Broad Gauge Railway Relics in the Ašores

The Railway Cement Mixer

There is an interesting railway cement mixer standing on a short length of track near a roundabout/traffic circle close to the end of the airport runway.  Considering it is exposed to the damp salt air, it is in remarkably good condition.



Bob Moore comments:

The cement mixer is probably an end of an era in construction machinery before the ready-mix truck came along.  This type of cement mixer used to be a common item on any construction project, whether for a building, a road or even a railway.  The one piece that is missing from the mixer is the large hopper where the ingredients of 3 parts stone, 2 parts sand, and 1 part Portland cement would be placed in the hopper that was lowered to the ground.  When the hopper was filled with the ingredients, a cable from the mixer would winch the hopper up where the ingredients would flow into the "bowl" of the mixer.  You can see the remains of a cable that goes around the pulleys from the winch.  The only part of the hopper mechanism remaining is the "harness" that the hopper would have been attached to.  

It looks as if the motor that powered the mixer is missing.  However, the clutch lever for the cable winch or the mixer bowl is very obvious.  The whole "mixture" of stone, sand and cement would be spun around in the mixer.  Water would be fed into the batch usually through a hose and reservoir tank that may have been atop the mixer.  Once the batch had been thoroughly mixed, the concrete would be discharged from the mixer.  There seems to be a lever on the discharge chute with a large counterweight halfway up the lever.  This lever would be thrown and the concrete would pour from the chute into large wheelbarrows or other types of equipment.  If they were lucky enough, the concrete could be discharged directly into the formwork through portable chutes.  

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