South Crofty Mine Underground 16: This following page containing images of some of the Locomotives used in South Crofty to transport the mined material. All were electric powered, these lived underground in the many charging bays scattered around the workings.
Ex Miner Paul “Winja” Coppinger has written a few words about the locos used at South Crofty:
When I started at South Crofty in 1985 they had several different types of underground locomotives. We operated some diesel 5 ton locos that where powerful but left an acrid smell in the air, as you could imagine. Not nice in a confined space.
There were also the smaller battery powered ones called Bev’s. These had a pan that you stood in and hoped you didn’t fall out. So many did. These where eventually replaced with 1 and half ton Clayton’s which where safer and had a pan that surrounded the driver up to the waist. They also had a dead man’s handle that would cut the power if you let go of the control.
These locos were used on all working levels unlike its bigger cousin, the 5 ton Clayton. These were too big to be used on the upper levels due to the narrowness of the drives so were consequently used primarily on 380 fathoms and below.
Another safety function of the big Clayton was its dynamic breaking. This would enable you to stop much more easily and quickly than the smaller versions. These could travel up to 20 miles an hour. Plenty fast enough given the type of conditions they had to work in.
Each level had an ore pass where the mined broken rock was dumped. These were connected to the main crusher where the material was crushed to sub 150mm. Consequently more ore could be put into the skips for the journey to grass. Above all not a penny could be wasted for the cash strapped mine.
The rest of the images on this page are of the emptying of the wagons at various locations within the mine.
The next set of images were taken on the 445 Fathom Level Ore Pass. This was a very busy place at the time because this was one of the main production areas for the mine.
The next images are of the same ore pass (445 Fathom) from the other side. These show the two miners emptying a set of Granby wagons.
Not everything goes to plan, the next images show a 2 1/2 Ton Granby Wagon being emptied at another ore pass. Because on this occasion the tub has separated from the chassis. So causing a few issues for the miners.
The final images on this page are riding the loco. These image was taken whilst I hung on for dear life on the back of a wagon. We often caught a lift when we had a large distance to cover. On most occasions we were on the way to the ore pass where the rock would be emptied.