The milk tank is numbered W 2960 was was built in 1943 by the Great Western Railway at Swindon. So it is exactly 70 years old.
The tank holds 3,00 gallons of milk and these were sent up each day (either as a block train of milk tanks or attached to passenger trains) from the west Country to depots in the London area. With no refrigeration equipment the milk needed to be moved quickly before it went off. Before they were next loaded the tanks had to be thoroughly cleaned out and sterilised.
All milk traffic on BR ceased by about 1980 as the traffic had dwindled due to competitive road distribution and refrigeration.
Following this most milk tanks were scrapped, but some were kept for internal use at BR depots, and in this case W 2960 ended up at Immingham loco depot and used for storing waste oil.
Our tank arrived on the railway earlier this year and is currently under restoration. It is planned to use it for water storage at Ropley, but it will also be available to be attached to passenger trains from time to time.
- Built at
- Great Western Railway, Swindon
- Build year
- Transportation of milk.
- From the West Country to London
- By 1980
- 3,000 gallons of milk