Tyne Dock to Consett
A Reprint of an Article in The Coupling of March 1999 - by Allan Grey
In the early 1960s I was working as a sheet metal worker, fitting new steel panels to the
chutes at Tyne Dock ore terminal. It was late Autumn and nearly dark at 3.30pm, and 9F no.
92064 was waiting to leave with a full load of nine 56-ton hoppers. The driver was oiling round
and the fireman was having a smoke as he had got the fire in good shape and pressure near the
As I was admiring the locomotive and asking questions, the driver asked me if I was
interested in trains and if I would like a trip to Consett and back. I got permission from my
charge-hand and climbed aboard to be greeted by the fireman, who put a shovel in my hand and
asked if I had ever fired before. I had not, so I was in for a new experience.
In about ten minutes a Q6 buffered up and with two crows we were off. I was told to sit in
the driver's side of the tender until the Q6 dropped off. Then the fireman said "this is how you do
it" and proceeded to show me. "Two up the right hand side, two up the left and four under the
door and repeat until I tell you to stop". I got a wet shirt, believe me, as we did not have
anymore bankers on the journey. The needle only dropped once below the mark, as we were
going through Beamish, but the fireman soon corrected it.
When we arrived at Consett we emptied the hoppers, then waited about 30 minutes while
the fireman told me to pack the firebox mostly under the door for the lightly loaded downhill
run. I asked the driver to slow down as we crossed the old A1 at Birtley, so that I could jump off
and catch a bus home at the end of a memorable experience.
I have modelled 92064 using a modified Airfix kit and Hornby chassis and it pulls a rake of
Fleischmann 5521K hoppers on my layout.
Allan originally wrote this for the 50th anniversary magazine of the North Eastern Society of which Allan is a member.