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7 hours ago, Compound2632 said:

The milk tank discussion seems to be focused on traffic to London. The inhabitants of other cities and towns consumed milk; was there milk tank traffic to these or were they supplied by churn only?

 

London got the bulk of milk tank traffic. I have heard of small amounts of milk being delivered elsewhere by tank for bottling but the only definite one I had tracked down post-nationalisation was the Twin Spires diary in Bucksburn near Aberdeen. This received milk bu tank from Dumfries on the other side of the country although I have not managed to find out why it merited such special treatment.

 

In general I would agree with Steve Banks' assessment that in most cases, other towns and cities simply skipped rail tanks as there was not enough demand to justify the investment in creameries at one end and bottling plants at the other built to serve the tanks and connected to the railways.

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7 hours ago, Nearholmer said:

Cheese and dried milk factories took rail tanks though.

 

They did indeed which bring us nicely onto this.

 

On 16/03/2020 at 19:24, Phil Bullock said:

 

@Karhedrontheres another photo and some more info on this train here 

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/johndedman/24041884477/in/album-72157669286823982/

 

 

As the flickr thread discusses, milk was taken by tanks to other parts of the country for processing into less perishable forms during peak production in the summer. This traffic continued until at least 1979. I suspect that the tanks behind the 47 and 40 are coming from Appleby after taking milk north for cheese production.

 

Now I'm peckish too! Pass another cracker Grommit .

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12 hours ago, Karhedron said:

 

They did indeed which bring us nicely onto this.

 

 

As the flickr thread discusses, milk was taken by tanks to other parts of the country for processing into less perishable forms during peak production in the summer. This traffic continued until at least 1979. I suspect that the tanks behind the 47 and 40 are coming from Appleby after taking milk north for cheese production.

 

Now I'm peckish too! Pass another cracker Grommit .

'Cheese is milk's attempt at immortality'.......

 

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17 hours ago, Karhedron said:

 the only definite one I had tracked down post-nationalisation was the Twin Spires diary in Bucksburn near Aberdeen. This received milk bu tank from Dumfries on the other side of the country although I have not managed to find out why it merited such special treatment.

In a mixture of road/rail tanks and the Unigate type (?) with the ladders and platforms on the side. It ran into the 60s,  Derek Cross photographed it running behind a tender first Britannia on the  Lochmaben branch. If anyone has any further information on this flow I'd be interested as I was surprised to see side platforms outside the WR. 

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I think there is a bit of a mystery about these early wagons. In Jack Slinn's article in the HMRS Journal vol 12 part 3 1985 pages 87 - 92 he only mentions conversion from four to six wheels of the first two batches of wagons on the GWR, with the first having a 10ft 6in. wheelbase and the second 13ft. He suggests all on the GWR were 3000gallons. Now Jack really knew his rolling stock so it is difficult to doubt him. However, I have a three photos of lot 1387, the first batch. One of these looks similar to other wagons, but the first two have very angled end bracing which suggests the barrel is shorter than on later wagons. https://PaulBartlett.zenfolio.com/gwrbrmilktanks/e21c3db31  https://PaulBartlett.zenfolio.com/gwrbrmilktanks/e3a7e75e2

Perhaps the barrels were of greater diameter. I don't have a NPCCS diagram book for the GWR and as Jacks' article shows there were a great many diagrams.

It is a shame that this article wasn't included in the his HMRS book on Siphons, which had come from this series of articles and only one diagram of milk tank is reproduced. The barrels were, of course, owned by the milk companies so the suggestion that the 4 wheel frames - or at least the very first lot 1387 - were new when they became 6 wheeled and used only the original barrel. Whether my photos show the original barrels is also questionable as the way they were maintained, with the barrels removed from the chassis, makes swapping possible. My photos of LMS milk tanks certainly vary to the records published by Bob Essery and David Jenkinson - easily seen because of the use of both 2 and 3,000 gallon barrels. 

 

Paul

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On 18/07/2020 at 23:39, Karhedron said:

... the only definite one I had tracked down post-nationalisation was the Twin Spires diary in Bucksburn near Aberdeen. This received milk bu tank from Dumfries on the other side of the country although I have not managed to find out why it merited such special treatment.

So following this lead a bit further I googled "Dumfries Bucksburn milk". This eventually brought up a tantalising snippet from the International Journal of Dairy Technology for July 1960:

 

"In common with the rest of the country most of this production has been in unsweetened condensed (evaporated) form and Scottish production is almost entirely by private manufacturers, although a certain amount of milk is pre-condensed at Bucksburn for despatch to Dumfries."

