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Demountable Bromine Tanks


D869

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Bromine is a very dense liquid - 3.1 times as dense as water according to Wikipedia. The drawing on Paul's site gives the capacity as 6600 litres which I reckon is 20.46 metric tonnes. The diagram gives loads of 15.1 and 18.7 tons. Undoubtedly the high density is part of the explanation.

 

If my reading of Paul's photos is correct then a 1960s Class A 4 wheel tank had a load of 32 tons so it seems that the tanks could have been made bigger on this basis. I think there may be several potential reasons why they were smaller...

 

1. They were lead lined so the tare weight would be higher - e.g. 16.2 tons for the older Dow tank vs 12 tons for a class A tank, so less weight to spare for the payload... but I don't think this fully explains it either...

2. As you suggest, the general nastiness of the stuff inside

3. Mechanical strength? Perhaps they needed to withstand more internal pressure than class A tanks?

4. The difficulty of extracting the stuff (22,000 tons of sea water for 1 ton of bromine) may have meant that there was little demand for more capacity

 

Regards, Andy

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I just found another photo that points to the presence of a lowmac style demountable tank at Hayle on another date. The recent book 'Hydraulics in the West' has a photo on page 45 credited to Exe Rail of 810 shunting the Octel bromine plant on 14th July 1971.

 

This photo shows a 12T van with SR pattern roof immediately behind the loco. The next wagon is clearly a Lowmac with securing chains at an angle that would be consistent with a demountable bromine tank. Unfortunately the demountable tank itself is not visible in the photo because it is obscured by the van. Behind this is another tank which appears to be of the monobloc RIV bromine tank design. There is another tank behind this which could be another RIV bromine tank but very little detail is visible. The tops of some more wagons are visible above the boundary wall. These seem to include a couple of white tank lids - clearly lighter and probably taller than the bromine tanks (so probably chlorine tanks) plus another ventilated box van. The photo also provides an excellent view of the now demolished 'business end' of the bromine plant.

 

Page 70 of the much older Bradford Barton book 'The Warships' has a photo taken on the same date of 810 leaving the wharves and crossing the Copperhouse inlet. Behind it is a ventilated van which appears to be an LNER design so not the same one in the photo at the bromine plant, an RIV chlorine tank and a BR standard brake van. This photo is credited to 'South Devon Railway Museum'. If memory serves (which it may not), at the time of publication this museum was at Dawlish Warren and therefore probably the predecessor of Exe Rail.

 

Given the rarity of photos of Hayle wharves it seems highly likely that the two photos were taken by the same photographer, which begs the questions...

 

1. Who was the photographer?

2. Are there any other photos, particularly photos of the inward working to the wharf which might show the demountable tank in more detail?

 

Exe Rail's current online catalogue only lists one photo of 810 at Hayle... but we already know that at least two from the same date exist. I think I will drop them a line to see if it's possible to bring any more photos to light.

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Steve from Exe Rail has confirmed my recollection - the South Devon Railway Museum became the Dawlish Warren Railway Museum and when it closed in 1984, Exe Rail took over the custody of the photo collection.

 

So it seems that there were definitely at least two photos taken at Hayle on that date that were part of the same collection but only one is currently listed. Steve has said that he will look to see if there are any more, but it may take some time.

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Sounds like a good lead, D869.

 

My dad and I are personal friends of Maurice Dart, who as you probably know wrote several books on the railways of the area. He has quite a large collection of photographs and it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if he had a few photos of Hayle. I'll email my dad and ask him if he can pose the question to Maurice. I've been meaning to ask him for some reference photos for my own projects anyway, so I'll just lump yours in with the rest of them and see what turns up.

 

Best,

Scott.

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spoke to my stepdad again over the weekend who confirmed the wagons in the pics at hoo were cut up by him back in the early 2000s, the materials they were made of prevented them being able to be reused as storage vessels under new legislations

 

i'll try and get over there sometime soon to get some pics and info for the tanks that are still in existance (including, we think the one in the first pic!)

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My dad and I are personal friends of Maurice Dart, who as you probably know wrote several books on the railways of the area. He has quite a large collection of photographs and it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if he had a few photos of Hayle. I'll email my dad and ask him if he can pose the question to Maurice.

