Victoria Colliery

00, Southern Region, 12 @ 4 foot


Screen        Patent Fuel Works        Coke & Breeze

Services         Pit props        Electric        Weighbridge

Entries    Panoramas


Fordbury Dene Railway

Coombe Bissett



Victoria Colliery

Nettlebridge Valley Railway





For a model railways the screen is the modelled aspect of a colliery (coal mine) as this is where most of the railway activity takes place. At the screen coal is cleaned (waste rock removed), sized and loaded into railway wagons. The screen at Victoria Colliery has four conveyor belt allowing the gentle loading of four sizes of coal. The sidings are on a grade so that empty wagons can be moved without the need for a shunting engine.

Patent Fuel Works
Collieries produced small coal that was often difficult to sell. One use of small coal was to mix it with a binder (tar, cement and clay have been used) run it through a press allow to dry creating ovoids originally called patient fuel but now normally called briquettes. Hopefully the patient fuel/briquettes are more profitable  than small coal. At least one Colliery in the Mellis Valley is known to have manufactured patient fuel/briquettes.

Coke & Breeze
Another use for small coal is to make coke by heating coal in the absents of air. Several collieries in the Mellis Valley are known to have made coke. The coke screen is smaller than the coal screen as coke doesn't need cleaning and is divided into two sizes coke and breeze (small coke), To avoid breakages a conveyor is used to gently lower the coke into wagons. Breeze is treated much more roughly - it is dropped through a hole in the screen floor directly into the wagons below. 

An efficient colliery needs services provided by carpenters, fillers, black smiths etc. This group of buildings is where they work.

Pit props
This is where the railway delivers pit props. Pit props are used in the mine to support the roofs of underground workings.

Electric - the reception hopper
In the real world collieries (coal mine) received empty and sent out full coal wagons. This is difficult to do with a portable exhibition layouts. Thankfully research turned up several cases of coal fuelled electrical power stations being located next to a colliery - an example is Norchard in the Forest of Dean. This has happened at Victoria Colliery where an off scene electrical power station takes most of Victoria Colliery's coal. For cost and chemical reasons the electrical power station also used coal from other collieries. The patent fuel works and coke works also uses some coal from other collieries. Together these explains the arrival of full and the departure of empty coal wagons.
The arriving  coal wagons are emptied by opening two hatches in their floor and dropping the coal into the reception hopper. Opening the hatches gets most of the coal out of the wagon but then some poor soul has to go into the wagon and shovel and brush out the remainder.

The Weighbridge
At collieries wagons were weighed on arrival and departure.