Two types of coal traffic are carried by the Oaken Bank Railway – house coals and bituminous coals. The house coals generally go from the pits to either Marshgate or to the canal, and bituminous coals to the gas works. This leads to interesting traffic – loaded coal wagons can be seen travelling in either direction on the main line – often in the same wagons!
Not far from Marshgate, up in the hills, is an Army School of Military Transport, and an associated Weapons Evaluation establishment. A variety of military items are carried on the OBR – indeed the railway itself is used to train Army railway engineers.
The gasworks at Marshgate is the source of much tanker traffic – the tanker bearing the ‘P & M Coal Tar Products’ branding.