The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 1 (May 1, 1928)
Splendid Coalmining Organisation
Splendid Coalmining Organisation.
“While in Newcastle I enjoyed the privilege of inspecting the Richmond Main and Pelaw Main collieries, owned by Mr. John Brown. I have been down many pits at Home but have never seen so perfect an organisation as these. I went below at Richmond Main some 800 feet, where one finds the latest coal cutting machinery, well-lighted tunnels and good ventilation, whilst the screening arrangements on the surface are page 8 excellent. It is interesting to note that this mine holds the world's record for output of any single shaft mine. The maximum output, 3000 tons of coal per day, is a wonderful testimonial to the efficiency of the organisation employed. In connection with these mines are many miles of broad gauge private railway, and I was most surprised to find amongst the locomotives owned by Mr. Brown thirteen of the large 2-8-0 consolidation type of locomotive, of which 250 were built at Home for the Railway Operating Division, Royal Engineers, for service in France during the war, and which were at that time in my charge. The large distinctive numbers which were used in connection with train control and reporting in France still appear on the tenders. Mr. Brown, who takes a great pride in his engines, which are kept exceptionally clean, was extremely proud when I pointed out one with which I worked the special train conveying the Com-mander-in-Chief, the late Sir Douglas Haig, through to Cologne immediately after the armistice.