Monday 3 July 2023

Historic Skip Photo

One of my primary sources of inspiration for modelling projects are old photographs of real prototype industrial railways. Recently I got an e-mail containing the image below. A lovely train of skips pulled by an internal combustion engine locomotive in a design obviously inspired by surrealist art. The location is Løsning gravel and stone works owned by Henriksen & Kähler, a large Danish company best known for supplying construction materials as well as owning several ceramics factories. The company wasn't nervous branching out into other business areas as they also had a factory producing gas measuring devices and to end a long list of diverse enterprises: a fishing net factory.

Overgrown track, a characteristic IC loco, loaded skips, a row of telegraph poles and an assortment of metal scrap in the foreground. A well composed photograph and rich source of inspiration for a modeller.

In the photo the wooden framed skips for 785 mm gauge stand out. A simple, square frame of timber bolted together with rough steel brackets and added wheel bearings. The V-tub rests and tips on three cross struts held in place by a combination of brackets and chains. The type was relatively widespread in Denmark, primarily being used by gravel companies and contractors with 785 mm gauge. I have often wondered if the type could be adapted to my prototype gauge of 600 mm.

The locomotive is most likely one from several series produced by Henriksen & Kähler themselves in work shops at their larger gravel operations. 

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