Tuesday, 31 August 2021

Dramatic Near Miss at Loading Ramp

No, it's not a newspaper clipping about an incident at Nystrup Gravel, but archive photos from a local Danish archive showing a near miss on the loading ramp at a clay pit in 1964. The location is north of Copenhagen in rural Blistrup where a nearby brick works had a clay pit some distance away from the works. From the pit a short narrow gauge line took the clay to a loading ramp for lorries for transport to the brick works.

The loco is hanging precariously over the loading ramp's end. 7 loaded skips indicate the train having come from the clay pit for unloading. The first vehicle from the rescue service 'Zonen' has arrived. The loading ramp is built on high brick pillars and incorporates a small office and a room for the workers' lunch breaks. Photo: B18576, Gribskov Archive.

A more powerful crane has arrived and the loco is now back on the rails. A daring driver has entered the loco and is now preparing to put it in reverse and return to the part of the ramp where tipping the clay into the waiting lorry will commence. The loco is from Danish manufacturer Jens Willemoes' Efterfølger, Esbjerg. Photo: B50785, Gribskov Archive.

Obviously the well known proces of running the train of skips up the ramp didn't work out as planned. Whether it was caused by faulty brakes or simple boredom from running back and forth on the same short length of track isn't known today. No matter what the usual routine at the clay pit was interupted. Fortunately the rescue vehicles managed to get the locomotive back on the ramp's tracks. No one seems to have been hurt and work probably continued soon after the rescue service had left the scene.

The images remind me of the need to fit the Nystrup Gravel loading ramp with a solid stop at the end of the track to prevent a train continuing over the edge.

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