 

There was a Carnation Milk factory at Dumfries, one of the destinations for the odd BR dia 1/214 vans with a single end door. Without subscribing to one of the online academic journal services I can't read the rest of it but my guess is that the flow was condensed milk southwards and empties north. It also appears to have been a late and short-lived flow - Twin Spires opened in 1960 and the dairy sidings were lifted by 1973 - https://www.railscot.co.uk/locations/T/Twin_Spires_Creamery/

 

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On 19/07/2020 at 20:28, hmrspaul said:

I think there is a bit of a mystery about these early wagons. In Jack Slinn's article in the HMRS Journal vol 12 part 3 1985 pages 87 - 92 he only mentions conversion from four to six wheels of the first two batches of wagons on the GWR, with the first having a 10ft 6in. wheelbase and the second 13ft. He suggests all on the GWR were 3000gallons. Now Jack really knew his rolling stock so it is difficult to doubt him. However, I have a three photos of lot 1387, the first batch. One of these looks similar to other wagons, but the first two have very angled end bracing which suggests the barrel is shorter than on later wagons. https://PaulBartlett.zenfolio.com/gwrbrmilktanks/e21c3db31  https://PaulBartlett.zenfolio.com/gwrbrmilktanks/e3a7e75e2

 

Hmm, the plot thickens! The first batch of United Dairies 4-wheeled tanks were 2001-12 and had the shot wheelbase. The second batch were 2013-18 (diagram O.34) but I can't find any photos of them prior to rebuilding so I don't know what their original wheelbase was. Ironically 2016 has been preserved so searching the web for images just yields a lot of preserved shots.

 

The curious thing is that the O.34s were built in 1931 at almost the same time that the GWR were building their first 6-wheeled tanks, the O.35s for West Park Dairy. By 1932, the next batch of United Dairies tanks were 6-wheelers (diagram O.39). It seems the O.34s were practically obsolete when they were built. I wonder if it was the GWR or the dairies who chose the wheel arrangement?

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11 hours ago, Wheatley said:

So following this lead a bit further I googled "Dumfries Bucksburn milk". This eventually brought up a tantalising snippet from the International Journal of Dairy Technology for July 1960:

 

"In common with the rest of the country most of this production has been in unsweetened condensed (evaporated) form and Scottish production is almost entirely by private manufacturers, although a certain amount of milk is pre-condensed at Bucksburn for despatch to Dumfries."

 

There was a Carnation Milk factory at Dumfries, one of the destinations for the odd BR dia 1/214 vans with a single end door. Without subscribing to one of the online academic journal services I can't read the rest of it but my guess is that the flow was condensed milk southwards and empties north. It also appears to have been a late and short-lived flow - Twin Spires opened in 1960 and the dairy sidings were lifted by 1973 - https://www.railscot.co.uk/locations/T/Twin_Spires_Creamery/

 

Fascinating. Twin Spires seems to have been something of a last-gasp by the MMB. As far as I can tell, it was the last rail-served dairy they constructed. Possibly the last rail-served dairy to be built in the country. The MMB had somewhat lost faith with BR after the ASLEF strike in 1955 and were starting to encourage dairy companies to switch to road transport where feasible. 

 

The notes I have suggest the primary purpose of Twin Spires was as a bottling plant to serve the local area with raw milk coming in by rail from the west side of the country. More occasionally it dispatched milk to London (probably excess summer production). Processing milk to send back to Dumfries seems strange but there must have been a reason for it. Perhaps demand at Dumfries was outstripping production capacity so they "outsourced" some of it to Bucksburn.

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2 hours ago, Nearholmer said:

Fascinating - I wonder what “pre-condensed” means. Maybe it gets it to the homogenised stage, before the boiling-down.

Many years ago I had a holiday job in a dairy.  From what I can remember along with a bit of googling. I would suggest that pre-condensed milk is milk that has had it's fat and other contents standardised ready for the condensing process.   The evaporators/condensers are quite large and expensive bits of kit so they might well have imported feedstock from other areas and it would have made sense for all the imports to have been partially processed to the same quality standards ready for condensing.

 

As a matter of interest all of the condensed milk produced at the creamery that I worked at was made into milk powder of various kinds depending on the process used.   This went to the catering trade or as animal feed. The machines that produced the animal feed version could easily have produced what we knew as Marvel if the edges of the sheet that came off the machines had been removed before crushing.

 

Hope this isn't too off topic.

 

Jamie

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 18/07/2020 at 23:47, Karhedron said:

 

They did indeed which bring us nicely onto this.

 

 

As the flickr thread discusses, milk was taken by tanks to other parts of the country for processing into less perishable forms during peak production in the summer. This traffic continued until at least 1979. I suspect that the tanks behind the 47 and 40 are coming from Appleby after taking milk north for cheese production.

 

Now I'm peckish too! Pass another cracker Grommit .

 

As a point of clarification, I can't see a brake van in this 47 hauled train, so assume by then the guard was in the rear cab?

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3 hours ago, mikesndbs said:

 

As a point of clarification, I can't see a brake van in this 47 hauled train, so assume by then the guard was in the rear cab?

 

That's right. From May 1969, Guards were allowed to travel in the rear cab of diesels if the train was fully fitted (as milk trains were). Brake vehicles in  milk trains vanish pretty promptly at this date. There were occasional exceptions. The one that springs to mind is the Unigate milk on the SR. This was often run to Waterloo and then batches of tanks were worked back to be unloaded at Vauxhall by the station pilot. This was usually a Class 09 shunter which only had 1 cab so you could sometimes see a milk train still with a full brake for quite a while after the regulations changed simply as there was no rear cab for the guard to ride in.

