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Branch Line Creameries

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In planning my GWR Branch line (40s era) I want to incorporate some form of Dairy and a reason to run 6 wheel Dairy Tanks.  I have tried researching the topic, but have not turned up much on the subject.

 

Can anyone point me in the right direction?  I'm trying to figure out what kind of building I will need size wise, etc.  I am familiar with the haulage of the Tanks, and that one weighed as much as a fully loaded coach.  I am also aware that one tank could provide a day's milk to 35,000 people.

 

So I would imagine smaller towns might have Dairies that produced maybe 1 or 2 tanks a day on branch lines? 

 

Anyhow, any help on this subject would be appreciated. 

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The milk was usually conveyed from smaller towns, and even sidings in the middle of nowhere (Marshfield) to large urban areas. The 'Dairies' in rural areas were usually referred to as 'creameries'- most would send out relatively small numbers of tanks, which would be combined to produce lengthy trains. I was brought up in South West Wales, and would see the milk train passing most days. By the time it reached us, each train (and there were several per day) would be up to 15 tanks. These would have been combined at Carmarthen from various portions.

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The milk was usually conveyed from smaller towns, and even sidings in the middle of nowhere (Marshfield) to large urban areas. The 'Dairies' in rural areas were usually referred to as 'creameries'- most would send out relatively small numbers of tanks, which would be combined to produce lengthy trains. I was brought up in South West Wales, and would see the milk train passing most days. By the time it reached us, each train (and there were several per day) would be up to 15 tanks. These would have been combined at Carmarthen from various portions.

 

So I would assume a Creamery would not be close to a station, or at least close enough to model on a 14x2 slab of scenery?  Would the likeliest scenario be to have a track that heads towards a creamery, and then just use the station to stage the tanks for delivery to the main line, etc.? 

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So I would assume a Creamery would not be close to a station, or at least close enough to model on a 14x2 slab of scenery?  Would the likeliest scenario be to have a track that heads towards a creamery, and then just use the station to stage the tanks for delivery to the main line, etc.? 

Sometimes they were very close to the station; the one at Carmarthen itself was immediately opposite the station platform. Elsewhere (was it Torrington?), the old goods shed had been adapted as a loading point, whilst in other locations, loading was from road tankers into the rail ones, with no fixed facilities (Marshfield). If you can find them, some of the 'Freight Only' series by Paul Shannon and Michael Rhodes have photos of some loading points.

I found this link showing the remains of Pont Llanio creamery:- http://www.derelictplaces.co.uk/main/industrial-sites/18188-pont-llanio-milk-factory-mar-11-a.html#.WLV4kvmeb4Y

This link gives some idea of how the creameries operated:- https://www.peoplescollection.wales/story/378182

Here's a photo of Pont Llanio in use:- http://www.rcts.org.uk/features/mysteryphotos/show.htm?srch=college&img=Y-50-37&serial=12  Note the wide variety of road transport; this was before collection from farms was by bulk tanker. Farmers were being encouraged to build transfer platforms next to the road at this time, so that the lorries could get around faster- some only saw a couple of years' use.

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Have a look at Hemyock. The dairy is what kept the line open after passenger closure. 

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Wallingford had a small creamery quite near the station, bit more detail on it http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/96748-track-plan-which-includes-milk-depotcreamery/?p=1805912 and maybe some other ideas in that topic?
 
The creamery building itself was not that big - believe it was simply a holding point, refrigerating collected milk with no treatment before being taken onward to London. For my BLT I borrowed heavily from Wallingford, moving the creamery to nearer the station.
 
p1034671876-5.jpg
 
p693987860-5.jpg
 
There was article in Railway Modeller few years back on Creameries by Kahredron of this parish.
 
Other branch line layouts with creameries that might give inspiration are Potterborne (can't find link right now), Mayshill and Penhydd

 

Good luck with it

 

Jon

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Semley is another one you might like to look at (although not a branch line of course). The building is just across the station approach road and is still standing today (now an antiques showroom). It's relatively large but its positioning would make it possible to make as a low-relief building at the back of the layout. In later years, a pipe ran above the roadway to the siding where tanks were loaded.

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Here is a photo of the MMB creamery at Felin Fach (Green Grove) on the Aberaeron branch which opened in 1951.

 

DS2015_020_001.jpg

 

And below is a rather nice sequence of shots showing a rake of milk tankers being collected from the siding at the rear of the plant and being tripped to Lampeter.

 

http://picssr.com/tags/aberayronbranch

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As others have suggested - Hemyock

 

You need to get hold of a copy of 'Great Western Branchline Termini' by Paul Karau, Oxford Publishing Company.  Hemyock is covered in Volume Two (1977) and in the Combined Volume reprinted 1985 and 1992.  There are some 22 pages covering all aspects of the Hemyock terminus and dairy including some nicely detailed pictures and track plans.  Everything a railway modeller needs.

 

Good hunting

 

Regards

 

Ray

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Elsewhere (was it Torrington?), the old goods shed had been adapted as a loading point

Yes, the shed at Torrington was the loading point for milk from the nearby Torridge Vale Dairy.

 

milk4.jpg

 

Here are some more photos of Creameries adjacent to stations (although some may be a little larger than you have in mind).

