Nuclear flask trains in the late 80's

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507 001

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Hi Guys,
I've just picked up 2 of bachmanns rather lovely nuke wagons with the intention of modelling a late 80's early 90's formation.
My question is what was a typical formation, from what I have gathered so far (on the north wales coast at least) most trains were formed of pairs of wagons with barriers (old hoppers I believe) and a brake van and usually with 2x class 20s or 2x class 31s.
What type of brake van was used? Was it a Standard 20t CAR?
Where any other loco types used frequently?
Cheers
Rob
 
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HSTEd

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There is a picture there of what appear to be ordinary goods vans in formation with the flasks.... are these simply barrier vans or was there sometimes other freight traffic (presumably between Sellafield and the relevent nuclear sites) that was "tacked on", and if so, why does this not occur now?
 

47403

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Don't let any Class 46s near it!
at the risk of upsetting peak fans, my mate used to adore them, i however was a 47 man and hated them when they done that test, my mate rang me and said, have you seen the news, he was mortified, don't suppose you'll give a monkeys though, no, i said, i was ill laughing the phone went promptly down.

as regards the nuclear flask train, in the early 90's, one used to come into tyne yard around 9.30pm, run round and go back out within 20mins, it always had a grey 31 on it, i only seen it about 3 times if i was lucky and twice it was, 31276 Calder Hall Power Station.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ingythewingy/6122962137/

Not the working but thats what livery the 31 had that 3 times i saw that flask working
 
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sprinterguy

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There is a picture there of what appear to be ordinary goods vans in formation with the flasks.... are these simply barrier vans or was there sometimes other freight traffic (presumably between Sellafield and the relevent nuclear sites) that was "tacked on", and if so, why does this not occur now?
They're just being used as barrier vehicles AFAIK. I do recall however remember seeing a photo of a steam hauled nuclear flask in the sixties behind, IIRC, an 8F that appeared to be in the consist of a much longer van train. That could have been a brand new nuclear flask being delivered rather than a bonefide nuclear working though, given the time period.

As for why other freight traffic could not be conveyed in the consist of the nuclear workings, the nuclear flask trains are obviously a very sensitive form of rail traffic and need particularly attentive care to be paid to them and their consist, which of course would be more difficult if they were part of a longer formation. There would probably also be limitations on what other types of goods could be conveyed in such close proximity to (admittedly well protected) radioactive material; both for the safety of the goods themselves and also in the risk that could be posed in the case of a collision or accident. Plus, the nuclear trains tend to run direct from terminal to terminal (from power station to nuclear processing plant, or possibly in the less environmentally conscious 1980s to the nearest rail served pier for it to be chucked into the sea ;) Note: Just kidding!), and don't generally call in at any major marshalling yards en route, which is the only way that additional traffic could join or leave the train. Layovers at marshalling yards and the increased quantity of shunting required to attach and uncouple additional freight vehicles would pose a greater number of hazards.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
as regards the nuclear flask train, in the early 90's, one used to come into tyne yard around 9.30pm, run round and go back out within 20mins, it always had a grey 31 on it, i only seen it about 3 times if i was lucky and twice it was, 31276 Calder Hall Power Station.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ingythewingy/6122962137/

Not the working but thats what livery the 31 had that 3 times i saw that flask working
Yep, in the early nineties, and probably the late eighties too, nuclear workings were allocated to pairs of coal sector class 31s, and as the OP says, class 20s too.
 
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ChiefPlanner

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Barrier wagons were ex "traffic" wagons - renumbered , but not livery changed ! In extremis any handy wagon , even a private owner could be "borrowed" - not flammabe liquids or sensitive traffic obviously.
 

HSTEd

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Plus, the nuclear trains tend to run direct from terminal to terminal (from power station to nuclear processing plant, or possibly in the less environmentally conscious 1980s to the nearest rail served pier for it to be chucked into the sea ;) Note: Just kidding!), and don't generally call in at any major marshalling yards en route, which is the only way that additional traffic could join or leave the train. Layovers at marshalling yards and the increased quantity of shunting required to attach and uncouple additional freight vehicles would pose a greater number of hazards.
Ah right, what I meant in terms of additional cargo on the flask workings was stuff that just happened to have to move between Sellafield and whatever power plant if anything would ever do that journey. (Perhaps spare parts or whatever).
 

Wath Yard

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Barrier wagons were ex "traffic" wagons - renumbered , but not livery changed ! In extremis any handy wagon , even a private owner could be "borrowed" - not flammabe liquids or sensitive traffic obviously.
Out of interest, what was the point? A barrier wagon was hardly going to keep the crew safe in the case of a radiation leak, and at some point in the late 90s/early 00s they were dispensed with, so was it just a union thing?
 

HSTEd

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Out of interest, what was the point? A barrier wagon was hardly going to keep the crew safe in the case of a radiation leak, and at some point in the late 90s/early 00s they were dispensed with, so was it just a union thing?
Crash Safety and the like, the idea is to stop anything really heavy and pointy (like big lumps of steel if you collide with a wagon carrying steal beams) penetrating the flask in a collision.
 

Wath Yard

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They crashed a 46 into one at high speed to prove that there would be no radiation leakage in the event of a collision, and again, they don't use them now and trains can still crash.
 

HSTEd

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They crashed a 46 into one at high speed to prove that there would be no radiation leakage in the event of a collision, and again, they don't use them now and trains can still crash.
At the time all sensitive and "dangerous" cargoes were required to have them by crash regulations. (LOX, Hydrogen Cyanide, all sorts of things).
 

Wath Yard

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That still doesn't answer the question of what was the point. Dangerous chemicals and radiation are not the same thing. A barrier could potentially be of use where dangerous chemicals are concerned but radiation does not act in the same way. Besides, a tanker wagon was not built to the same standards as the nuclear flasks.

I know they had them, I remember them, I simply asked what was the point.
 

Nym

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Radiation and Radioactive Materials aren't the same thing either, why is it whenever this crops up people seem to forget all of the definitions that where given some threads ago...?

Radioactive Materials are Dangerous Chemicals by definition!

Flasks do not carry radiation, they carry Radioactive Materials...
 

HSTEd

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Also a couple of four wheeled vans added to the formation doesn't cost anything when you have several hundred just lying around in sidings.
 

ChiefPlanner

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Also a couple of four wheeled vans added to the formation doesn't cost anything when you have several hundred just lying around in sidings.
As ex Railfreight Resources Manager , I made evey effort not to have things lying around in sidings ! (they still had to be maintained etc - which cost money )

Barriers were infradig for a lot of flows , which were similarly rescinded , 0 carrying MOD explosives for example on Speedink trains did not always require barriers as you could use "inert" traffics as a seperation measure - 60 ft I recall from memory.

An ex colleugue reminded me in the late 60's when they still carried live cattle (for Birds Eye foods !) , - he used to deal with freight trains which carried live cattle and nuclear flasks , both correctly marshalled as per instructions next to the locomotive !
 
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