John Speller's Web Pages Holyhead Silica Railway

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Holyhead Silica Works Untitled Untitled
Holyhead Mountain on the western tip of Anglesey was a rich source of silica, used for the manufacture of refractory bricks. A seven foot gauge tramway connected the mines with the brickworks and harbour at Porth Wen. The locomotive "Prince Albert" was built for the nearby broad gauge Holyhead Breakwater Railway by R. B. Longbridge & Co. of the Bedlington Engine Works in Northumberland. It had 3 ft. 6 in. driving wheels, 7 ft. 6 in. wheelbase, two 12 in. 18 in. inside cylinders, and a 3 ft. diameter boiler which operated on a pressure of 50 psi. It was sold to William Wild & Son of Holyhead Silica Works for use on their tramway. It operated until at least the First World War and may have been the last broad gauge locomotive operating in Britain. Altogether there was some two miles of broad gauge track operating in connection with the Silica Works.
Broad gauge 0-4-0WT "Prince Albert" at Holyhead Silica Works in September 1904
Another rather indistinct view of "Prince Albert" in the early 1900s
Map of Anglesey in 1906 showing the location of William Wild & Son's Holyhead Silica Works. Image courtesy of Probert Encyclopaedia
View of the Holyhead Breakwater from the Silica Works in a postcard view of around 1905
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