Ash Pits

Hi all

Practical question.

On the layout I was reading about tlast night they once again modelled an ash pit on the loco siding.

From a practical point how did they empty these pits, did some guy have to go down with a shovel and empty them or was their some other way to do it.

I have never seen the answer to this anywhere I have read.



Reply to
Andrew Robson
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AIUI some of the large modernised shed, post war mostly, had mechanical means of emptying ash pits but all the rest would have been emptied by a man and shovel - labour was cheap remember....

Reply to

"Andrew Robson" wrote

Some had a narrow gauge track in the bottom with tippler wagons into which the ash was discharged. Although I remember this clearly at one or two sheds in the early 60s I can't for the life of me recall how they got the tipplers out of the pit.


Reply to
John Turner

Interesting. Over here, they used bucket conveyors, or augers (such as are also used to lift grain froma granary (grain bin) into a truk (lorry), or sometimes just plain old human-powered shovels.

Reply to
Wolf Kirchmeir

Reply to
Uncle Wobbly

once more, with feeling :o)

Some depots had a small steam crane with a grab-bucket - Plate 24 in Vic Mitchell & Keith Berry's "Reading to Basingstoke" (Middleton press) Shows such a device on a 4-wheel chassis used for coaling and ash disposal on shed at Reading 1950. The photo was taken from the Wessex Collection

Reply to
Uncle Wobbly

On pages 44-49 of this Febuarys Model Rail, there is an article on modelling steam depots and has a drawing of an ashpit with mimi-hoppers underneath. It says "these were then hauled up to the surface" but doesn't say how.


Reply to
Dave Potter

To the best of my knowledge no-one makes in OO or HO a model of a little four-wheeled steam crane that could be used for ash and coal handling in a loco depot. But, it should not be too difficult to scratch-build a non working model of such a device. A working model, at least one that could at least move about under its own power, would be more of a challenge.However, a long while ago I did convert one of Triangs little 0-4-0 tank engines into a reasonably respectable model of a crane locomotive, which could be used for such duties. It's in a box somewhere buried under other boxes. Regards, Bill.

"Uncle Wobbly" wrote in message news:421058a3$0$32602$

Reply to
William Pearce

Sorry guys - February.

Reply to
Dave Potter

"Uncle Wobbly"

One or two cleaners or shed labourers.

One or two shovels.

One open goods truck.

One or two aching backs.

Try heaving goodness knows how many shovel fulls of ash from the bottom of the ash pit over the top of the side and into an open goods truck.

Ah yes, the joys of steam. :-)

-- Cheers Roger T.

Home of the Great Eastern Railway

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Reply to
Roger T.

I think on a small siding with a pit for loco maintenance it would be frowned upon to put ash into the pit. I think the pit was primarily for the crew to use for inspecting, oiling round etc. Any ash would be emptied from the smokebox or firebox by the crew into a wheelbarrow or similar then to an ash storage facility with any hot ash first being damped down (at small places kick it about 'till you lose it!).

At the sheds themselves, the methods were varied, I think if there was a mechanical coal loader provided there was usually a mechanical ash plant of some sort. At the largest depots you would see the huge concrete coaling towers accompanied by a smaller concrete tower which was the ash handling plant. Like other posters have said these involved the use of narrow gauge tubs filled in pits under the loco then winched up to the top of the tower to be emptied into a bunker where it was stored until discharged through a chute into standard gauge wagons.

The methods were many and varied but usually somebody with a shovel had to do the tidying up.

Reply to

Reply to
David Costigan

A variation on this that I've seen in US photos made it a two man operation. One in the pit filling a large bucket and one using a manual crane to lift the bucket and swing it around into a gondola or hopper on an adjacent track.

I think E. L. Moore had the plans for one in an old MR magazine ('60s?).

Reply to
Larry Blanchard

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