 

Thanks Scott. I have his china clay album (Ian Allen) and the two mineral railways books (Middleton Press).. The W.Cornwall Mineral Railways book has several pics credited to Maurice's collection but they are mostly 1950s or before, one of which shows 4540 pulling what may be an Octel chlorine tank (the old style design with end cradles), a couple of steel highs plus a Toad up to the station. There is also one taken in 1979 of a class 25 shunting oil tanks outside the Esso depot, but nothing in the late 60s or early 70s which would have a good chance of catching a demountable bromine tank.

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i'll try and get over there sometime soon to get some pics and info for the tanks that are still in existance (including, we think the one in the first pic!)

 

Thanks Jim - that would be great when you have chance.

 

BTW, for the Hayle fans reading this thread - I found some really nice 1960s colour photos of the North quay area, Octel works, Power station, Esso quay and shipping yesterday. Sadly no bromine tanks visible but a nice reminder of the variety of activity going on at Hayle at that time - very different from the scene today. This started me off on a whole new line of enquiry into the background of the shipping calling at Hayle and the source of the CEGB's coal (Barry, apparently), but that's definitely off topic for this thread.

 

The main link is http://catalogue.com...__24_or__3.aspx . Check under the 'The Howard Biggleston Collection'. Here is a link to a sample...

 

upload0172.jpg

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Crikey, I had no idea that the bromine plant was on quite that scale! Looking at that it doesn't even look like Cornwall, more like Teesside.

 

I phoned my dad last night and asked him to get in contact with Maurice. He'll try to ask about whether he has any photographs. However you should know that asking Maurice a question generally results in this sort of confused stare, as if to suggest he wonders why you might be asking such a stupid question, or why you don't already know the answer. Have you been living under a rock? Surely everyone knows that (insert obscure factoid here). :P

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Crikey, I had no idea that the bromine plant was on quite that scale! Looking at that it doesn't even look like Cornwall, more like Teesside.

 

Ah - I think you're under the modern view of Cornwall as an unchanging rural idyll and holiday playground. In fact it was one of the cradles of the Industrial Revolution and Hayle was a key part of it, being (among other things) the origin of many of the huge beam engines that used to reside in those now ruined engine houses. It also went on to do shipbuilding, explosives manufacture, glassmaking, power generation and of course the bromine plant's crucial role in WW2 enabling a UK source of petrol additives so that our 'few' could keep the Luftwaffe at bay.

 

The picture shows the power station (left) and most of the bromine works (right). The bridge of the nearest ship is roughly the dividing line between them.

 

I phoned my dad last night and asked him to get in contact with Maurice. He'll try to ask about whether he has any photographs. However you should know that asking Maurice a question generally results in this sort of confused stare, as if to suggest he wonders why you might be asking such a stupid question, or why you don't already know the answer. Have you been living under a rock? Surely everyone knows that (insert obscure factoid here).

 

I can't help thinking of the scene in Wayne's World where they meet Alice Cooper :O

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Ah - I think you're under the modern view of Cornwall as an unchanging rural idyll and holiday playground. In fact it was one of the cradles of the Industrial Revolution and Hayle was a key part of it, being (among other things) the origin of many of the huge beam engines that used to reside in those now ruined engine houses. It also went on to do shipbuilding, explosives manufacture, glassmaking, power generation and of course the bromine plant's crucial role in WW2 enabling a UK source of petrol additives so that our 'few' could keep the Luftwaffe at bay.

 

The picture shows the power station (left) and most of the bromine works (right). The bridge of the nearest ship is roughly the dividing line between them.

 

Ironically enough, I've never left (as in lived anywhere except) Cornwall my whole life, grew up in china clay country, and my playground was abandoned/flooded quarries, old kilns, engine houses etc. I've never built a single layout on any other theme except tin mining and clay mining. I've done archaeological surveys on engine houses, personally visited every engine house with beam engine still in situ (including the two that were on private land, one recently destroyed), so I was very well aware of Harvey's of Hayle. In fact the cottage I grew up in had a Cornish range from that exact foundry.

