Yate Rocks Tramway – A South Gloucestershire Tramway near Wickwar – OO9
In the late 19th century there was a horse drawn dramway, about 3ft gauge, that linked two limestone quarry just north of the east end of Tan House Lane with some limekilns alongside the Midland Main line just south of where the existing Limekiln Lane crosses the railway line.
Although the tramway had been dismantled by 1900 the route is still easily discernable across the fields. The limekilns ceased operation in the 1920’s. There was also a small tramway, although not connected, alongside a quarry on the south side of Tan House Farm. This quarry is now a well known Carp fishing lake, having flooded when the quarrymen hit a spring. As I have yet to establish if it had a name, I have created a name for it, the Yate Rocks Tramway.
This 009 layout takes the tramway as its basis as it might have been if it had kept operating until after the Second World War. Set in circa 1950, the Tramway is still prospering, the local limestone being much prized for road construction, however I have turned it into a diesel hauled 2ft 3ins gauge mineral light railway. I have also connected it to the Midland railway main line, which passed the limekilns, via a standard gauge spur.
The buildings on the layout are mainly from the area, the idea being to create an image of part of the quarrying history of the area as it might have been in circa 1950. The Tramway has been featured in the 009 Society magazine.
Photos copyright Mike Thornton