Real-life freight in 1879- Alec K



The Liskeard and Caradon Railway's Kilmar Branch,
running below the Cheesewring Quarry.
The Quarry was rail-served at a higher level.
Photo copyright Alec K 2009

There are excellent examples in the GR Club pages of realistic loads being carried on 'revenue-earning' trains. These have ranged from ballast, through the inevitable slates, to gun barrels. In the course of a long-running research project, I have accessed the 1879 Book of Rules and Regulations for the Liskeard and Caradon Railway, a largely mineral-carrying line in East Cornwall. The LCR opened in 1844 and was horse-and -gravity worked until the advent of steam traction in 1860; the line was absorbed by the GWR in 1909.
The LCR served one of the richest copper-mining areas in Cornwall for half-a-century, and together with structural granite blocks quarried at The Cheesewring and around Kilmar Tor, outgoing ore traffic was a staple revenue source. The line, through an end-on junction with the Liskeard and Looe Union Canal railway at Moorswater, connected the Caradon mining area directly with the port of Looe. After 1901 and the opening of the Extension from Coombe Junction to Liskeard, there was also a direct link to the GWR main line.
Incoming freight traffic handled coal, timber and equipment for the mines and quarries as well as a healthy agricultural sector. The following list of charges will hopefully provide an insight into the range of materials handled during the mining boom in East Cornwall:
For all copper, copper ore, tin, tin ore, lead, lead ore, antimony, manganese and all other ores, metals, minerals, and semi-metals, wrought and cast iron, coals and culm (not used for burning lime), bricks, tiles, slates and stone used for making roads, timber and deals .... .... .... 6d per ton per mile
For all lime, limestone, culm or coal for burning lime, sand, oreweed, dung, compost and all other sorts of manure, building stone, freestone, granite and clay .... .... .... 4d per ton per mile
For grain, corn, flour, meal, potatoes, hay, straw, seeds, vetches, peas, salt, and all other goods, wares, merchandise, and other articles, matters or things .... .... .... 8d per ton per mile
For any one boiler, cyclinder, bob or single piece of machinery, or single piece of stone or timber, or other single article exceeding 5 tons but not exceeding 8 tons, 1s. per ton per mile (Caradon Line) .... 1s 6d  per ton per mile (Looe Line)
For the like if exceeding 8 tons, by special agreement only.
There was also a tariff for the conveyance of small parcels and packages with a minimum weight of under 7lbs and a maximum weight of 56lbs. Passengers were conveyed on journeys between Moorswater and Looe at a rate of 3d per mile (First Class) and 1d per mile (Third Class)  -this was the only section authorised by the Board of Trade for passenger use. Passengers conveyed in special excursions up the line to the Druidic remains around Caradon and The Cheesewring travelled at their own risk free of charge but were subject to a fee for the carriage of their umbrellas and luggage.
The full Rulebook -and it makes for interesting reading - is held at the National Archives, catalogue number ZSPC 11/338/18.