 

However I had no idea that there was a power plant of that size in Hayle, nor any idea about the bromine plant!

 

Oh by the way, you left one out! Can't forget the wolfram mine at Cligga head and Castle An Dinas, for giving us tungsten for armour piercing bullets, and the miner's their tungsten carbide drill bits. :)

 

Best,

Scott.

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The history of the bromine traffic from Hayle (and other Associated Octel traffic) is discussed in

Fidczuk, Peter (2007) Gas by Rail: Part 4 Associated Octel and Tank Rentals in Railway Archive no. 16 pages 57 - 82 and both front and back page.

 

I have a copy of this now. It's an excellent article with in-depth research, so thanks for the reference. It gives chapter and verse (and drawings) about chlorine tanks old and new and also ethylene dibromide... but sadly not much info about how bromine was carried by rail. Clearly it was carried by rail, at least circa 1970 so this seems like a strange omission, unless maybe it was covered in one of the other parts of the series?

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I'm old enough to remember the end of shift hooter at the Power station resounding across the pool opposite Hayle Terrace in the early 70s. Followed by the traffic queue and the lunchtime freight being propelled down the wharves, happy days indeed.

 

Or getting out of Hayle swimming pool to see a class 25 thrash by with the empties bound for St Erth taking a run at the ferocious bank.

 

Picture by Roger Winnen - copyright please...

 

post-2613-0-72348800-1315852350_thumb.jpg

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Thanks Craig. I was at the Cornish Studies Library in Redruth on a rainy day a couple of weeks back and uncovered an August 1977 article in 'The Cornishman' newspaper about the Esso depot. Hayle closed as a working port at about that time. Prior to this it seems that the Esso depot had received its oil by sea. The article says that the depot would not close and that plans were in progress for a new siding so that fuel could be delivered by rail instead.

 

So a sweeping generalisation would say that oil traffic by rail to Hayle wharf started around 1977, however I've seen a 1950s photo of a steam loco climbing up from the wharf with an oil tank (air ministry type perhaps). The angle isn't great but I think that it says Esso on the side of the tank so perhaps the story is a bit more complex than just 'by sea before 1977, by rail afterwards'. Of course I can't actually find said picture right now.

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Sorry if I was getting into lecture mode there, but as you may have guessed, Hayle's history is one of my pet interests.

 

I knew immediately how you felt as soon as I read the words "you must think cornwall is some holiday playground", because that's exactly how I feel when I talk to clueless tourists about Cornwall's mining past. I get particularly irate when someone refers to an engine house as a "tin mine". <_< No. It's an engine house. The mine is under our feet. Feel free to jump into the big hole next to the engine house for a (very!) brief tour. :D

 

I'm none too familiar with Hayle, as I'm a mid-Cornwall lad. I've got a bit of a fetish for obscure Cornish rolling stock though. I like to scratchbuild singular examples. Hence my interest in this.

 

Speaking of that, my dad has left a message on Maurice's answer phone. Shouldn't be long before we hear back from the man-in-the-know!

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been a productive day today, not only got the drawings for the bromine tank in the OP's picture but actually found the very same tank stored OOU, been there since 2001....

 

df5a5c93.jpg

 

11e82170.jpg

 

75t1.jpg

 

75t2.jpg

 

75t3.jpg

 

photo4.jpg

note the runner to allow it to be transported by rail, apparently they also used to run in a twin ISO container base too

 

while i was saying my goodbye to crumps, as my stepdad is retiring on monday and the business is being sold on we had a root round his offie and dug out the following pics which may be of some interest to people on here, they do kinda fit in with the thread as the photos are of octel wagons c.c.crumps built and maintained in connahs quay (and oil sites road, ellesmere port) they are quite a nice historical record as the site is now flattened awaiting futher development (since 1996!!) even most of the housing in the background has gone and made way for flats etc..

 

these are the "official" photos of the wagons

 

short antiknock wagon

swbantiknock1.jpg

swbantiknock2.jpg

 

Long antiknock wagon

lwbantiknock3.jpg

lwbantiknock1.jpg

lwbantiknock2.jpg

lwbantiknockdetail.jpg

 

ethylene dibromine wagon

edb1.jpg

edb2.jpg

 

TRQ Chlorine wagon

chlor2.jpg

chlor3.jpg

 

TRO Chlorine wagon

chlor1.jpg

 

finally and unrelated but i dont want to leave it out, here is a crumps built soda ash wagon

soda1.jpg

 

im sure those will be handy for some people!!