 

Appleby in Cumbria

6988550541_7cc8f38d2a_h.jpg

 

Lostwithiel in Cornwall

26018848874_526921122b_b.jpg

 

St Erth in Cornwall

2439925_orig.jpg

 

Hemyock (again ;))

3594706_orig.jpg

 

Chard Junction

8213222_orig.jpg

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The Bason Bridge dairy, of Wilts United Dairies, was a medium sized plant, on the SDJR. This is a typical 1960s train heading out towards Highbridge. http://www.newman-family-tree.net/s&d/Ivatt-2-6-2T-passes-Churchland-on-milk-train.jpg

There is quite a good photo of the whole factory in the Middleton Press 'Burnham to Evercreech Junction'.The track layout shown in Judge & Potts Historical Survey of the S&D is very simple with a couple of sidings off a loop, to the east of the small single line station, with a kick back into the diary's loading bay. That was dated 1921. In the Middleton book there is a WW2 'control diagram' showing the 'milk sidings' moved across the mainline, in the form of a loop with headshunts at both ends.In the photo on the opposite page, one can see that there was a pipeline over the tracks on a gantry, to feed tank wagons. This must have been installed between 1921 & WW2, presumably when tank wagons took over from churn traffic. The platform used for churns could still have been used for cheese and butter, although that traffic largely transferred to road between the wars, I think.

There's a grainy and fairly early photo here http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/som/vol8/pp91-112#h3-0017 if you scroll about halfway down.

Edited by phil_sutters

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There has been speculation that the Appleby dairy was served at times by passenger carrying trains. I can't remember where I read it many years ago.

Jonathan

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Creameries were I believe, sometimes established in redundant secondhand industrial premises if deemed suitable for conversion. I have followed this theme for the creamery on my oo layout ficticious  branchline  'Sproston' (see the blog on this site), assuming it to have been  built around 1875 originally as a cider factory, operating until about 1925, then bought by United Dairies and converted in 1926 to a creamery.

My buildings are the  Metcalfe small factory/loading bay/ office block/ boilerhouse complex, along with a Dapol water tower. The creamery is served by a private siding, dispatching 2 - 4 full 6-wheel tanks a day to the capital, the period modelled  being 1956-1966'.

This site has lots of useful info, especially the day to day operational side of a creamery.

 

http://www.rooksbridge.org.uk/cvd.htm

 

Regards

SIGTECH (Steve).

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Not all country dairies were actually creameries. The Unigate facility at Bailey Gate (also on the Somerset and Dorset) was in fact a cheese factory that received full tankers in during times of high production and dispatched cheese. I believe Chard junction often dispatched cream. The basic idea of country creameries dispatching to bottling plants in London was actually a bit more complicated than it appeared at first glance.

 

Bailey Gate

 

 

Station_yard.jpg

Bailey_Gate_Station_-_geograph.org.uk_-_

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The Johnstown creamery, just outside Carmarthen, specialised in dried milk- as Karhedron mentioned, milk was sometimes brought in by rail to supplement local supplies. There were a couple of sites in the North-West which likewise produced either dried or condensed & evaporated milk.

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Slightly O/t but the picture of Lostwithiel in post #14 is just so full pf mid 70s atmosphere and details.

 

Double headed 50s on the down, A Western on the Up Clay-liner (that must date it pretty narrowly), the tanks with the covers open waiting to be steam cleaned, even what I assume is a cripple in the down siding.

wonderful image indeed...

 

oh and the diary is a fetching shade of pink!

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Slightly O/t but the picture of Lostwithiel in post #14 is just so full pf mid 70s atmosphere and details.

 

Double headed 50s on the down, A Western on the Up Clay-liner (that must date it pretty narrowly), the tanks with the covers open waiting to be steam cleaned, even what I assume is a cripple in the down siding.

wonderful image indeed...

 

oh and the diary is a fetching shade of pink!

At least one of the 50s has failed and the wizzo is on one engine...

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Creameries were I believe, sometimes established in redundant secondhand industrial premises if deemed suitable for conversion.

The one at Newcastle Emlyn was converted from the workhouse! It's the cross shaped building in the foreground. I don't know what traffic came in and out by rail. The station is in the background.

 

1-0-0.jpg

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At least one of the 50s has failed and the wizzo is on one engine...

 

How do you know that?  :O

 

Double heading was quite common for loco movements and would the western not have been double headed if it was broken?

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Chard Junction
8213222_orig.jpg

 

 

I wonder what purpose the short loop to the right of the picture serves. It is very model railway like and looks as if it could only hold about three or four wagons if intended as a run round.
 

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Pont Llanio on the Aberystwyth - Carmarthen line had a fair-sized creamery - and a very small station! - and the milk tanks were certainly shunted onto the passenger trains - usually though not always between the tender and the first coach.

 

The manoeuvre by which the tank was put at the rear of the train (either to preserve the train heating in a Welsh winter or to simplify shunting in Aberystwyth, or possibly for both reasons together) would surely not have passed inspection by the powers that be. (What, detrain the passengers just because you're shunting the whole shebang into a siding? In winter? What a crazy idea!)

 

But then, a lot of strange things used to happen at Pont Llanio.

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Chard Junction

8213222_orig.jpg

 

 

I wonder what purpose the short loop to the right of the picture serves. It is very model railway like and looks as if it could only hold about three or four wagons if intended as a run round.

 

Hmm, a good question and I don't know the answer. Some dairies made do with a simple siding while others had quite complex trackwork and the relationship was not always strictly about size.

 

I suspect that the complexity of the trackwork was due to Chard's function. Unlike some creameries, it didn't simply dispatch tankers of chilled milk to London. It also produced a range of processed products, particularly cream, some of which were dispatched in refrigerated vans. The creamery also received coal in by wagon. Possibly the range of different wagons coming and going at different times necessitated the complex trackwork. There is a rather nice shot of the plant from the top of the creamery below. Note the rake of shiny refurbished MMB milk tankers. They were part of a (sadly) short-lived attempt in the early 80s to revive the transportation of milk by rail but only saw limited service.

 

6-view-from-top-of-chard-junction-creame

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