Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Tons of Coal.

0 Locks, 6½ Miles. Now moored below bridge 66 Rugeley.

With the weather forecast for later in the week looking bleak we decided to move on up to Rugeley today. The boat traffic had died down a wee bit but there were still plenty of boats on the move. Other than a stop at bridge 62 for water it was a pretty uneventful cruise.

Upon arrival at Rugeley we spotted the Cheese Boat and Khayamanzi moored just ahead of us. Both crews were away at the supermarket restocking their provisions. Andy and his father were the first to return and we had a chat with them before they set off for Hopwas. Andy was hoping to buy some of his favourite cheese from the Cheese Boat but that crew still had not returned by the time he left.

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The’re not talking about me are they?

When the Cheese Boat crew did finally re-appear we were told “Sorry, we sold out over the week-end at Fradley junction” Apparently they had under estimated the demand and sold the lot so they are now on their way to Great Haywood to re-stock. There you go Andy you didn’t miss out after all.

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Signal box controlling the sidings to the Rugeley power station.

We are moored half way between bridge 66 and the railway bridge and it has been interesting watching the rail traffic which consists of London Midland class 170 DMU’s with an occasional class 153 attached and the “Freightliner”merry go round coal trains servicing the Rugeley Power Station. Each coal train delivers about 1400 tonnes to the power station which consumes 1.6 million tonnes a year. These trains,and I saw 2 or possibly 3 of them never stop even when they are loading and unloading albeit at a snails pace during these procedures.

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Class 170 arriving Rugeley Town station.

This particular line (Chase Line) was one that fell foul of Dr Beeching and was kept open only as a freight line until 1997 when passenger services were reintroduced from Birmingham New Street via Walsall.

1604 locks, 3419 miles, 59 Tunnels, 45 swing bridges and 39 lift bridges since Nov 2006

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