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The Quarry Tramroad

The Quarry Tramroad is a private tramway that connects the Anopha Quarry with Thomas' Branch Line at Ffarquhar.

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 put a stop to it; all because Thomas did not have sideplates or a cowcatcher. In the end, the Fat Controller decided to bring Toby and Henrietta to his railway in order to solve the problem.

The sole traffic on the line is stone with a passenger train to carry workmen to and from the quarry. Later, the quarry company bought Mavis to help with the stone traffic. She was eventually allowed to run up the tramway to bring trains to Ffarquhar.

The line passes through the stoneyard to which raw stone is brought to be cut and cured, then the level crossing near the stationmaster's house, then an ungated crossing that goes through the Ulfstead Road and follows a lane. The latter crossing is preceded by a dip which freezes over in icy weather, meaning that engines must stop before the dip and rely on momentum to get past; such conditions will prevent an engine foolish enough to stop as normal from continuing once traffic is halted. It later passes a runaway siding and turns to the left climbing 1 in 60, on a bridge over Arlesburgh Road and a stream. The line climbs the steep hill and follows to the east. It comes to the top where a board is placed: "all trains stop to pin down brakes". A bridge over a stream comes next, where Toby had an accident being suspended over a raging torrent. The line comes to the crossing where Thomas had the encounter with a policeman and the line turns right to the east, directly to the Quarry. Farms and cottages are placed along the line too, for request stops.

In the television series, a narrow gorge is also located above this line, where Lorry 2 fell off one of the cliffs.

Trivia

  • Even though an engine legally needs sideplates to run on the line, Percy has often gone down to the quarry. When the policeman who wrote Thomas' ticket was transferred, this and many other outdated laws most likely went with him. The tramway law on the Quarry Tramroad might also have been outdated, which would explain why the old constable who was a friend of Thomas didn't stop him beforehand.

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