The Rise & Fall of Bagworth Rapid Loader, 1978-1990.
In the 1970s the neighbouring collieries of Bagworth, Ellistown, and Nailstone were linked underground, with coal being brought to the surface at Nailstone where there was a coal preparation plant. Coal had been carried from Nailstone colliery to the Leicester to Burton railway line at Bagworth using a small coal board branch line (see Kirby Muxloe & Bagworth, 1960s). In order to move larger quantities of coal more efficiently a 3 km overland conveyor was built from Nailstone colliery to a new rapid loader at Bagworth. The rapid loader only had a life about 10 years when coal mining ceased due to exhaustion of reserves and geological problems.
The photographs here show the construction, use, and demolition of the rapid loader.
1-of-16) English Electric type 1 Bo-Bo, 8042 and 8192, propel a brake van southwards at Bagworth, Leicestershire, 1/6/73, towards the future site of Bagworth rapid loader in 1973.
2-of-16) Class-20 Bo-Bo locomotives and a brake van have just passed the under-construction Bagworth rapid coal loader in 1978, as they head towards Coalville. A rail connection to the loader will be put in on the right.
This was a “grab” shot, taken without having time to set the camera, since the train appeared as I arrived at this location.
3-of-16) Overland coal conveyor being constructed from the coal preparation plant at Nailstone Colliery, about 2 Km away behind the photographer, to the rapid loader, at the left, at the railway at Bagworth, Leicestershire, July 1979.
4-of-16) The rapid coal loader under construction at Bagworth, Leicestershire, July 1979. The conveyor carries coal from the preparation plant at Nailstone Colliery and will replace trains on the railway which crosses the Bagworth to Ellistown road in the foreground. Click here for a photograph of a train crossing here in 1967.
5-of-16) The rapid coal loader under construction at Bagworth, Leicestershire, July 1979.
6-of-16) A new connection from the Leiceter - Burton line to the new rapid coal loader at Bagworth is being constructed, in July 1979, with a conveyor to carry coal from the preparation plant at Nailstone Colliery. The effect of mining subsidence, for long a problem in this area, can be seen by the dip in the track of the Leicester to Burton line.
7-of-16) The new rail connection being put in to the rapid coal loader under construction at Bagworth, Leicestershire, July 1979, from the Leicester to Burton line, looking north.
To the left of the cabin is the track bed of the former connection to Ellistown Colliery. The line to the Stud Farm granite quarry now branches off to the right just beyond the colour light signal in the middle distance at Bagworth Junction.
8-of-16) Class 56 Co-Co diesel locomotive no. 56066 departs with a lengthy coal train from the rapid coal loader at Bagworth, Leicestershire, on a frosty and misty day in early 1984. It is about to join the Leicester - Burton line and will be heading to a local power station.
9-of-16) Seen on 13/1/90, the rapid coal loader at Bagworth, Leicestershire, was by now disused since the economic coal reserves at Bagworth and Ellistown Collieries had been exhausted. These collieries were connected underground to Nailstone Colliery where there was a coal preparation plant from where the conveyor had carried the treated coal, a distance of about 3 Km.
10-of-16) On 13/1/90, the rapid coal loader at Bagworth, Leicestershire, is now disused. The conveyor to it carried coal about 3km from the preparation plant at Nailstone Colliery.
11-of-16) Looking north from the now disused rapid coal loader at Bagworth, Leicestershire, 13/1/90. Note the control signal on the left, the headstocks of Ellistown Colliery in the distance, and the Leicester to Burton line on the right.
12-of-16) The disused rapid coal loader at Bagworth, Leicestershire, from the south, 13/1/90.
13-of-16) View south to the buffer stop from the disused rapid coal loader at Bagworth, Leicestershire, 13/1/90.
Bagworth Colliery can be seen on the horizon behind the lamp post, while the old foot bridge over the Leicester - Burton line at the site of Bagworth & Ellistown station is in the distance on the left.
14-of-16) Looking inside through the gate at the south end of the abandoned rapid coal loader at Bagworth, Leicestershire, 13/1/90.
15-of-16) Looking inside through the gate at the north end of the disused rapid coal loader at Bagworth, Leicestershire, 13/1/90. The “clam” loading chutes above the track are very prominent.
16-of-16) The final stages of the demolition of Bagworth rapid loader, 10/2/90. Bagworth Colliery can be seen on the horizon on the left.
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