Ballajora Quarry

Open 1900, Closed Early/Mid 1940s – Located from Poles 775 to 779, Ballajora Quarry (also known as Dreemskerry) consisted of a kickback headshunt on the landside of the line (which in turn had a crossover), leading up a steep northward gradient to an loading gantry.

Ballajora Quarry, facing Derby Castle, viewed from Pole 779, July 2011.

Ballajora Quarry facing Derby Castle from Pole 777, 1949. © Travel Lens Photographic

The gantry itself was very low in height, meaning although it could adequately load any of the Open or Dreadnought Wagons, No.23 in it’s rebuilt form had problems, as the cab could not fit underneath! Workings in the quarry itself featured a variety of gauges, one track heading north being formed of 2ft and 3ft mixed gauge (the 2ft being the only track of the two to go onto the gantry), and the second heading south being of only 2ft gauge, formed of light ‘Jubilee’ style track.

Ballajora Quarry in June 1951, with the 2ft gauge underframe of a tippler wagon in evidence. © Website Collection

Ballajora Quarry in June 1951, with the 2ft gauge underframe of a tippler wagon in evidence. © Website Collection

Two small 4 wheel handtubs were used on each system and were pushed onto the platform for unloading into the wagons. During the 1980s, one was recovered from the system and displayed inside the Electric Railway Museum at Ramsey, and is now in operation on the Great Laxey Mines Railway, having been regauged from 2ft to 19′ inch gauge (which is unique on the IoM to the GLMR). The kickback headshunt siding was removed in 1989, along with the crossover in 2006-08.

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