NSW Milk Trains Information and Photos sought

 
  steve_w_1990 Junior Train Controller

Location: Trying to fix something on the PTA Network
I'm not quite sure where to post this, so I'll put it here and see how I go.

With SDS models releasing their ICX/NQIX container wagons (and variants) with their ISO Peters Milk Tankers, It brought up a few questions in my mind about these trains and their winding up in the 1990's.

When did Milk operations cease in NSW, and what was the reason the railways gave that traffic away?

Is anyone aware of what happened to the milk containers after traffic ceased? There was a couple sitting at Muswellbrook a few years back, however they, for the most part seem to have disappeared into thin air.

There was once quite a number of loading points all over the state, where milk was loaded onto rail tankers and transported to Sydney, however, it seemed like one day, someone, somewhere decided that it wasn't viable to haul it anymore and that was that.

Also, if anyone has any photos, or can point me in the direction of photos of milk services on the south coast line, that would be appreciated. I've found a few of the afternoon train being marshalled at Bomaderry, then picking up wagons at Berry and Gerringong before heading off towards Sydney, however I seem to come up short trying to find photos of the wagons being dropped off for loading.

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  Rodo Chief Commissioner

Location: Southern Riverina
I have fond memories of picking up the milk pots at Berry and Gerringong.
I can't remember the train number but it was a pleasant slow trip. Could be a bit difficult shunting that long siding at Gerringong in the dark.
  apw5910 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
I have fond memories of picking up the milk pots at Berry and Gerringong.
I can't remember the train number but it was a pleasant slow trip. Could be a bit difficult shunting that long siding at Gerringong in the dark.
Rodo
So it wasn't 120 Fast Milk (out of Bomaderry at 1150)? How about 28 Through Goods (1615 out of Bomaderry)?

The only reason I know these is because the 1958 South Coast is the timetable I use for my model railway.
  bevans Site Admin
  Rodo Chief Commissioner

Location: Southern Riverina
1615 out of Bomaderry sounds like what I worked but this was in the 1980s. 2
  NSWRcars Chief Train Controller

When did Milk operations cease in NSW, and what was the reason the railways gave that traffic away?
steve_w_1990
I think the last milk traffic was to Pippita, which closed about 1997 or 1998 with the line being rebuilt to Olympic Park, but I don't know whether that was the reason for the end of milk traffic.
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
Don't forget the following NSW wagon general reference site

http://web.archive.org/web/20130112072957/http://www.nswrollingstock.com/BMT2.htm

from  
http://web.archive.org/web/20130107100217/http://www.nswrollingstock.com/nswrollingstock.htm
  a6et Minister for Railways

I have fond memories of picking up the milk pots at Berry and Gerringong.
I can't remember the train number but it was a pleasant slow trip. Could be a bit difficult shunting that long siding at Gerringong in the dark.
Rodo
Gerringong was easy on the up as it was a straight pickup, on the down things were worse as the empties had to be jiffied into the siding and the train engine then pushed it into place.

By late 70's the trains numbering was 728 on the up, went down as 721, sidings shunted was Albian Park, Gerringong, Berry and Bomaderry.

On the south, the down service was by 31mixed ex Central terminal, with empties placed at Bowral and Moss Vale. the Menangle empties were put off by a down local service 41a from Enfield, or rarely 401 pick up. On the up milk was picked up by 32goods and all the pots taken to DH for unloading there.'

'Western  line had milk transport by the morning down pick up 335 from Penrith to Katoomba, empties back that evening.

North Coast had milk sidings at Byron Bay, Lismore, Maclean, Wauchope, Taree, Gloucesta, Dongog, & Hexham.

Northern line had Oak at MBK, Singleton, and Hexham worked on 420, it amalgamated with the NCL milk at BMD, it could also bring meat from the Northern area abattoirs and fruit, and train shunting off Pippita milk and then through to DH, empties were sent back on 419 in the evening.

Much of the loss of the milk was primarily because of the amount of shunts that had to be carried out along the way, both for the empties and loaded. Dairy Farmers at Pippita had a dedicated shunting trip that was there solely for the working of the milk posts and positioning of empty Ref vans at the wash out siding. and when cleaned the engine took them to the Saleyards for taking on further DH, North Strathfield, Clyde and a couple of other places as well.

With its loss from rail transport to road, it also meant that the milk depots were closed down totally and road transport picked the milk up from farms and took it straight to the Sydney dairies for final processing. It also meant the Railways could put off shunters, guards and enginemen as being surplus, same thing with meat, timber and the list goes on.

Empty Oak containers still adorn the siding at MBK but sitting on the ground.
  steve_w_1990 Junior Train Controller

Location: Trying to fix something on the PTA Network
Thank you for all the responses and photos so far, its been very interesting.

I managed to get a photo of the milk pots at Muswellbrook in about 2012 as I was driving past, however, I was unsure if they were still there or not. I was told by someone at some point that they had been pressed into service as something to do with the wine making process, however I'm unsure as to how true that is. After looking at my photos, I noticed the tank tainers still had their dairy farmer ID's on them, although they are a bit hard to make out, as I had to take the photo from the top of a tree to try and get sufficient elevation to take the photo without trespassing.

In terms of milk trains finishing up, I think the Booz Allen Hamilton report of 1989 may have also been a nail in the coffin for these services. I can't remember where I read it, but I seem to recall somewhere that the report recommended the removal of pickup goods services, due to them being inefficient, however I've never read the report, so I can't really comment on that. (If anyone's got a copy of that report, I'd love to read it).

