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Honister Slate Mine
Gauge : 600mm 
Status : Working

(Click on images for full size picture)
In 1997 Mark Wier purchased the disused Honister slate mine. It had been out of use since 1987. With a small workforce the mine is now worked as a commercial slate mine as well as a tourist attraction giving underground tours in the old slate caverns. The slate cutting and dressing sheds are called 'The Hause' and are next to the roadside. In this view the remains of two tramways can be seen. One leading off to the left over the road to Yewcrags, and the other in the bottom centre of the photo partly obscured by the spoil heap.  
The actual slate adits are perched high on the mountainsides on either side of the valley. This is the entrace to the visitor mine. No commercial mining is now carried out on this level.  
Even further up the mountainside the current working level has about 50yards of track emerging from an adit onto a tipping platform. The truck seen here is used to carry the spoil down the mountainside as there are now strict regulations in the Lake District regarding the tipping of waste rock.  
For the first year or so the wagons were hand pushed out of the mine. In 1999 a battery loco was purchased (WR 4wBE). Ignoring the steam outline locomotive plinthed next to the roadside this is the only loco on the site. It is used to haul the spoil and the slate slabs (clogs) the 300-400yards to the surface. It is seen here at the working face that has just been blasted.  
The waste is moved in a couple of 'U' mine tubs, and the clogs are placed on these bolster wagons. all these photographs were taken in March 2000.  
On the surface again the tubs are being tipped into the dumper truck to take down the hill for tipping.
The locomotive is taken back into the mine to remove further waste. The mine has a web site: (Click here) to promote the tourist side of the operation.
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Steve Thomason 2004
Upgraded site relaunched 1st January 2004

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Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways