Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Karhedron

  1. Marlow was one of those rare stations that did actually have a bay platform at the terminus that was occasionally used for passenger trains. I am not certain but it may have been built to allow the shuttle to Bourne End to operate when the main platform was occupied by regatta specials. The only photo I have seen of it in use was during a railtour in 1954.
  2. As far as I am aware, the inner tank of the early tankers was of metal construction, probably steel. The "glass lining" was not really glass in the conventional sense. Rather it was a coating of vitreous enamel applied to the inside of the tank to provide a smooth continuous surface that would be easy to clean and sterilise. The vitreous enamel was applied as a paste containing ground glass to the interior which was then heated until it fused to form a smooth coating. I haven't found details of how this was achieved. It would take a large kiln to fit a 3000 gallon vessel so maybe it was done with a blowtorch? I am just speculating here as I don't really know. Wikipedia states the fusing point of VE is 750-850 degrees-C which is hot but a lot lower than the melting point of steel. Although early tankers famously proclaimed they were "glass-lined", they were not popular with the railways. The VE was comparatively fragile and did not take kindly to be shunted roughly. Some time in the 1930s, it seems to have been phased out and tanks were instead lined with stainless steel. Express dairy tanks sometimes carried logos such as "Staybrite steel". The last record I can find for glass-lined tanks was the batch built for the IMS by the GWR in 1936. Later tanks may still have been glass-lined but I cannot find photos or records to indicate one way or the other.
  3. The Culm valley light railway was delightful but definitely an oddball. It was an independently built light railway with very flimsy track and low line speed. This limited what locos and coaches could be run there, even thought it was operated by the GWR. If it had not been for the large dairy at Hemyock, it is doubtful it would have even survived until nationalisation. As such, it does not make a good example of a "typical" GWR branchline (if there even is such a thing). If you are looking at the 1930s then Autocoaches and B-sets were the staple rolling stock on most west-country branchlines. Are you looking for models that are available ready-to-run or are you looking into kit-building?
  4. On the contrary, B-sets were designed very much with branchline use in mind and were less common in suburban settings where higher capacity was often called for. A small Prairie or (less frequently) Pannier hauling a B-set was a staple of west-country branchlines. Small Prairie’ 4569, in BR lined green brings a red ‘B’ set into Bodmin General in September 1958. In the early 1950s, a 45xx small Prairie drifts into Wadebridge with Bodmin Branch No 2 set with a service from Bodmin General. The coaches (6977 + 6778) are diagram E140 and are still in their last GWR livery. http://www.gwr.org.uk/venton/b-set-wadebridge.jpg 4582 leaving Avonwick A 4500 on a standard 'B set' approaches Nancegollan from Gwinear. It was even possible to see small diesels like NBL class 22s hauling B-sets http://www.cornwallrailwaysociety.org.uk/uploads/7/6/8/3/7683812/8719405_orig.jpg It was
  5. I they should be fine as both liveries co-existed for over a decade. The latest date I have for a blue Express Dairies tanker is 1965 at Carlisle (probably an Appleby tank).
  6. Westerner of this parish used the same kit as the basis for the creamery on his excellent layout "Wencombe" and it came out really well. Definitely captures that 1930s industrial vibe which many creameries had.
  7. Part of the reason for this was that in the early days of tanker traffic, United Diaries and Express Dairies implemented different (and incompatible) connectors on their tanks. This led to a VHS/Betamax situation where certain tanks could only serve certain dairies. I don't know if the situation continued into the 1960s but it would be one possible explanation as to why tanks for certain dairies were allocated to certain routes rather than being totally randomised.
  8. It wasn't actually repainting. The pre-war milk tankers were built with a layer of cork lining as insulation between the internal tank and the mild steel outer skin. After more than a decade in service, this cork was starting to perish on the oldest tanks. As necessary, tanks were refurbished which involved replacing the perished cork with glass wool as insulation. The tanks were then reclad with aluminium. Since aluminium does not rust the way steel does, they were frequently left unpainted. So it wasn't a silver-grey livery that was applied, it was just the bare aluminium of the new cladding.
  9. I have a crazy idea to do an alternative version of East Finchley in the late 70s but imagining the line to Finsbury Park never closed. Instead it remained part of BR and was electrified in 1977 along with the line to Moorgate. Then you could have 313s in BG livery running on the centre lines while the 38 stock runs on the outer lines. I imagine some of the 313s would turn back using the siding just north of the station while others might run on the Edgeware via Mill Hill (which also would not have closed ). I could even add a bit of frieght in the form of milk traffic. There was a rail-served Unigate dairy with its own siding on the Up line. The real thing closed in the early 60s when the line to Finsbury Park was severed but if the link had remained open it could have still been receiving milk in the late 70s as Unigate did not stop milk trains until 1980.
  10. I normally find a mix of brown and grey (or black and white) looks best. Track is rarely a single colour so a bit of variation looks fine. I have not tried it on concrete sleepers but here is how it looks on my N Gauge wood sleeper.
