Ashington Colliery Railway bogied carriages
The Ashington Colliery Railway ran its own trains for miners and other staff, these used carriages acquired from the main line companies. The first bogied carriages would appear to have been acquired immediatly after the Second World War and prior to the nationalisation of the British coal industry. On being taken over by the National Coal Board (NCB) the carriages were allocatted numbers in the 9300/xxx series as where others acquired subsequently.
Information about the carriages isn't plentiful and that which has been found appears to contain some anomolies, particularly with regard to numbering. The purpose of this conundrum is to try and establish which bogied carriages were acquired and used by the NCB on their Ashington Colliery Railway, their origins, identities and what became of them.
The table below summarises the carriages by NCB number. Only those where a picture or reference confirming a number are included. Photographs exist confirming at least nine different carriages were owned, four clerestory and five elliptical, although it is possible there could have been more. Although predominently of North Eastern Railway design it us understood at least one had originally been built for the Furness Railway.
Summary of Carriages by NCB Number
|NCB Number||Carriage Type||Carriage Number(s)||Notes||Picture|
|9300/151||??? elliptical third (seven compartments)||Possibly of Furness Railway origin
Photograph courtesy of Colour-Rail
|9300/152||NER clerestory luggage third (seven compartments)||3071, 23071||Acquired for Beamish. It would appear that this was the one fire damaged and subsequently dismantled. Various references exist suggesting it was 9300/152 rather than 9300/159 that was fully restored and numbered 818. The current custodians of 818 have examined the files in the Beamish archive which appear to confirm that it was 9300/159 that was restored.|
|9300/153||NER clerestory luggage third (seven compartments)||1149, 21149||Some confusion as to whether the NCB number is correct, NER 1149 has been recorded as being 9300/153 and 9300/157. At least one of the pair was acquired for Beamish and is now located at the Tanfield Railway.|
|9300/156||NER elliptical third (nine compartments)||Photograph courtesy of Colour-Rail|
|9300/157||NER clerestory luggage third (seven compartments)||1149, 21149||Some confusion as NER 1149 has been recorded as being 9300/153 and 9300/157. At least one of the pair was acquired for Beamish and is now located at the Tanfield Railway.|
|9300/159||NER clerestory luggage third (seven compartments)||818, 2818||Acquired for Beamish and fully restored in 1981. Now located at the Stainmore Railway, Kirkby Stephen East. Various references exist suggesting it was 9300/159 rather than 9300/152 that was dismanled at Beamish, 9300/152 being restored as 818. The current custodians of 818 have examined the files in the Beamish archive and these appear to confirm that it was 9300/159 that was restored.
Photograph courtesy of Colour-Rail
|9300/163||NER elliptical third (eight compartments)||118, 2118||Acquired for Beamish. Used on the SLS/MLS Ashington Railtour on 10th June 1967. Now located at the Tanfield Railway.|
|9300/164||NER elliptical third (eight compartments)||1972, 21972||Acquired for Beamish. Currently in storage at Beamish.|
Beamish collection conundrum
Frank Atkinson in his autobiography The Man who made Beamish references acquiring six North Eastern Railway carriages from Ashington. These were initially stored at Ashington, then at the Templeton Works of the Consett Iron Company, before moving to Beamish in c1971. However, only five have ever been recorded as being at Beamish. One of those being reported as being fire damaged in 1973 and dismantled for spares. This reference appeared in Preserved Railway Coaches published in 1976 implying that dismantling took place between 1973 and 1976. However, on p.326-327 of the September 1977 The Railway Observer details are given of a visit to Beamish on 26th June 1977 which says "... past the end of the track used by 876, are five N.E.R. carriages, one being restored in a large PVC hut. Three of these are clerestory roofed and the other two have elliptical roofs. All came from the N.C.B. and the latter two are 9300/163 and 164." This supports Frank Atkinson's ascertion that there were six and suggests a clerestory was dismantled after 1977 the identity of which has never been recorded.
Any further information about whether five or six were acquired, their identities and when they moved from Ashington to Consett and then to Beamish would be appreciated. Pictures of these carriages would alse be welcomed both at Beamish and before.
Both Preserved Railway Coaches published in 1976 and Preserved Railway Carriages published in 1992 list three clerestories, 818, 1149, 3071 (referenced as dismantled), and two ellipticals 118, 1972. Photographs taken a Beamish confirm at least three clerestories and two ellipticals to have been present in the early days but only two clerestories subsequently
This page is maintained by Peter Hall.