My first recorded visit to an industrial railway system was in August 1958 to Penrhyn Slate Quarry in North Wales. In the late 1950's to early 1960's much of the school holidays were spent with a like minded school friend exploring the railways of North Wales, travelling on many of the BR lines closed by Beeching, visiting quarries still using narrow gauge railways or walking long abandoned quarry tramways. On a visit to Port Penrhyn we were told that a school party would be travelling up the railway to the quarry later that day and we could travel with them. This was long before I started making proper notes or taking photographs, and only recorded because at the quarry we were taken through the mills on Red Lion Level to see the production of slates and were each given a slate as a souvenir on which I scratched the date of the visit. So began a lifetime interest in industrial railways. As the use of narrow gauge railways in the North Wales slate quarries declined in the 1960s interest widened to standard gauge systems, particularly those of the National Coal Board which were easy to access, included many lengthy systems serving several collieries and with plenty of steam power. In the next 20 years or so I made over 400 visits to various collieries, many being repeat visits to the same systems, until the last use of steam at Bold Colliery in the early 1980s. On a typical 3 or 4 day trip to collieries in Scotland and the North of England I would have travelled up overnight with the first call being the loco shed at Waterside, Dalmellington, to find 3 locos being prepared for the days work. The first train would then be followed to the end of the line at Pennyvenie Colliery, where I could conveniently park alongside the line to photograph the arrival of Giesl fitted Andrew Barclay 0-6-0T No.24 with 17 empty NCB wooden internal user wagons for coal destined for the Waterside Coal Preparation Plant and 10 empty BR steel mineral wagons for larger sized coal to be despatched direct to BR. Coal was screened at the colliery into various sizes and dirt removed but much of the output went to the Waterside Plant for further treatment. No.24 back at Waterside, the wagons in the background are on the line leading to the coal preparation plant wagon tipplers. The locos here ran coupled to an open wagon with the end door removed as a 'tender'. This is perhaps the opposite of what some might imagine as a typical industrial system - a filthy locomotive working in a grimy industrial location. My own interest is primarily the Lancashire Coalfield, which probably had more variety of locomotives than any other colliery area, including three unique and individual designs built by the colliery owners and also the only three industrial 0-8-0Ts in the UK. In the NCB period the longest systems were at Standish, to the north west of Wigan, where a coal washery adjacent to the West Coast main line served two deep pits and two drift mines; Haydock, where a coal preparation plant served four collieries; and probably the most well known and extensive system, Walkden Railways, the main inspiration for the layout. The colliery loco shed - based on the prototype shed at Walkden Yard reduced in length by a half to fit in a corner of the layout. The layout represents a section of NCB line from a colliery, where the coal is loaded, to a coal preparation plant or washery, where the coal is unloaded for further treatment. En route the line passes a canal tip where coal will be also be discharged (theoretically into off scene canal barges). So within the layout there are three potential complete traffic movements - colliery to washery, colliery to canal tip and washery to canal tip.