Merecombe Gasworks was a Gasworks served by the Dark Railway. Since closure in 1967, the yards have been increasingly used for freight train storage by the railway.
The Gasworks was originally constructed during the 1860's, whilst the city of Merecombe was still growing. The Gasworks supplied gas for lighting around the city, and was an important employer for the area.
When the Railway arrived in 1895, large sidings were constructed here to store the expectedly large amouts of coal wagons and gas tankers that were proposed to be used.
Business boomed at first, but by the late 1930's, the use of Gas for lighting purposes was thinning, with the introduction of electric lighting beforehand. By the 1960's, the gasworks was barely in business, struggling on to produce gas for some lesser developed areas, such as Soma and Axley . However, once those two towns switched to full electric lighting in 1966, it spelt the end for the city's gasworks. Closure came in 1967, with the buildings abandoned and gas cylinders being deactivated from 16th November 1967. For a time afterwards, the yards were still used for goods trains on the Dark Railway.
In 1968, a steam locomotive, LMS Jubilee No. 45690 "Leander" (masquerading as No. 45725 "Repulse") derailed inside Gasworks Tunnel, resulting in the collapse and destruction of the Gasworks above it.
Merecombe Gasworks PlatformEditThe Gasworks was served by a small brick platform on the Dark Railway's Merecombe Goods Branch, with worker's trains from Merecombe, Manston Fore and the Industrial Estate calling at it. Following the closure of the Gasworks, the platform remained in situ until the goods branch was ripped up following the collapse of the Gasworks Tunnel.
Layout and Facilities Edit
The Gasworks had all the required features of a gasworks, including a large retort house, condensers, exhausters, scrubbers and purifyers and two large gas cylinders for holding the gas. A platform (mentoned above) served workers of the gasworks, though many usually walked to work, as a housing estate is located nearby from which most of the workers lived.
Accidents and IncidentsEdit
- The aforementioned tunnel collapse in 1968 resulted in the Gasworks' destruction.
The Dark Railway Series
- Series 1 - Will and Won't
- Series 2 - Dave's Reward, Dave and Dai, Tenders, Allan, Hide and Seek, and Taking Out the Trash
- Series 3 - 257 Squadron
- Series 5 - Abomination, Signal Lost, Haunted Hannah, Ed and Sid, Make Love, and Time Waits for No One, Part 2
- The Gasworks had some of the longest sidings on the railway, ideal for holding wagons and full length trains.
- During the series, we have not actually seen much happen at the Gasworks, mainly due to the run down of gas production and coal firing throughout the 1960's.
- Theo and Otto sometimes worked here, as did Owen and Ryan in the early 1960's, though since 1968, Abomination has taken over operation of this yard.