  11. At around 50 miles by road, it would have been an easy candidate for lorry haulage. Much faster than the circuitous route taken by the rail tankers.
  12. Do you know if that was churn traffic? I have never heard of tanker traffic to or from Garsdale.
  13. I think that the LMS/MR was not heavily involved in milk traffic from Wensleydale. In 1937 Express Dairies opened a large Creamery at Leyburn to handle fresh milk coming out of the dale. This was handled by the LNER/ER. The milk train was worked east from Leyburn to Northallerton where it sometimes picked up additional tankers from the Cow and Gate factory. Then it was worked to Derby and only at that point did it transfer to LMS/MR metals for the run down the MML to Cricklewood.
  14. I can confirm it is spot on since I posted it.
  15. I can't make the sign out but I agree it is probably something along the lines of "No engines past this point". The manhole on top of the tanks was also used for cleaning them out once they had been emptied. This was done at the receiving end wherever possible as any milk residue left in the tanks would be pretty nasty to shift by the time it had returned to the dispatching dairy. I have often found it in equal parts fascinating and frustrating to work out exactly what is happening in particular pictures at dairies. My guess would be that the loco is collecting empties and the chap on top is probably either washing out the tank or getting ready to seal it up after cleaning. This is just a guess though. Milk tanks were continuously braked so the position of the brake van was not particularly important. The tanks were normally tripped to Clapham Junction where they would be sent out west for refilling.
  16. You are welcome. If you would like any information or photos on the milk services around Carmarthen, I am happy to provide.
  17. Milk from West Wales lasted until 1980 although the line from Carmarthen towards Aberystwyth closed in 1973. Milk was big business in the area. Rail served dairies existed at Pont Llanio and Felin Fach and there was a large cheese factory at Newcastle Emlyn that used to dispatch via rail too.
  18. Interesting, can you recall what turned up to do the shunting? I have seen photos of a Q1 shunting Morden. Or would it have been a diesel by that point?
  19. Brine refrigeration was invented in the early 19th century IIRC with ammonia absorption systems invented in the 1880s. I don't know how far and how fast these spread though.
  20. You are right. Bulk storage and collection from farms was first trialled in 1953 by the Scottish MMB. Kirkcudbrightshire was chosen as the pilot area due to the sparse farms, often significant distances from the collecting dairies. Although hampered by poor roads in the area and congestion at the dairies, the principle caught on (possibly hastened by the ASLEF strike in 1955).
  21. The descriptions I have of rail-served creameries all seem to mention pasteurising facilities being included from new (Pont Llanio, 1937 and Felin Fach, 1951). This suggests that milk in tankers was pasteurised before it was sent to London. I am not certain what happened in earlier creameries that were built to dispatch churn traffic. Many of these predated the expectation of milk being pasteurised. The other thing to remember is that pasteurisation was pursued by the dairy companies to increase confidence in their product rather than being mandated by law. Even after WW2, 30% of the milk consumed in the UK was unpasteurised. In fact it is still legally possible to buy unpasteurised milk today if you know where to go.
  22. You are right. In the 30s, the milk from Hemyock was often attached to the 5.55pm milk train from Wellington to West Ealing. It varied from year to year as to whether these would be attached at Tiverton Junction or worked all the way to Wellington. By 1940, pick up was normally at Tiverton Junction. Milk from Hemyock was only added to Penzance milk train in 1963. This coincided with the withdrawal of passenger trains on the Hemyock branch and also the end of the Wellington milk train.
  23. Milk trains in the Duchy in the 1930s were very different beasts to the post-nationalisation version. Traffic changed considerably with the introduction of milk tankers, it wasn't simply a case of tankers displacing siphons full of churns. Many of the large dispatching creameries in Cornwall only opened to support tanker traffic. The first to open was Lostwithiel in 1932 which was originally a Nestle establishment. This was the first to send milk tankers to London. Interestingly, as well as collecting milk from the surrounding farms in lorries, Lostwithiel also received milk in on the rails. Siphons full of milk from further west were hauled to Lostwithiel for processing. Lostwithiel typically dispatched 3-4 milk tanks per day in the early 30s. Next up was the MMB creamery at Camborne which opened on 1937. This used a siding laid at Dolcoath to fill milk tankers. Apparently this was done with a hand pump in the early days which must have been both exhausting and time consuming. I don't have an opening date for the creamery at St Erth but I know it was after Camborne. Prior to this the site was a china clay dries. Similarly I have found no record of milk tanks from Penzance prior to WW2. So the milk from Cornwall didn't run in a dedicated train from Penzance in the 1930s. Even in the late 30s, Camborn and Lostwithiel were much smaller than they would eventually be and dispatched correspondingly smaller numbers of tanks. I suspect that milk trains in the late 1930s were more disorganised with a mix of tankers and siphons rather than dedicated tanker trains as would happen in the folllowing decades.
  • Create New...