May Pen to Frankfield railway

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May Pen to
Frankfield railway
km
May Pen
0.0
0.2
1.2
250' contour
1.9
331 ft
100.9 m
spot
height
B3 road spur
250' contour
250' contour
7.2
Longville Halt
500' contour
to North Hall
16.1
Suttons
750' contour
18.5
Ivy Store Halt
750' contour
20.9
Chapelton
Thomas River
40 m
44 yd
Rio Minho
70 m
77 yd
Orange River
30 m
33 yd
25.8
Morgans Pass
611 ft
186.2 m
spot
height
Stony River
20 m
22 yd
Orange River
40 m
44 yd
750' contour
Bryans Hill
Ballards River
80 m
87 yd
889 ft
271 m
spot
height
Crooked River
40 m
44 yd
29.8
Crooked River
Crooked River
35 m
38 yd
Dawkins River
15 m
16 yd
750' contour
32.6
Trout Hall
738 ft
224.9 m
spot
height
15 m
16 yd
Rio Minho
25 m
27 yd
Franks River
30 m
33 yd
750' contour
unnamed tributary
of the Rio Minho
50 m
55 yd
36.6
Frankfield Terminus
km
Railroad Crossings
Gated│Ungated
A and B roads
Parochial motorable road
Unclassified road
Track

The May Pen to Frankfield railway was a railway in Jamaica built to serve the fast developing citrus industry in the upper Clarendon regions of Chapelton and Frankfield.[1]

Inception[edit]

During the 1911 general election railway extension was a prominent issue, and in March the Colonial Secretary introduced into the Legislature a resolution authorising the expenditure of £90,000 on the construction of a branch line from May Pen to Danks, beyond Chapelton in upper Clarendon.[2] "After an animated discussion the resolution was carried by 19 votes to 5. The new line will open up the fertile valley of the Rio Minho... It is hoped that ultimately the line will be driven forward to the still more fertile district of Ulster Spring in Upper Trelawny and then on to Falmouth, the seaport on the north side of the island, whose former prosperity would thereby be restored."[2] Due to the Great War and the economic situation in the Twenties this long-term aim was never accomplished.[3]

Construction, operation and closure[edit]

The 13 miles (21 km) of standard gauge track from May Pen to Chapelton were laid between 1911 and 1913 at a cost of £86,000.[1]

The 9¼ mile extension to Frankfield was added in 1925.[1] It required the bridging of twelve rivers, which must have been a significant contribution to the twelve year construction hiatus.

The line closed in 1974.[4]

Gradients[edit]

The line climbed 650 feet in 18½ miles (average gradient 1 in 150) from May Pen (239 feet[5]) to its summit at Crooked River (889 feet[6]) then continued for 3¾ miles more or less on the level to Frankfield (908 feet[7]).

Stations and Halts[edit]

There were 10 stations and halts on the line c1973.[6] More recent references[8] mention only nine:

Bridges[edit]

There were 13 significant bridges on the line, all but the first being on the Chapelton to Frankfield extension.[6] Approximate bridge lengths[10] are shown in the route diagram (right):

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c The rise and fall of railways in Jamaica 1845-1975 page 7, Veront M Satchell & Cezley Sampson, The Journal of Transport History, March 2003.
  2. ^ a b Official handbook on the BWI, 1912.
  3. ^ a b B097 Archived 2011-07-21 at the Wayback Machine, BWISC Bulletin 1978-06, Jamaica Railway Markings, Major T W Jefferson.
  4. ^ The rise and fall of railways in Jamaica 1845-1975 page 13, Veront M Satchell & Cezley Sampson, The Journal of Transport History, March 2003.
  5. ^ Directory of Cities, Towns, and Regions in Jamaica: May Pen, Falling Rain Genomics.
  6. ^ a b c d UK Directorate of Overseas Surveys 1:50,000 map of Jamaica Sheets G & H, 1973.
  7. ^ Directory of Cities, Towns, and Regions in Jamaica: Frankfield, Falling Rain Genomics.
  8. ^ a b Annual Transport Statistics Report: Jamaica in Figures 2003-2004 Archived 2013-03-15 at the Wayback Machine, Ministry of Transport and Works, July 2005.
  9. ^ a b Google satellite image resolution is at present insufficient to show this station/bridge.
  10. ^ Bridge lengths were obtained using Wikimapia's GeoTools.