The risk of explosion at armament facilities is an ever present threat. Where rail transport was used for moving gunpowder, it was common to use bronze rail to eliminate sparks. This example of a section of rail comes from the Royal Naval Armament Depot at Priddy’s Hard in Gosport. The depot dates back to the 1770s and supplied the naval fleet based at Portsmouth across the river. Rail trolleys were used on an 18in gauge line to move the gunpowder between the storage magazines and the quayside.
The depot was completely closed by 1988, and the oldest part of the complex now houses the Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower.