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Barrier Wagons for Oil Traffic on Liner Trains.

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G'day Gentlemen,

This weeks question concerns the regulations appertaining to the use of Barrier Wagons for oil Traffic on liner trains.I'm thinking 70's or 80's here.


I know the rules concerning a barrier wagon at each end on unfitted oil trains.

But I wonder what was the situation regarding barrier wagons on vacuum fitted dedicated oil trains such as the Essoliner train or when the oil tabkers formed part of a liner train, such as the Sligo Liner Train ???


Did the oil tank wagons still require a barrier wagon at each end, OR only between the loco and the tank wagons, OR none at all ???


As always any helpful answers much appreciated=D

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Hi Frank,

From my experiences on working the Claremorris ESSO liner trains in days gone by,

It was always a requirement for those trains to have a barrier wagons front and rear,

The ESSO liner had its own dedicated two axle barrier wagons-one had a 20'orange CIE container on,with the other being just a skeletal flat,

Any type of flat/Guinness/bogie wagon could be used if those dedicated wagons were not available,

On one occasion I remember having a spare 40' 30XXX type bogie wagon behind an 071 loco from Ballina to Claremorris and then used as a barrier for the oil train onwards to Northwall.

That bogie wagon was left on the oil train for a number of weeks before being replaced by the normal two axle wagons.

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I don't have a definite answer, nor indeed the experience of ttc0169, but, my fondest memories of oil traffic is the A class locos hauling the oil tank wagons into Ballinacourty in the late 70's, early 80's. From memory, there was no barrier wagon on these trains, but, it is 30 years ago now, and I may be wrong.

Also, on the back cover of the IRRS journal, no.112 from June 1990, there is a photo of a A class and oil train passing the Curragh in Jan.1979. There is no barrier wagon on the train, but, the info about the photo states that the train is empty. However, I'd imagine the barrier wagon would still be present, if it was in use......

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A barrier is only required where there is a risk of a spark from the loco igniting the load, petrol or light fuel oils, trains conveying heavy fuel oil like Foynes-Drogheda, Foynes-Ballina or Tivoli-Ballinacourty didd not need a barrier wagon.


On trains like the Northwall-Claremorris and Asahi Liner that conveyed highly inflamable and general freight, the tank wagons/container were marshalled at the end of the train behind the general freight.




Tank wagons are basically colour coded, highly flamible liquid silver of grey barrel generally with red solebars, heavy fuel oil, tar and bitumen plain black.


There are some good photos of the ESSO and Foynes-Ballina oil trains which show up these differences in Rails in the West,



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