Monday, 14 September 2009

Loose Coupled

I have found one delightful scene which I never thought I'd witness; the loose coupled freight. About 95% of movements around Scunthorpe Steelworks are loose coupled and it is all accompanied with buffers and couplings clanging which is a wonderful sound and has disappeared from most other parts of the country.

Mostly these are short trains of large steel carrying wagons, however there is a large number of scrap wagons like these on the system -

This morning on my way in through the works (once you arrive at the complex you still have some way to travel to reach the right part!) I was met with a site of one of the work's Janus type centre cab 0-6-0DH locos taking a train of around fifteen empty wagons of this type. I stopped and watched its slow progress as the wagons fought both the loco and each other. The sound was one that I associate very much with the 'steam age' railway but this is very much a part of this modern heavy industry yet is hidden away from public view and sadly so many enthusiasts will just miss out.


  1. What a marvellously evocative description. I love the thought of the wagons fighting the haulage and themselves. Troublesome trucks! Reminds me of my slate shunt on the Ffesty.

    And you say they pay you for this job?


  2. Indeed I do get paid for this! Some of the work is an absolute joy! The fresh air (even in a steelworks!) beats being stuck in an office!

    The works is a filthy place though and the work can be very hard. On Thrusday I came home filthy despite having washed and changed before I left! But given the choice, of a nice clean office and out on track, I think you can guess where I'd choose to be!