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Title:Devon Great Consols, a Study of Victorian Mining Enterprise
Originator:Goodridge, J. C.
Summary:Railway built to link the Devon Great Consols mine with the port of Morwellham. Horse power was inadequate for the amount of ore being raised. Construction began in 1857 and was completed in Nov 1858. The line had a maximum gradient of 1 in 48 and ran south for 4 1/2 miles above the river. Built to a standard gauge of 4ft.8 1/2 in. With rails weighing 39lb. A yard laid upon longitudinal sleepers. Worked at first by a single locomotive, but two more were added in 1859 and 1860. Two of the locomotives (pl.20) had cylinders of 12" diam, the third had 7" cylinders, they weighed 15 tons in running order. For conveying the freight there were 60 wagons, each weighing 2 1/4 tons and capable of carrying 3 1/2 tons. A train usually consisted of 8 to 10 wagons and took 20 minutes to cover the 4 1/2 miles. The last 1/2 mile of the line was an inclined plane with a gradient of 1 in 3 which led down to the ore quays at Morwellham 240' below. Trucks were lowered two at a time down this incline by a 4" rope and were balanced by two ascending trucks. Midway a double line of rail was laid for the trucks to pass each other. Power for haulage on the incline came from a 22" steam engine, which was built in the mine's own foundry at a considerable saving in cost. The engine and locomotives were supplied with water pumped by a 25ft. Water wheel. The line commenced at Wheal Anna Maria, where large bins were erected so that the ore could fall directly into the wagons. Branches were laid to the sawmill at Wheal Josiah and to the neighbouring mine of Bedford United. Total cost of the railway was $10,355, with $2,240 for additional machinery. Closed in 1900 when the mines shut down.

Associated Monuments (14)

MDV3880Devon Great Consols, Railway (Monument)
MDV3868Devon Great Consols, Wheal Thomas/Watson (Monument)
MDV37317Wheal Anna Maria Houses (Building)
MDV3865Wheal Anna Maria, 19th Century Arsenic Works (Monument)
MDV3869Wheal Emma, Railway Shaft (Monument)
MDV37322Wheal Fanny, Count House, Tree View (Building)
MDV37321Wheal Fanny, Mine Captain's House, Woodland View (Building)
MDV37316Wheal Josiah Cottages (Building)
MDV3864Wheal Josiah, Buildings & School (Monument)
MDV3867Wheal Josiah, Richard's Engine Shaft (Monument)
MDV3863Wheal Josiah, Sawmill (Monument)
MDV37326Wheal Maria Cottages Nos 1-20 (Building)
MDV37327Wheal Maria Farm (Building)
MDV37325Wheal Maria, Count House, Nos 23 and 24 (Building)