Gulch Copper Mine

New loco No.6 with loaded train at Gulch copper mine
New loco No.6 with loaded train at Gulch copper mine

The discovery in 1932 of a rich seam of copper in the high fells under the shadow of Mount Kanchenjunga eventually led to the sinking of the Gulch Mine at High Topps by the specially formed SADMC mining company.

Copper ore is loaded into SADMC private-owner wagons which are shunted into and out of the mine by the flameproof battery-electric mining locomotive No.5 JACKIE.

The loaded ore is hauled down to the quay at Horseshoe Cove by SdR steam locomotives assisted by the electric mining locomotive which is able to provide additional braking power on the steep gradients.

Onward shipment of the ore is by sea-going ships embarking from the quayside at Horseshoe Cove.

Design and building work has begun on a second battery locomotive which will be No.6. Frames and electrical equipment have been supplied by Essel Engineering Ltd, and the battery box has been fabricated from sheet steel [30 Jan 2021].

Freight train timetables

Empties Horseshoe Cove to Gulch Copper Mine
Station M, W, F
Beckfoot (Engine Shed) Dep: 14:45 Light engines
Horseshoe Cove (Quay) Arr: 14:48 Light engines
  Dep: 14:51
Gulch Copper Mine Arr: 14:55


Loaded Wagons Gulch Copper Mine to Horseshoe Cove
Station M, W, F
Gulch Copper Mine Dep: 15:30
High Topps (Stn) Arr: 1531
  Dep: 15:35
Horseshoe Cove (Quay) Arr: 15:37
  Dep: 15:43 Light engines
Beckfoot (Engine Shed) Arr: 15:45 Light engines