What traffic was Dapol 'Esso' tanker on?

I have just finished the construction of the Dapol 20T class B tanker
with Esso markings (Kit C-36). For a kit that has been around for so
many years, I was surprised about the basic quality of the model. I
know wonder how the real thing was used. I expect it to have been used
in fixed traffic flows from an Esso refinery (which one? where?) to
fuel depots around the country. Is that true?
Reply to
Jim Northolland
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I'm not an expert, but I think they were used on runs like Fawley - Bromford Bridge, halued at various points in the 1960s by STD 9Fs, Granges, & Cromptons.
Reply to
They might have run as a single tanker, for example delivering fuel oil to a factory. Class B (black tank on a black chassis) wagons carried less flammable liquids, I am pretty sure boiler fuel falls into that category. Up to the 1960s the oil traffic was all piecemeal, block trains from refineries were split up and individual tanks and short rakes were added to standard goods trains for delivery. BR then renegociated the arrangements, leading to an increase in block train working and a move toward larger tankers (the Dapol tank design was replaced by the larger type that had to have its ladders on the end as the tank was nearly as big as the loading gauge, bogie tankers came in at the same time. Initially all vacuum braked, air brakes came later (much to the annoyance of the oil companies who owned much of the rolling stock).
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may be of interest
Reply to
Mike Smith
I can't be certain if they were the same type of tank, or even if they were Esso tanks, but...
Certainly in the late 80s and early 90s you could always find one or more 4 wheel tank wagons parked up in the road alongside platform 5 at Portsmouth Harbour station. They were there to serve as the fuel supply for the steamers (and later catamarans) plying to Ryde I.O.W. and appear to have been swapped over on an "as required" basis. Presumably they were staged to Fratton and then brought down by an 08 when one of the tanks at the Harbour was empty and needed replacement.
Reply to
Elliott Cowton
That's the run that springs to mind most readily; not sure about the actual route it took, but do recall reading that for a while it used the old DN&S route through Winchester Chesil. Presumably, regardless of route being via Chesil or the ex-LSW main line through Winchester City, it then ran to Brum via Oxford, Worcester and the Lickey Incline, as I've seen a pic in an old (mid-60s) "Modern Railways" of a pair of Cromptons on an Esso block train at Shrub Hill. Incidentally, the only 9Fs to be allocated to the SR (at Eastleigh shed) were sent there specifically to deal with Esso traffic from Fawley. The design of 4-wheel tank mentioned by Mike Smith, which superseded that on which the Airfix/Dapol kit's based, is/was available from Hornby in 00 and doesn't need too much work for such an old model apart from the obvious errors (e.g. brake blocks not aligned with wheel tyres). The tank's moulded in two halves, so the main thing is, I guess, to hide the annoying join line with Miliput or similar. N-gauge fans can plump for a Peco model of the same prototype - again, not a bad model for its age.
David Belcher
Reply to
Curious that it went via Worcester, as it would have seemed more logical for it to continue towards Birmingham at Oxford, taking the line from the GW line towards the Camp Hill avoiding line, and then continuing towards Derby . The ESSO terminal is/was between the British Steel Bromford Tube Works and Fort Dunlop, next to the M6 flyover. Although lighter products have been delivered by pipeline for many years, the terminal received (and possibly still does) bitumen from Fawley. The 35t GLW tank design, though displaced fairly soon by the 45t 'Monobloc' design (which offered almost 10t extra capacity for less than 5t additional tare), continued in service for many years. The oil industry continued to use them for bitumen and lubricating oil traffic into the late 1970s, whilst Fisons used a version for conveying chemicals to and from their plant at Avonmouth and United Mollasses used them to convey molasses country-wide. Even after that, they were not completely to disappear, as BR used the chassis for 150 MTV stone wagons in the mid-1970s. The last of these soldiered on in the engineer's fleet until the end of the 1990s. The 35t GLW wagon's successors on the Bromford Bridge run were no less innovative. Some of the 45t GLW ones featured shorter buffers and special couplings within the rake, to allow longer trains, whilst the Metropolitan-Cammell works (only a few hundred yards away) was to start building 100t bogie tanks by 1966, some of which were to be used on this traffic. These would offer an even greater ratio of load to tare. Brian On the modelling front, Bachmann have issued a model of the 'Monobloc' tank, which is much superior to the Hornby one, with a less-visible seam and brakeshoes in line with the wheels.
Reply to
BH Williams
Interesting thought.
Finding out which 9Fs were allocated to Eastleigh is probably not too difficult (unless anyone here happens to have this info at their fingertips)
But does anyone know what other routes they ran and approximate length of the trains?
Elliott (who is wondering whether a block oil train hauled by a 9F might one day run on Soberton)
Reply to
Elliott Cowton
Train length was about 40 wagons, I believe. A quick glance for other ESSO terminals still extant in the 1970s found Cattewater (Plymouth), Flax Bourton (Bristol area), Reading Central, Purfleet, Shrewsbury (Abbey Foregate) and Cambridge. These are within what one might term the 'catchment area' for Fawley, though some might have received their supplies from Herbranston Refinery, near Milford Haven. Other places that might have received are the various large industrial users (such as Austin at Longbridge or Morris Motors at Cowley), airports/RAF bases (Stansted) and the various third-party terminals for companies like Cory, Hartwells and Charrington. I believe the oil trains were worked by various large tank locos on the branch itself, having seen photos of SR 2-6-4ts as well as the various ex-LMS/BR types. Don't forget to have an open wagon or two at either end of the train as barrier wagons. Brian
Reply to
BH Williams

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