Was this ever connected to rail?
Probably never connected to rail because it is used for a thing called roads and therefore road transport makes sense .VR V/Line did have heated wagons for transporting this product.
Asphalt is a temperature controlled product , basically if it doesn't stay heated from the asphalt plant to laying the surface, it goes off , or more so if it gets to cold it can't be laid .
No trains for asphalt .
No trains for asphalt .There certainly were in the past in Victoria. They were tankers, black in colour, and carried the Mobil brand on the sides. They were also named after road builders et al. One of the names I remember was Mac Adam, and I have a suspicion another was Bradfield. The names were painted on both ends of the tank. The lettering was done in white. There were seen frequently in Tottenham yard, and occasionally near the old Way and Works Depot beside the Newport - Brooklyn goods line.
I think there were sidings adjacent to the CRB (VicRoads) works depot at Benalla where Bitumen tankers were unloaded. The remains can still be seen in Google Earth/Maps. North side of the Oaklands Branch as it starts to diverge.Hillside (Bairnsdale) was another CRB depot with a bitumen siding (demolished In 2003, restoration of passenger services works)
The then SHELL refinery at Corio regularly loaded hot bitumen into rail tankers and despatched to sidings all over regional Victoria . The wagons had a vent / flue where a portable gas burner could be applied to increase viscosity to speed unloading by gravity.In fact, heating was used to decrease viscosity, not increase it. In layman's terms, increased viscosity means the liquid is thick and doesn't flow easily; decreased viscosity means the liquid is thin and flows more readily.
Bitumen was definitely transported by rail in special tank wagons that were fitted with heater tubes. These tubes allowed a propane gas burner at one end and the tube chimney the other to pass the heat from the flame/hot gases to the bitumen in the tank wagon. Thermo syphon that is the hotter product near the heater tubes rises allowing cooler product to come into contact with tubes and the whole process repeats. Eventually the tank contents warm up. The ideal temperature when a rail or road tanker was filled was 165 degree celsius.I think rail were glad to get rid of transporting certain products. Probably dangerous products like tar and petrol etc and troublesome items like livestock come to mind. I know the US railroads actively shedded livestock transport because of the need to water an feed these animals.
Now comes the problem that allowed Road to eventually gain the lions share of the business especially short haul.
For discussion say the BORAL plant at Ballarat that this thread is about.
Our road truck and our rail wagon are loaded at the same time at Shell Geelong when rail was connected.
The truck goes straight to the Ballarat, say two hours.
Our rail wagon has to be shunted to North Geelong, marshalled in the next goods going to Ballarat, shunted off at Ballarat to be unloaded into a road truck to take the Bitumen to the work site. No idea how many hours have elapsed but by now our truck has returned to Geelong. Obviously in this case rail cannot compete.
Longer trips rail could have competed but no one including the Railways pushed hard and the business declined until it disappeared.
Mentioned in an earlier post about bitumen solidifying.
I do not know the exact date however up until the mid 1970's some bitumen was packaged into heavy duty lined cardboard boxes for some customers. Who for I do not know, I can just remember seeing the facility in Bitumen sheds to do so. Should have asked more questions?
The CRB also had bitumen delivered in 44 gallon drums. They use to set up large work sites including tents for the Road Gang. They also had large transportable heater trailers that heated up the bitumen more commonly called Tar that was laid then blue metal stone dropped on top. Today everything is referred to as Asphalt which broadly is similar but premixed and laid as a complete package.I will stop there as Road laying was not my job.