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Jim - Yes thanks very much for some nice photographs - are any of them dated?

 

Brian - I never got good clear photographs of the French built Ethylene dibromides (the Octel fleet was well photographed by others) but this one http://paulbartlett.zenfolio.com/associatedocteltankwagon/h1e145e8f#h54fee2e should show how the brake lever is attached to the hanger.

 

Paul Bartlett

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Jim - Yes thanks very much for some nice photographs - are any of them dated?

 

Brian - I never got good clear photographs of the French built Ethylene dibromides (the Octel fleet was well photographed by others) but this one http://paulbartlett....145e8f#h54fee2e should show how the brake lever is attached to the hanger.

 

Paul Bartlett

That must be the oddest-shaped brake-lever I've seen- the French have never quite got the hang of the things.

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Jim - Yes thanks very much for some nice photographs - are any of them dated?

 

Paul Bartlett

 

the only one dated is the TRO chlorine wagon which is dated 9/3/77 (i had just turned 2!!), you can however see the dates on the wagons in the original pics

 

if you want to use any of the pics for your site then get in touch, i can rescan them at a better quality and email them to you

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the only one dated is the TRO chlorine wagon which is dated 9/3/77 (i had just turned 2!!), you can however see the dates on the wagons in the original pics

 

if you want to use any of the pics for your site then get in touch, i can rescan them at a better quality and email them to you

Dear Jim

 

Thanks for the response. I am usually reluctant to post other peoples photographs on my site BUT these are so nice I would welcome good scans and post them. I was interested in the ICI mineral.

I remember these well from passing them on trains from Liverpool to London (before you were born) but I only ever took four, years later when they were at the end of their lives. But, they had conventional mineral wagon doors - both side and end - whereas the one you posted has had these rebuilt.

 

I had hoped that the repaint dates would be readable on the originals which will be helpful.

 

Thanks again for the offer, very welcome.

 

Paul Bartlett

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Jim,

 

Thanks very much for the photos and the drawing and thanks to your stepdad too. These tanks appear to be of the design shown in David Larkin's book mounted on conflats with the skids fitting into a wooden frame bolted to the deck. I think that one of these will be getting onto my 'to do' list.

 

The lowfit flavour appears to be slightly different - instead of the 'skirts' and longitudinal skids its 'feet' seem to consist of two transverse beams. The two tank flanges seem to be closer to the centre line as well, but overall it is very similar in shape and size to the conflat mounted variety, so I wonder if the two designs are related.

 

I haven't managed to turn up any further info on the lowfit variety of tank, but I did have a very 'near miss' - the Bradford Barton book 'BR Diesels in Action 5' has another picture of 810 at Hayle, almost certainly taken on the same day. This picture shows 810 by the swimming pool propelling its train towards the Octel plant. The 12T van with the SR shaped roof next to the loco is B752490. Based on another photo on the same day I think the next vehicle is a Lowfit with a bromine tank, but the printed picture ends at the buffer shank of the 12T van. Together with one more picture of 810 at the A30 crossing on the return working, that adds up to four published photos from the same day, so I'm still hopeful that Exe Rail may be able to find some more.

 

Thanks again for making the effort to get those excellent photos.

 

Regards, Andy

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D869, you are correct, having looked again at the original picture and mine they are indeed different designs...

 

i can however confirm that there were infact 3 slightly different design of 7.5 tonners, 2 of which you have possibly confirmed as working into and out of hayle, the barrels are all the same size but the skid arrangement, lashing lugs and manlids are the differing parts, the main overall dimensions on the drawings are still the same though

 

i took this picture the other day too, didnt get any others as i was concentrating on the one i thought was in the OP, it does however show the other design tank, ie the one that IS in the original picture, the dome and lug position have changed over time though due to modifications such as the walkway.

 

also in the background is the 3rd design of tank with "twin ribs" on each side

 

581e8333.jpg

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