Beckton's Railways and Locomotives
Those who have lived in the era of a gas works will remember them as devilish grim and grimy places, covered in a film of coal dust and emitting pungent odours, but to enthusiasts of industrial railways they were sheer heaven. Many such works had their own private lines for transporting coal for the process of extracting gas from it, and some had both standard and narrow gauge systems. In general, gas works ceased production in the mid to late-196s when natural gas from the North Sea began to be pumped ashore and distributed around the national networks. There can be few railway enthusiasts who have not heard of Beckton gasworks, as it was the biggest in Europe with a huge internal railway operated by numerous and distinctive cut-down locomotives running throughout both the gasworks and the adjacent products factory. Beckton's railways lasted for a century, during which time around a hundred locomotives came and went, working ceaselessly around the clock to provide heat and energy for London. Also included are details of the neighbouring outfall and sewage works that had its own railway, and also saw a host of contractor's engines engaged there over the years. Beckton's Railways and Locomotives gives a marvellous insight into this fascinating corner of London's industrial past.
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