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Milk Tanks

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Milk Tanks Empty Milk Tanks

Post  ianmacmillan Fri 12 Apr 2013, 1:18 pm

Milk tanks were classed as non passenger coaching stock and could travel at 75mph.
A passenger brake van was required to run at high speed and this could also carried milk churns and products such as cream, butter and cheese.

Trains were operated by the parcels department and single tanks could be found added to parcels trains where a full train could not be justified.
On branch lines they were worked to the main line by the local passenger train.
Because of the urgent nature of the load and the need to return the empties quickly, milk tanks rarely traveled in goods trains.

Milk tanks weighed around 14T empty and carried 14T.
A 10 coach passenger train would have a trailing weight of about 350 tons so to run at equivalent timings, a milk train would be limited to 12 tanks plus brake.

The chassis belonged to the railway and was on long term hire to the dairy who owned the tank. The tank was painted in dairy company livery. By the 50's the cost of cleaning the tanks outweighed the advertising value and the tanks were painted silver with the owner's name confined to a small cast plate.

The dairy would vary the source of the traffic so the tanks were not restricted to the lines of the company who owned the chassis.

Milk traffic died out in the late 60s. Closure of branches where traffic originated, the building of motorways and refrigeration saw the reduction of traffic and the need for replacement of aging vacuum braked stock ended the traffic in the mid 70s.

Milk still travels by train but in anonymous containers on freightliner wagons.


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