Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

The Rolling Stock That Gathered Steel

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

The Rolling Stock That Gathered Steel

Article excerpt

IT is possible that few people outside the industry realised that Dorman Long and later British Steel had their own private railway system and their own locomotives. This consisted not of just a few lengths of track a couple of steam engines, it was an entire network with miles of track and many locomotives and wagons. These were used for shunting the wagons, full of molten iron, slag or any number of heavy items that needed to be taken from one works to another. There was even a special locomotive complete with a smart carriage for taking the chairman of Dorman Long around the works. Tom Lynas, now living in Eston, has provided a wealth of photographs of these railway engines and he tells us briefly about his time working with the locomotives for the steel industry on Teesside: Before joining the steel industry I had a seven-year spell working with LNER and then British Rail from 1944 to 1951, working passenger trains and mineral goods trains.

I spent the following 18 months in West Riding Constabulary before joining Dorman Long in 1952 as a locomotive shunter on work associated with the Bessemer furnaces.

By 1958 I had become a shift supervisor, or traffic foreman as it was called then, and as Clay Lane furnaces came on stream, I covered the Clay Lane and Bessemer furnace work. In 1961 I became day foreman covering all the foremen at Bessemer, South Steel Plant, North Steel Plant as well as Clay Lane.

This meant supervising 24 shift foremen in total with all the associated work, demonstrating what a huge operation even one part of Dorman Long actually was.

By 1964 I was assistant traffic manager with responsibility for all rail traffic in that area. My job was to ensure all traffic requirements for that area were met, which included working with the unions trying to give a better service. …

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