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Stone Sleepers

Local History > Local History 2 > Railways > Local
The early mineral railways used a system of wooden rails of oak with a wear strip on top usually of a hard wood such as beech that could be replaced when worn. Angular cast iron rails could also be used resting on small circular stones (allowing horses or ponies to walk between the rails), not unlike small mill stones.

Holes were drilled into the stones which were plugged with lead or wood. Iron nails or pins could then be driven through the holes in the rail flange and then into the stone, thus securing the rail.

One sleeper per side of rail. At the turn of the century the stone sleeper system was replaced by using wooden or stone sleepers which supported two rails at right angles with the gaps between sleepers filled in with dirt or ballast.

Two such stone sleepers exist at the side of the stile across from Lodge Farm near to the site of Allpits Colliery, Calow, Brimington Common border. The second one is in the wall on the tow path of the Chesterfield canal near to Staveley Works and the Hollingwood Common canal entrance.
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