"I've just found the Granton Station
photo. The L.M.S. wagon proves it was at earliest 1923, and yes,
the good condition and tidiness suggest pre-closure in 1925.
However the absence of platform lighting
and seating support the post-closure idea and the building's
continued use by staff. It would certainly be pre-1940.
I remember it only as derelict, and the
name board would have been removed with the threat of enemy
landings. In the late 1940s(?) it burned down.
The N.E. wagons could be from the
coal-dominated North Eastern Railway, a pre-1923 constituent of the
L.N.E.R., but Mr Hutton's (L) N E (R) suggestion also appeals.
A coal wagon's diagonal line indicated
that it had an end-tipping door. The steam ship-loading
crane (visible by tilting my laptop screen) was astride a rail
track and lifted a ground-level deck with rails carrying the laden
wagon; slewed, and tilted the whole thing to discharge the coal.
I feel sure it was there until after the war.
The other ship-loader at the northwest
tip of Middle Pier was more efficient and more interesting. A rake
of weighed wagons was indexed along by a between-rails winch pawl
pushing on the wagon's axle.
Uncoupled, it rolled onto a turntable
which rotated about 45 degrees then hinged up to discharge the coal
into a below-ground hopper from where a belt conveyor continuously
carried it up and out over the ship, to be dropped down two hanging
chutes into the bunkers.
The wagon turntable was re-lowered,
rotated back into line, then tipped a little to nudge the wagon
northward. It rolled down through a long dip in the track and its
momentum carried it up the opposite slope.
Then it rolled back southward and spring
points in the dip diverted it onto the outbound track where another
winching pawl caught it and pushed it and preceding empties forward
together ready for re-coupling and departure."
Watching all this with boyish mechanical
interest, little did I guess that thirty years later I would be
engineer of a private railway and ship-loader in faraway Tasmania!
Douglas Beath, Tasmania: February 1, 2006