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Corus Rail, STEELworks, Workington, Cumbria 10/2007

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BrickMan

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Ok, first visit of this site was back in june 07, when it was complete, most of these pics are from nov 07 when just one piece of machinary was removed, now as I right this its being torn shred from shred, and by the time I see it again (midmay) it'll be a huge cleared brownfield site

Very few explorers saw this site, and only two of us really saw the good stuff. That was dempsey and I as we both live local.

I will add history at a later date, into this bit...


corusroadmap.jpg

overview of th site, big red box is all corus, most of it was explorable, although half of it was live, smaller red box is what we visited the 2nd time with little mike (a tiny proportion)
so these pics are a hybrid of nighttime fun (but minor explore) and and the broaddaylight strole

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yum, industrial stuff!

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I'm amazed I got this shot with my humbol little fuji, this was zoomed in a good way into the range, and amazed how sharp it came out/the fact it even focused on these valves, they are about teh size of someones head!

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the light here was OMG amazing

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littlemike cheese up the place taking shots of the infinite amount of chains about the place

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this part of the rolling mill was taken away over summer 07

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its time to explore! or least, 24tonnes of exploring!
it was used to weight the slag/scrapings that th big claw pulled up fromt eh sump of one of th rollers and dumped in the back O a railway dumpster

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more OMG amazign colours, the industry boys would have loved this place

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sneaking about, the dark made it impossible to continue along th normal route, so we had to take securitys route, wherupon littlemike who was stood in an open area (within building) taking shots of pipes, security came thru a door, and walked within 2-5m of him! never noticed him stood there! I think secur was either well tired, or mike's dressed in black ninja outfit + stoodstill = invisible

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group shot, sorry for all th cheese, it was a running joke at the time!

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Ok onto the daylight explore now,. this was taken at teh top of THE most wobbly lighting gantry you've ever seen, with me & dempseys weight on it and a light breeze it was wobbling all over the shop!!

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down

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dempsey examines some barrels

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the cooling rails, once the blooms had been furnaced, heated, neaded, rolled, rolled again, rolled again, cut, length checked, they were then shoved onto these rails, where they would be turned over once every 20mins or so to cool to make sure they don't warp. This area was huge, 2-3times what you can see from this pic!

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on the cooling rails

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the now defunc/demo'd offices, were really nice, but the devolper left them too long and the local kids destroyed them

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end of the line, some rails went ahead, but the vast majority head up onto the cooling rails from here.

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another cooling shed pann
in the far right corner is where teh rails went to be sonic checked for holes/cracks and then neaded again to tempre them and check for straight'ness

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oh NOES security! get down!
Funny enough we'd been messing about on a bridge over this section not 20m from them tryiing to get people shots, how they didn't notice us was a mircale!

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the furnace to heat th blooms

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furnace in day time, not so dramatic! but much easier to explore in daytime! damn shadows/cctv

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under the furnace

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dempsey in the muddy mess under the furnance

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misc

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security cat!!! LOL.

Hope that isn't too many pics, just wanted to share best of both explores in one thread
 

Shepy

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This place looks excellent mate, heavy industry always does it for me and if 24 tonnes isnt heavy then i dont know what is!

Added this to my hitlist for one of the places i want to visit when heading out that way with you.

~Shepy
 

havoc

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Remember seeing this on 28, Cool stuff, shame another big industrial site is going, nice work though.:)
 

wolfism

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Shame that this place is being flattened, as I would have made a point of visiting if I was in the area … I guess you were the privileged few. :)

Cracking night-time shots though – that lighting is really photogenic.
 

The Duke

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Such a shame to see our heavy industry continuing to disappear down the flue pipe of life. On the upside however, it means more opportunities and challenges for Team Urbex
 

rjg_scotland

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Love seeing this... I was on the Corus IT helpdesk for a year (in Inverness - outsourced to Capgemini) so I delt with many broken dumb terminals, PCs and printers from this and all the other Corus sites :)
 

croiz

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Beautiful photos mate! I'm sure those security guards were knackered.... it's a massive site to have to patrol. Poor fellas.
 

BrickMan

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steel, corus moved production to a massive brand new site @ scunthorpe, reason = the old plant couldn't produce the extra long high speed rails without a complete revamp. the entire rolling mill from beginning to end would need to be longer (quite a bit), and they couldn't expand in either direction because of the cliffs on one side, and rail lineon the other.

also the plant was in the wrong place. they USED to ship the rails all over the world (prob more than half) but that died out when china reared its head. they made it all over the states, a lot for the original push westwards across midwestern US raillines etc, theywere made in workington AT THIS PLANT!!!

so now there is no need for it to be shipped out and the rails only used within the UK the plant needed to be closer to a mainline, not 1.25hrs down a branchline, and then still be at carlise in teh far far north of the country.

so they built a new one and moved!!

no idea where the steel is produced, used to be 400m in a big ass set of bessemer furness's. probably china!


thanks for the comments!
 

Scully

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Just to add my tupence.

When Corus were formed in 1999 (merger of former British Steel & Hoogovens) they immediately purchased a steel rail rolling mill in Hayange, France at a cost of @ £84million. This gave them the capacity to produce rails up to 72 metres long without welds. They then spent @ £15million upgrading the plant to allow it to produce rails to the same specification as the Moss Bay, Workington plant. The blooms for this plant come from Scunthorpe.

The problem with the Workington plant was that, although it actually rolled the rails in 80 metre lengths, they had to be reduced in length to a max of 40 metres in order to get them out of the factory (with the standard length being 36m). They were then welded into strings up to 108 metres long in the on site long welded rail plant (which is still in operation, welding 36m French rails, despite Corus' initial statement back in 2006 that a new welding plant would be operational and all welding transferred to Scunthorpe by March 2007...And that the new plant would remove the need for 108m welded strings).

Corus then invested @ £130million at Scunthorpe, including a rail rolling mill allowing it to produce 120m rails. A number of former Moss Bay employees were transferred to Scunthorpe.

Moss Bay could have been upgraded to roll 72m rails for £49million (Corus' own figures), but Corus used the excuse that it cost too much to transport the blooms from Scunthorpe (they came from Teeside between @ 1973 & 2002) to Workington, although the fact they still transport them from Scunthorpe to Hayange to this day doesn't seem to cause a problem.

Joe Guérin, the frenchman who is Corus rail business' managing director, and a former plant manager at Moss Bay, is possibly the only man who can shed some light on some of these anomalies:skeptical:
 

wearethemoos

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Corus was taken over by an Indian company, who is supposedly in the process of now closing Scunthorpe! So not only did they destroy the only major industry in Workington, but now they are trying to kill somewhere else too!:icon_evil
 

listerofsmeg

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Nice photos, liking the cat! Corus has a steel works in Corby (near Kettering in the Midlands) that takes daily (sometimes twice daily) deliveries of steel coils by rail. These huge coils of steel come from a place called Margam in Wales.
 

Spider212

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Some excellent shots there, if i could find somewhere like that near by me i woud be right in, love when everything is untouched, will have to keep looking :mrgreen:

Again some excellent work there
 

wearethemoos

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More to go

Just a quick update on the demolition of the Corus site in Workington. The railways are now being ripped up between the south end of the site where the main factory was, and the docks to the north of the site (all visible on the map in the original post). This is being done by a local scrap metal merchant, Moss Bay Metals. I hope they will have some sense and use the ground for a long needed cycle path, as the existing path beside the site is only 2 foot wide!
 

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