 

 

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On 06/08/2020 at 14:13, Karhedron said:

 

That's right. From May 1969, Guards were allowed to travel in the rear cab of diesels if the train was fully fitted (as milk trains were). Brake vehicles in  milk trains vanish pretty promptly at this date. There were occasional exceptions. The one that springs to mind is the Unigate milk on the SR. This was often run to Waterloo and then batches of tanks were worked back to be unloaded at Vauxhall by the station pilot. This was usually a Class 09 shunter which only had 1 cab so you could sometimes see a milk train still with a full brake for quite a while after the regulations changed simply as there was no rear cab for the guard to ride in.

 

 

So that's why I remember  seeing the pipes and unloading equipment on the northernmost platform atvVauxhall is it, i lived in various parts of south west London for 8 months in 1971. 

 

Jamie

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Speaking of which, a very atmospheric photo of the milk empties at Waterloo here https://www.anistr.com/m/media/c2d8d0de-0719-4a89-b84c-d850736fafb9-steam-loco-standard-5mt-73065-waterloo

 

I can actually hear the echoing tannoy and the long lines of trolleys snaking behind tow-tractors when I see that.

 

 

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On 08/08/2020 at 13:07, jamie92208 said:

So that's why I remember  seeing the pipes and unloading equipment on the northernmost platform atvVauxhall is it, i lived in various parts of south west London for 8 months in 1971. 

 

Yup. The tanks were unloaded at the platform and the milk piped down under the arches and across the road to the bottling plant.

 

5375845579_36bb121a2f_b.jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...

(Click the picture for video) This is an important video to me, one which has taken a considerable amount of research and production, it features no less than 18 locomotives types ranging from a Dean Single to a BR blue class 47. It is also the last production to take place on my layout in its current form as it is now packed away. I really must say thank you to the members of the RMweb forum for their kind assistance in researching this video, also the web page for Nine Elms.

Similarly I am grateful to the many drivers and guards who have given me real life experiences of working milk trains.

It’s a very long video at 33 minutes and I will be providing a time code index to the four main sections later.

Stay tuned for more, regards and stay safe. Mike.

Loco type appearing at least once listing:

GWR 1361 class

GWR Dean Single

GWR 14xx class

GWR King class

GWR Prairie class

SR K10 4-4-0

SR M7 0-4-4

SR Q1 0-6-0

SDJR 7F 2-8-0

SR King Arthur class

SR Merchant Navy class

Ruston 48

Class 08 shunter

GWR 57xx

Class 14 Teddy Bear

Class 35 Hymek

Class 52 Western

BR Class 47

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Could I just ask a couple of questions, in Railway Memories no8 Barnsley Cudworth Royston, there is a photo of a Barnsley to Sheffield train on the Midland route. It is an Ivatt class2 mogul, three Gresley non corridors and two milk tanks.

The caption says they are empties from the Cooperative dairy at Summer Lane Barnsley. Would it be correct that they are empties, or would Summer Lane be supplied locally by road and full tanks sent south.

Would the tanks be branded CWS/Co-op.

Thanks David

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I am not sure in the specific case of Barnsley. I have not found any records of it dispatching milk to London. It is a fairly urban area and most dispatching creameries tended to be located in rural areas, close to where the milk was produced. In 1928, the site was noted as being a corn mill and jam factory. It could have been milk for consumption in Barnsley but milk tanks were generally dispatched to London on a large scale. However milk tanks to smaller bottling plants outside the Capital did happen occasionally. This happened particularly during the war when the large population of evacuees turned the normal logistics of milk transportation somewhat upside-down.

 

The other possibility is that milk arriving at Summer Lane could be a raw ingredient for something being produced on the site. Condensed milk, butterscotch and malted milk were all notable products that required a large amount of raw milk in on a regular basis and I am sure there were others. Given its location, I have no difficulty believing Summer Lane was receiving milk inwards rather than dispatching it south. However more information would be helpful in working out what the milk was used for on arrival.

 

Is the photograph you mention dates?

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10 hours ago, Karhedron said:

I am not sure in the specific case of Barnsley. I have not found any records of it dispatching milk to London. It is a fairly urban area and most dispatching creameries tended to be located in rural areas, close to where the milk was produced. In 1928, the site was noted as being a corn mill and jam factory. It could have been milk for consumption in Barnsley but milk tanks were generally dispatched to London on a large scale. However milk tanks to smaller bottling plants outside the Capital did happen occasionally. This happened particularly during the war when the large population of evacuees turned the normal logistics of milk transportation somewhat upside-down.

 

The other possibility is that milk arriving at Summer Lane could be a raw ingredient for something being produced on the site. Condensed milk, butterscotch and malted milk were all notable products that required a large amount of raw milk in on a regular basis and I am sure there were others. Given its location, I have no difficulty believing Summer Lane was receiving milk inwards rather than dispatching it south. However more information would be helpful in working out what the milk was used for on arrival.

 

Is the photograph you mention dates?

Thanks for the reply Karhedron, the photo is dated 1958. There is another showing a similar train in Rails Through Barnsley, Alan Whitehouse, this proberbly mid 50s. The caption on this one states that it was a regular working until the mid sixties.

Thanks David

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