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Babbington And Cinder Hill Collieries, Near Nottingham - Page 3

Haulage Methods           Thanks to Philip Wyles


This is an extract from a report on various haulage methods including operating costs. The report was published by The North of England Institute of Mining Engineers in 1868.

Cinder Hill Colliery
Babbington And Cinder Hill Collieries,
Near Nottingham.

John Daglish, Esq., Manager and Receiver.

The No. 1 Endless-rope system, as adopted in the No. 4 Pit, Cinder Hill Colliery, differs in its application from the engine-planes previously noticed in being worked at a slow speed, and in taking several sets of tubs in and out at the same time.

The friction necessary for driving the rope is obtained, as at the California Pit, by passing the rope round several sheaves, five being the number employed in this case.

The following are some of the data respecting the engine, boilers, ropes, ways, etc.

  • ENGINE - Single cylinder, bore 1 ft 6ins, stroke 3ft
  • DRIVING-WHEELS - Quantity 5, 8ft diameter
  • BOILERS - Quantity 3(cylindrical), length 28ft(overall), diameter 4ft
  • ROPE - Length 2700yds, circumference 3.375in, general duration 3 yr - (after serving as a winding rope at another pit)
  • ROLLERS - Distance apart 5ft, diameter 6ins
  • RAILS - Weight per yard 30lbs, number of lines 4, track guage 1ft 7in
  • TUBS - Weight (empty) 4.5cwt, weight (full coal) 11cwt, 150 tubs are required to work engine plane.
  • WORK DONE - 530 tons per day of 10hrs 30mins (1 hour allowed for meals)

Description Of Engine-Plane

The length of the engine-plane is 1170 yards. As at the Shireoaks and California Pits, there is a double line of way at this colliery, the full and empty tubs running on different roads. There are no branches, and the gradient of the plane is level throughout. There is one curve, which is 66 yards in radius.

As will be seen by the sketch on Plate XLVI., the engine has one horizontal cylinder, and works the driving-wheel on the second motion, the proportion of the strokes of the engine to the revolutions of the driving-wheel being as 4 : 1. The method of obtaining friction for the rope will be seen on reference to Plate XLVI. The rope is taken round five wheels of 8 feet diameter, and passes from the upper side of one to the lower side of the next, and so on. The rope is kept tight by having a screw applied to the shifting carriages of the wheels A and B. A plan of the engine-plane is shown on Plate XLVII. The horizontal wheels are all under the wagonway.

A single rope incline is also worked by the engine driving the endless- rope.

Description Of Method Of Working The Engine-Plane

The endless-rope at this colliery is driven at a speed of about two and a-half miles per hour.

The usual number of tubs in a set is thirty-six. Sometimes, but very rarely, there are three sets of full, and three of empty tubs in motion at once, but usually there are not more than two sets on one road and one on the other.

The sets of tubs are connected to the rope by means of a clamp, similar in construction to, and applied in the same way as that used at the California Pit (see Plate XL.). Between the tub and the clamp there is about 10 feet of chain. One man travels on foot with each set. When the set has to be connected to the rope, the clamp is attached to the rope whilst in motion, and the attendant keeping it upright by his hand, walks with every set to the shaft or to the engine, as the case may be. Thus, should six sets be in motion at one time, six attendants are necessary. At the curve A (Plate XLYII.) the rollers are placed five yards apart, and between each roller there is a small drum sheave. The clamp passes round the curve with the rope without any difficulty.

The rope is found to last about three years, and the clamps, which cost 4s. each, about five years. Three tons of coal are consumed per day.

To ascertain the power required for working this application of the endless-rope, experiments were made with the indicator(device used to help determine power developed by a piston engine powered by steam pressure).

Deductions From Experiments With Indicator

  1. Power required to drive engine alone, is 1.68 horse-power.
  2. Power required to drive the endless-rope alone, no load being connected, is 7.9 horse-power.
  3. Power required to draw 2 sets of 34 full tubs, and 2 sets of 34 empty tubs, along a level engine-plane, at a speed of 2.5miles per hour is 13.6 horse power.

The engine making 34 strokes per minute for the three above conditions.

In the working of the endless-rope at this colliery, the cost of labour required per day is as follows:—

  • 1 engineman (driver) 3s 6d
  • 1 fireman (stoker) 2s 6d
  • 3 men attending sets with clamps 9s 3d
  • 3 men preparing sets of full tubs 10s 6d
  • 1 man and 1 boy preparing sets of empty tubs 5s 4d
  • 1 boy coupling empty tubs 1s 4d
  • 1 boy cleaning road 1s 4d
  • 1 greaser 1s 4d
  • 1 road repairer 2s 0d

The cost per day is £1 17s 1d with 3s 0d deducted as the proportion of this labour due to single rope plane. This then gives a total cost of labour per day of £1 14s 1d

The cost of leading the coals on this plane is let by contract, at the rate of l.125d. per ton for labour alone; including the extra labour, the cost will be about l.375d. per ton, or 2d. per ton per mile.