History and Operations
The Quarry Tramroad runs a serpentine five and a half mile course from Ffarquhar to the Anopha Quarry - even though a direct route between the two is only one and a half miles. The Coffee Pots originally ran the line. They were, however, deficient in brake power, and heavy loads sometimes got out of hand, so Thomas was sent up on occasion until an encounter with a young policeman in 1951 put a stop to it; Thomas did not comply with Ministry of Transport tramway regulations. In the end, the Fat Controller decided to bring Toby and Henrietta to his railway in order to solve the problem.
Passing through the stoneyard to which raw stone is brought to be cut and cured, the line leaves by an ungated crossing over the Ulfstead Road, and into a lane. Heading eastward past the runaway siding, it climbs at 1 in 60, and swinging westward, levels off alongside the Arlesburgh road. Here, at the top of the steepest gradient is the ”Stop Board” which Percy once ignored disastrously. After another mile, the Ffarquhar River Bridge comes next. This bridge is shared by both rail and road, and was washed away by a flash flood on one occasion leaving Toby poised precariously. The line then comes to the crossing where Thomas had the encounter with a policeman. The line climbs again but on an easier gradient, once more changes direction, and reaches the Quarry from the west.
The traffic on the line consists of stone, with freight trains to carry it run as required, with four passenger trains a day to carry workmen to and from the quarry. Farms and cottages are located at intervals along the line, where Toby stops at request. In 1962, the quarry company bought Mavis to help with shunting in the quarry sidings. She was eventually allowed to run up the tramway to bring freight trains to Ffarquhar.
In the television series, a narrow gorge is also located above this line, where Lorry 2 fell off one of the cliffs.
- Even though an engine legally needs cowcatchers and sideplates to run on the line, Percy has often gone down to the quarry without them. As the old constable Thomas befriended didn't stop him previously, the Ministry of Transport tramway regulations on the Quarry Tramroad must have been revoked, and when the new policeman who wrote Thomas' ticket was transferred, this and many other outdated laws went with him.