Mel notes, these were indeed small wagons, with a gvw of around 3t each. In the hope that it'll be of interest, I'll post a couple of shots of my Liskeard and Caradon 6t open and passenger brake van No.6 models in due course- another set of small vehicles...

All the best

Alec
 

brianthesnail96

Registered
25 Oct 2009
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Gloucesterestershire
Crossed on the flat and the GWR had to give way, that always amused me.
 

Alec K

Registered
25 Oct 2009
1,192
156
The Vale of the Avon
Indeed so! No-one is quite sure when the last wagons of clay crossed the Laira flat crossing - probably sometime before 1946 - but from that year to 1960 very occasional loads of sand, hauled by two horses, travelled the last two miles or so to Maddocks Concrete Works alongside the line, in order to maintain the legal right of way. My father, whose office was in Plymouth B Power Station on Cattedown Wharf, photographed for me the 4'6" rails still in place on the wharfside in the mid-60s. I recall seeing the lines of LMT clay wagons in Laira exchange sidings, where the TMD is now sited. Happy days!

Next project - a Redlake Tramway coach. I've walked the old track often enough....

As ever

Alec