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 Post subject: Stone Blocks at Holyhead
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 6:06 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:58 am
Posts: 9
At the beginning of February I made my first visit to Holyhead for around 35 years (thank you Arriva Trains Wales Club 55)! Whilst walking towards the breakwater along Beach Road I noticed a number of stone sleeper blocks on the seaward side of the pavement. Given this is firmly in LNWR territory are the blocks from the early days of the Chester & Holyhead or are they from the Breakwater railway in its original form? Can anyone confirm their origin and the date they were last likely to have seen service?

PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:46 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:49 am
Posts: 253
Location: Edinburgh
Interesting, Les.

Did you measure these stone sleepers, and the distance between the holes? Were the holes aligned from corner to corner of the blocks, or were they parallel with the edge?

I don't know if the Chester & Holyhead ever used stone sleepers, but its date of construction - 1845 onwards - makes this seem unlikely. From a P-way report (covering all strictly LNWR lines but not including the still-independent C&HR) the only stone sleepers remaining by the end of 1848 were on the old Grand Junction main line (62.25 miles), the Liverpool & Manchester (11.75 miles) and the London & Birmingham (40.5 miles) and they were being replaced by wooden sleepers. So in the 1850s there were thousands of stone blocks to be got rid of, in walls, platforms, as kerbstones, etc.

Or perhaps, as you suggest, the Holyhead blocks might have come from the 7ft gauge breakwater railway. A puzzle.

Harry Jack.

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