The Anonymous Widower

Sunrise On Ravenstruther Rail Freight Terminal In Scotland

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on

This is the opening paragraph.

The long awaited rebirth of Cloburn Quarry has been celebrated onsite. The former coal handling depot in South Lanarkshire has been inaugurated as a new aggregates terminal, serving the continued growth of the UK infrastructure and construction industry. The onsite quarry will supply materials, with the facility to handle both outbound and inbound loads.

It is a fascinating article, which explains how Cloburn Quarry has opened a rail terminal to supply its customers by rail.

This Google Map shows the Ravenstruther Rail Freight Terminal.

It is very simple being a horseshoe shaped double-track with a connection to the West Coast Main Line.

  • Trains would appear to be loaded and unloaded on the Western limb.
  • The railway line across the top of the map is the West Coast Main Line..
  • Glasgow is to the West with Carstairs station a few miles to the East.
  • Glasgow Central and Carstairs stations are 28.7 miles apart.

If the business grows there would appear to be plenty of space to expand.

This second Google Map shows the relationship of the Ravenstruther Rail Freight Terminal and Cloburn Quarry.


  1. In the top right corner of the map, the red symbol marks Carstairs station.
  2. It is possible to pick out the rail freight terminal to the South of the pink arrow making Kingdom Park Homes.
  3. Cloburn Quarry is the large brown-red scar in the bottom-right corner of the map.

It would appear that the quarry and the rail freight terminal must use heavy trucks along the A70 and A73 to move the aggregate between the two sites.

Operation Of The Quarry

According to the article, the quarry is a source of red granite, which can be used for dressing roads and rail ballast, which is distributed all over the UK and even to Europe.

Having a rail terminal on the West Coast Main Line, must be a big advantage.

As with the rail terminal at Penmaenmawr, which I wrote about in Penmaenmawr Quarry Rail Terminal Opens, this terminal will benefit with locomotive developments that should happen in future.

Both battery-electric and hydrogen-electric capable of using the electrification of the West Coast Main Line, would bring this freight terminal up a level in terms of zero-carbon operation.

It is also likely, that within a few years, there will be heavy eight-wheeler trucks and loading shovels powered by hydrogen to transport and load the aggregates.

January 18, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Fortescue’s Forrest Says German Hydrogen Deal Is Just The Start

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Reuters.

This is the opening paragraph.

Australian miner Fortescue Metals’ (FMG.AX) newly-announced deal to supply green hydrogen to Germany is just the start as the rest of the world will catch up with Europe’s lead, Fortescue’s chairman told a Berlin industry conference on Monday.

I very much agree with Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, as if countries are serious about commitments to fight global warming, there will be a big rush for hydrogen, so that countries can decarbonise their chemical, steel and other industries.

Some countries like Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, the UK and the US will be fine, but others will struggle.

Germany seems to be taking action by buying up supplies from everywhere they can.

January 18, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , | Leave a comment

Penmaenmawr Quarry Rail Terminal Opens

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railway Gazette.

These are the first two paragraphs.

Hanson has reopened its Penmaenmawr railhead in north Wales, as part of its strategy to reduce vehicle movements and associated CO2 emissions.

The quarrying company has spent £300 000 refurbishing the facility, including upgrades to the railhead conveyor which was last used in 2012. The first trial service was operated by GB Railfreight and transported stone to the Tuebrook depot near Liverpool to test the equipment and uncover any operational issues within the quarry and at the railhead.

The aim is to one one train per week between North Wales and North West England.

This Google Map shows the Penmaenmawr railhead.


  1. Penmaenmawr station is in the top right corner of the map.
  2. The railhead is in the bottom-left corner of the map.
  3. The North Wales Expressway is between the railway and the beach.

There is a conveyor leading to the South and this second Google Map shows the vast quarry complex.

Penmaenmawr station is in the top right corner of the map.

It does appear to me, that this is a good move by Hanson.

  • If the quarry can be worked economically, it is surely worthwhile exploiting.
  • Opening new quarries, is generally not an easy process.
  • Even using diesel locomotives on the aggregate trains, probably saves carbon compared to trucks.
  • Closing the quarry would probably not be good for the area.
  • They only want to run one train per week.
  • I wonder, if the train goes through the Halton Curve that opened a couple of years ago.
  • Penmaenmawr and Tuebrook Sidings are a route of about eighty miles.

But I think in the future it could be a very good move, as at least one of three things will happen.

  • The North Wales Coast Line will be electrified.
  • Someone will develop a hydrogen-electric freight locomotive.
  • Wabtec will develop their battery-electric locomotive for the UK with a UK-sized FLXdrive battery.

All possibilities will help Hanson lower the carbon footprint of the route.

Given too, that Hanson will probably decarbonise their quarrying operations by using hydrogen-powered equipment, it should be possible to arrange a hydrogen supply at Penmaenmawr.


January 18, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

London’s New 733 Bus Route

London has a new 733 bus route, that runs between Moorgate and Oval stations.

Transport for London do seem to have rounded up some better quality buses, to double for the Northern Line during the close at Bank station.

January 18, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

How To Recycle A Hospital

The old Royal London Hospital is starting to emerge from its plastic chrysalis, as the new Whitechapel Civic Centre.

It is now eighteen years, since my granddaughter was born in the hospital with a congenital hernia of the diaphragm.

  • There were twenty-three people in the delivery room.
  • She was operated on within forty-eight hours by the incomparable Vanessa Wright.
  • She left hospital many weeks later.
  • Last year, she had her eighteenth birthday and entered the world of work.

A few years ago, I met one of the nurses, who’d looked after her in the hospital. On hearing of her successful life, she was exceedingly surprised. But also exceedingly happy!

But then success in life, is often down to those you meet! And my granddaughter happened to meet one of the best!

January 18, 2022 Posted by | Health | , , , | 1 Comment

Wabtec’s 100% Electric Locomotive Trickle Suddenly Becomes International Flood

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Clean Technica.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Whelp, that was fast. The locomotive manufacturer Wabtec lit up the Intertubes last November when it debuted the new FLXdrive 100% electric locomotive in Pennsylvania, but that was just the beginning. The company has nailed down two clients in Australia for its carbon-free choo-choo while also locking in a spot on the new Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking, which aims to green up railway systems throughout Europe.

It certainly has been quick.

Usually, only in times of war, do things go that fast.

But you could argue that climate change is as big a threat to the world than China, Iran, North Korea or Russia.

January 18, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 3 Comments