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Dartmoor - Merrivale Quarry & Meldon Quarry Railway

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Scaramanger

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Headed out on this mission with Dangerous Dave who provided valuable intel on location and directions.

Dave's gonna add his version of events later on...


WARNING !

Don't venture out unless you have to was what the weather reports were saying. We started off in mid cornwall where not a spec of snow was to be seen but by the time we reached dartmoor it was a total white out. Roads were blocked, snow drifts swept across the roads but we were persistent and managed to get through..



A bit of info (thanks wiki) before we get to the pictures.

Merrivale Quarry is in the heart of Dartmoor and closed down in 2003. It was a granite quarry which since falling out of use has become flooded. It has gradually been stripped and today is a bare shell except for the foundry which still has a few interesting pieces inside.

Meldon quarry station was originally constructed in the 1920s as Meldon Quarry Halt. It had no public access and functioned as a Staff Halt for Quarry Workers, their families and Railway Staff working at Meldon Quarry.
The Halt was not shown in the public railway timetable and local passenger services only called by special arrangement. A Workmans' service from Okehampton also operated during this time using a workmens' coach attached to one of the ballast trains.
A new station at Meldon Quarry was opened in 2000 by Dartmoor Railway. This was built as a single platform on a site adjacent to the former up line and situated slightly nearer to Okehampton. It is a new construction entirely unrelated to the previous Staff Halt. The station was improved in 2002 with the installation of concrete platform walling and a wooden platform shelter in BR Southern Region style and colour scheme.

Although we didn't really venture into the quarry due to it being under a good covering of snow and didn't fancy falling to a hideous death we had a look around the adjacent rail yard instead.....

Poor old ponies, -5 degrees and the water their trying to drink has turned to ice - Ice licking can't be fun

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On to Merrivale

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Inside one of the buildings..not much left

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Ever seen a cutting wheel this big ? we believe it was to cut slate

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The original quarry.. now flooded

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An old foundry building that seems to have been partially restored

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Inside the foundry

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A piece of interesting equipment

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And then on to Meldon...

On the way up and under meldon viaduct

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Dangerous looking towards the dam on the viaduct

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Quite an unusual sight, rail yard with a quarry backdrop

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Class 08 shunter in its shed

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looks like its recently been painted

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Not many loco's to be seen here but no doubt the jewel in the crown here is this sixties liveried Class 47 "Waverley"

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Thanks for looking
 

night crawler

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Interestion report that , the piece of equipment in the 10th photo said drill sharpener on it. My mind is raceing as to what size drill was sharpened on that, it looked huge. :)
 

night crawler

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Forgot to add I liked the shot under meldon viaduct for th esteelwork and how it goes into the distance.:)
 

hydealfred

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Some really nice shots there - thanks for making the effort to get out in the snow :) That 47 looks in very good nick.
 

Scaramanger

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Forgot to add I liked the shot under meldon viaduct for th esteelwork and how it goes into the distance.:)

Thanks although sadly I can't take all the credit for it. Dangerous suggested the shot as I had a wide angle lens that would just about squeeze it all it. Its a fantastic piece of engineering.
 

Foxylady

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That's a cracking explore and pics, 114...especially in this weather! Some great stuff there and loving the excavations. :)
Great ponies shot. :mrgreen:
 

Munchh

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Very interesting report, thanks for posting and braving the elements to do so. :)

I thought your large cutter could actually be for cutting granite into slabs. A colleague of mine does this for a living and I've been in his workshop a few times. Have a look at this link...............

http://www.legendarydartmoor.co.uk/sett_makers.htm

...................which may relate directly to the quarry. If it does, it may well be worth going back when the snow's gone for a wider explore of the area. According to the article, there's a bit of late 1800's history lying around.
 

borntobemild

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fantastic place - something for everyone.

Seen a similar wheel to that in a slate quarry in N Wales - athough not still in situ.
 

Badoosh

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Nice report & pics. As Munch said above, the disc cutter is definitely granite. Shame they moved the crane from Merrivale. Some interesting stuff round that way.
 

jonney

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ever seen a cutting wheel this big ? We believe it was to cut slate

dartmoor6.jpg
i used to use blades like this for cutting sandstone. They hang them up so that they don't warp with standing propped up against something because they are a pain to re-straighten and cost a bomb
 

theoss

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i used to use blades like this for cutting sandstone. They hang them up so that they don't warp with standing propped up against something because they are a pain to re-straighten and cost a bomb

Biggest cutting wheel I have seen was 72" and fitted to a machine known as a Grice. It was used to cut carbon blocks at Hepworth/ Premier refractories in Sheffield. I helped with a breakdown job on it some years ago. Whilst we were repairing the slider mechanism, someone was retipping the diamond blade. I have been back to the plant now it has closed for good and, like the engineering firm I used to contract for based on site, the machine has gone- before I left Sheffield there was talk of relocating it to Bawtry.

This report brings back memories- we used to go to Newquay every September and stay a night at Bundu campsite on the way, we would take a stroll up Yes Torr, and so walked over that bridge. There are some Kiln remains under the bridge. Could never get near the ponies though. Sadly 700 ponies were pulled off Dartmoor last year, shot and sold for meat, althouth I suppose at least they were shot locally and not shifted around for hundreds of miles and then shot.
 

Incognito

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Nice report, recently did the train yard and meldon quarry. The sixties liveried Class 47 "Waverley" was a very nice end to the explore and is pretty cool inside.
 

smiffy

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i used to use blades like this for cutting sandstone. They hang them up so that they don't warp with standing propped up against something because they are a pain to re-straighten and cost a bomb

I'd love to see the angle grinder that fits on :)harharhar!
 

jonney

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Biggest cutting wheel I have seen was 72" and fitted to a machine known as a Grice. It was used to cut carbon blocks at Hepworth/ Premier refractories in Sheffield. I helped with a breakdown job on it some years ago. Whilst we were repairing the slider mechanism, someone was retipping the diamond blade. I have been back to the plant now it has closed for good and, like the engineering firm I used to contract for based on site, the machine has gone- before I left Sheffield there was talk of relocating it to Bawtry.

We used to use an Anderson-Grice Pedlistle saw with a 36" blade, 2 Diavro frame saws with 63" blades, a Van Voorden Frame saw with a 118" blade and a BM frame saw which was just a huge stone cutting hacksaw and a couple of smaller cross cut saws with 24" blades
 

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