Also if anyones got any photos of the following they could share, that would be much appreciated:

1) Any photos of milk wagons being loaded at any of the depots. I'm curious to see the way the hoses were run to load the wagons, and any special attachments that were used to stop the hoses blowing out, and spilling the milk everywhere. I'm also curious to see any hatch detail photos anyone may have as the loading hatch didn't appear to have any filter on it to stop any contaminates getting in during loading (such as a loose leaf from a nearby tree).

2) Any photos of the single container wagons (build on old cattle/ sheep wagon under frames Codded NZMF from memory, bevans posted a photo of the wagon above) at either Gerringong or Berry, or can confirm they made it that far down the Illawarra line. Also did these wagons ever carry any other style of milk container? Or the one in the picture was the only ones loaded on them?

Thanks in Advance for your assistance
  a6et Minister for Railways

Thank you for all the responses and photos so far, its been very interesting.

I managed to get a photo of the milk pots at Muswellbrook in about 2012 as I was driving past, however, I was unsure if they were still there or not. I was told by someone at some point that they had been pressed into service as something to do with the wine making process, however I'm unsure as to how true that is. After looking at my photos, I noticed the tank tainers still had their dairy farmer ID's on them, although they are a bit hard to make out, as I had to take the photo from the top of a tree to try and get sufficient elevation to take the photo without trespassing.

In terms of milk trains finishing up, I think the Booz Allen Hamilton report of 1989 may have also been a nail in the coffin for these services. I can't remember where I read it, but I seem to recall somewhere that the report recommended the removal of pickup goods services, due to them being inefficient, however I've never read the report, so I can't really comment on that. (If anyone's got a copy of that report, I'd love to read it).

Also if anyones got any photos of the following they could share, that would be much appreciated:

1) Any photos of milk wagons being loaded at any of the depots. I'm curious to see the way the hoses were run to load the wagons, and any special attachments that were used to stop the hoses blowing out, and spilling the milk everywhere. I'm also curious to see any hatch detail photos anyone may have as the loading hatch didn't appear to have any filter on it to stop any contaminates getting in during loading (such as a loose leaf from a nearby tree).

2) Any photos of the single container wagons (build on old cattle/ sheep wagon under frames Codded NZMF from memory, bevans posted a photo of the wagon above) at either Gerringong or Berry, or can confirm they made it that far down the Illawarra line. Also did these wagons ever carry any other style of milk container? Or the one in the picture was the only ones loaded on them?

Thanks in Advance for your assistance
steve_w_1990
In the mid 80's under the new regime and after WB working was introduced, but it had started prior to the WB aspect, and the transfer of enginemen from Mechanical branch control into the traffic branch started a big push to consolidate the types of workings around the state.  One big area that was changed was in regard to pick up trains, with a direction put out that those trains in general were restricted to how many shunts were permitted at each location along with a minimum number of vehicles to be put off and picked up.  The closure of the Dairy Farmers sidings to rail traffic at Pippita and DH was what spelt the end of the milk transport, conveniently so.

Milk was generally loaded via the same pipes used for discharge, the vat lids were left open at both unloading and loading for pressure reasons, when the load was finished the gate valve shut was closed to prevent any waste. During unloading an air hose from the dairy was placed in the vats through the top and it mixed the cream and milk together, separation occurred in the depot. All the vats were then hot hosed out and then steam cleaned as well.
  steve_w_1990 Junior Train Controller

Location: Trying to fix something on the PTA Network
Thanks for your help a6et. Just for those playing along at home what is meant by the term "WB"? I've never seen that one before.

After doing a bit of digging around, I managed to find at least one photo I was looking for, which shows a milk tanker being loaded using the method you described.

http://www.robx1.net/index/index.htm If you navigate to "NSW/Freight Rolling Stock/BMF wagons, it shows a BMF wagon being loaded at Nowra in 1979. (The picture itself won't hyperlink)

One kind member of Railpage sent me a whole heap of weekly notices, dating back to the 1900's, and it dated the removal of the Milk siding at Berry (Well its shortening to a dead end siding) in 1992, and Gerringong as being cut back to a small Perway siding in 1993. How long it was before the whole siding was removed from Gerringong is unknown as the USB corrupted and some of the weekly notices were lost. (My cousin was able to recover most of it, however, form about 1995 onwards, the files are corrupted beyond recovery).

Here's a link to the pics of the tank tainers at Muswellbrook in 2012 that I took. I'm unsure if you can still see them as the shrubs that were planted in front seem to have grown quite a bit. As stated before, I had to climb a tree in the small park infront of the depot to get the elevation needed to take these pictures (not a small feat for someone whose terrified of heights!). A look on nearmap confirms that, at least of Jan 2019, they are still in place. https://flic.kr/s/aHsmz3RrqX
  apw5910 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
WB: Without Brakevan, only a BOG (Battery Operated Guard) on the end coupler.

There was an article about NSW milk tankers in AMRM issue 94, page 28 (Jan/Feb 1979)
  steve_w_1990 Junior Train Controller

Location: Trying to fix something on the PTA Network
Thanks for the clarification.

After doing some more searching, I was able to find a heap of photos on Flickr, showing milk trains shunting at various locations.

If you type in "Gerringong Train" in the search bar, you'll get quite a few shots of 48's shunting there, same with Berry.

Tried doing the same thing for Muswellbrook and Taree, but came up short.

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