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Scottish distillery tank wagon


Neil
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Just now, Neil said:

Browsing the fabulous Speyside photos at Ernie Brack's flickr site my curiousity was piqued by this image of a tank wagon. It's not an internal user vehicle as it (or one like it) appear elsewhere as part of a BR train formation. What would its contents be and where would it have travelled from?

 

Many thanks.

 

Can we have a link please?

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10 minutes ago, Neil said:

Browsing the fabulous Speyside photos at Ernie Brack's flickr site my curiosity was piqued by this image of a tank wagon. It's not an internal user vehicle as it (or one like it) appear elsewhere as part of a BR train formation. What would its contents be and where would it have travelled from?

 

Many thanks.

 

Well - I believe that S.M.D.L. stands for Scottish Malt Distillers Limited; so some form of alcohol would seem likely.

 

Regards,

John Isherwood.

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Scottish Malt Distillers (Carron) No.4 was built 1939 and registered with the LMS, no. 150747, so was passed for use on the main line. It was a 20 Ton, 12' wheelbase tank wagon; info from P.O. Freight Wagons on British Railways (D. Larkin).

 

Unfortunately no info is provided on load carried. The maroon livery appears to rule out fuel oil though; the wagon passed to the Strathspey Railway after withdrawal, in the same livery.

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20 minutes ago, Kylestrome said:

 

I'll make a really wild guess here and suggest that it could, just possibly, be malt whisky.  :)

 

David

Though not necessarily, It could be blended whisky going off for bottling.

or

In the late 70's early 80's I used to buy white spirit up in Scotland , on the bottom of the bottles it said "White Horse Whisky". I'm guessing accumulated waste spirits would be processed into white spirit..

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1 hour ago, Wickham Green said:

Wouldn't that need a 'Class A' tank !!?!

You would think so. Distillers Co. Ltd based in Edinburgh, which operated a fleet of Whisky grain wagons into the 60s (very old ones with wooden solebars and peaked roofs, salt wagon style, with PO type lettering) had a similar tank(s) eg no. 201, which was in Class A livery of Silver with red solebars, with a big "no naked light to be brought near tank" warning on the sides, though whether this was used in whisky traffic is not known.

 

I can't see such tanks being used for water at Carron as Distilleries are generally known for using, and being near, consistent, reliable water sources.

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1 hour ago, Signaller69 said:

You would think so. Distillers Co. Ltd based in Edinburgh, which operated a fleet of Whisky grain wagons into the 60s (very old ones with wooden solebars and peaked roofs, salt wagon style, with PO type lettering)

 

On the grain wagons, you might be getting these mixed up with the Leith General Warehousing (LGW) or the Robert Hutchison grain wagons.  As far as I am aware, Distillers did not have any of these type of grain wagons themselves.

 

Roddy

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15 minutes ago, Roddy Angus said:

 

On the grain wagons, you might be getting these mixed up with the Leith General Warehousing (LGW) or the Robert Hutchison grain wagons.  As far as I am aware, Distillers did not have any of these type of grain wagons themselves.

 

Roddy

They were similar to the LGW wagons but of more vintage appearance. There is a photo of one on p.34 of P.O. Freight Wagons on British Railways taken by Don Rowland. They had Light Grey bodywork and solebar with black corner plates, lettered "DCL" with a large wagon number below "No.52" in the centre and smaller info along the bottom corners. 

 

Not certain when they lasted in service until; the photo was taken at Millerhill but is undated; it appears to be coupled to a BR 16t mineral. The DCL tank photo was taken in 1963 at the same location.

Edited by Signaller69
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1 hour ago, Signaller69 said:

You would think so. Distillers Co. Ltd based in Edinburgh, which operated a fleet of Whisky grain wagons into the 60s (very old ones with wooden solebars and peaked roofs, salt wagon style, with PO type lettering) had a similar tank(s) eg no. 201, which was in Class A livery of Silver with red solebars, with a big "no naked light to be brought near tank" warning on the sides, though whether this was used in whisky traffic is not known.

 

I can't see such tanks being used for water at Carron as Distilleries are generally known for using, and being near, consistent, reliable water sources.

I was thinking more of water from a particular source being used to reduce the liquor to a potable strength. There were certainly purpose-built tanks to take water from inland supplies to blending plants around Western Central Scotland;this was for the production of White Hart Rum.

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Malt extract, as in that gooey brown tar-like stuff that used to get doled-out by the spoonful as a supplement when I was a skinny kid?

 

Its got some kind of valve at the crown of the tank at the far end - a washout entry, or a steam entry, or an adjustable pressure relief valve?

 

 

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1 hour ago, Nearholmer said:

Malt extract, as in that gooey brown tar-like stuff that used to get doled-out by the spoonful as a supplement when I was a skinny kid?

 

Its got some kind of valve at the crown of the tank at the far end - a washout entry, or a steam entry, or an adjustable pressure relief valve?

 

 

Steam coils would be a necessity for malt extract - like any other tank carrying tar-like stuff !

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That’s what I thought, but I don’t know enough about tank-wagon accessories to know whether or not that thing is a steam fitting ..... it does look vaguely like one.

 

Steam coil thingies are usually down at the bottom of the tank by the head stocks, aren’t they?

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4 hours ago, Signaller69 said:

They were similar to the LGW wagons but of more vintage appearance. There is a photo of one on p.34 of P.O. Freight Wagons on British Railways taken by Don Rowland.

 

 

Thanks for that heads up Signaller, I've never seen that version of the grain wagon before.  I do wonder if those wagons were taken over by LGW, as when looking at a train of wagons, one or two are sometimes noticeably not as high as the others, are they perhaps the old Distiller's ones which have been added to the LGW fleet?  It would seem odd that LGW would build two different sizes of wagon for their own fleet and the photo you highlight might explain the difference.

 

Thanks once again.

 

Roddy

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2 hours ago, Fat Controller said:

I suspect the valve on the top at one end is a pressure relief valve, which would be opened during loading and unloading; failure to do so could result in an 'imploson'

 

Are we overthinking this?

 

The valve looks like a bog-standard unloading valve on any Class B tank wagon; it's just at one end instead of roughly central.

 

Regards,

John Isherwood.

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13 hours ago, Kylestrome said:

 

I'll make a really wild guess here and suggest that it could, just possibly, be malt whisky.  :)

 

David

 

It won't be malt whisky, because it would then be required to sit in the tank for years to mature.  It won't be blended whisky as this was done away from the distillery. More likely the wagon will be for the transport of Pot Ale. In some locations this can be discharged into nearby water courses, but on Speyside the known effect on oxygen levels in the river meant this was not permitted, so as to protect salmon stocks. A plant was build before WW1 in Rothes to convert the pot ale into a syrup that was then dried and used as a fertiliser. At the time the photo was taken 1966 the railway was still the main means of transport and the warehousing of whisky was still traditional. Although we are used to seeing road tankers today, this was not practice at that time.

 

Dailuain was bought by the Distillers Company Ltd in 1925 and their subsidiary was Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd.

 

John

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