Concrete Coaling Towers

 
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

In Stewien's volume 5 of "A History of the South Australian Railways", subtitled "Controversy and Mr Webb" it is stated that nine coal handling units arrived at Port Adelaide in 1924, but only seven concrete coaling towers were erected - Mile End, Peterborough, Tailem Bend, Port Pirie, Port Adelaide, Gladstone and Wallaroo.  What happened to the other two sets of equipment? The later facilities (Cockburn, Terowie, Mount Gambier (after the SE Division was converted to BG), Naracoorte and Bordertown) were quite different in appearance, so unlikely to be reused there.

Is it possible that the gear was sold to Victoria for use at Ararat, North Melbourne or Hamilton?

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  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
That could be read another way as well duttonbay they may have got 9 coal handling plants 7 of which were indeed used could the other 2 of them been of the type that was later put up in places where the Webb locomotives finally got to go there etc.

It does not really state that they were all the same though and most manufacturers of coal handling plants would have more than one type in their catalogue's. Just an idea here but it might have been thus.

It is also quite possible that two sets were intended for VR in the first place, take them all to Adelaide and off load all at once then ship 2 of them by rail to Victoria. It is also possible that the SAR on sold the last 2 as well. I doubt they would have got away with scrapping the two plants not used as Webb was even quizzed about postage used almost by the railways, he reused as much as was possible to save money. The 720 spare frames languished at Islington workshops until sometime in the 1960's.
  allan Chief Commissioner

My understanding was that one of the cement towers was intended for (but never delivered to) Pt Lincoln. As for selling the "left-overs" to the VR, remember that the then SAR CME had really good connections in Victoria...
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

That could be read another way as well duttonbay they may have got 9 coal handling plants 7 of which were indeed used could the other 2 of them been of the type that was later put up in places where the Webb locomotives finally got to go there etc.

It does not really state that they were all the same though and most manufacturers of coal handling plants would have more than one type in their catalogue's. Just an idea here but it might have been thus.
"David Peters"

Possible I guess, but according to Stewien there were 9 ordered and delivered in 1920-something for the concrete coaling towers. The five 45-ton coaling towers came much later (1942) and were described as being designed by the SAR, while it's hard to imagine the 15-ton wooden towers having anything in common with the 100-300 ton concrete towers.  Of course, only the mechanical bits were actually delivered, with everything else sourced locally.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

My understanding was that one of the cement towers was intended for (but never delivered to) Pt Lincoln. As for selling the "left-overs" to the VR, remember that the then SAR CME had really good connections in Victoria...
"allan"

Port Lincoln wold have made some sense, but I would have thought that if that was the case, Peter Knife would have dug up something about that, and there's no mention on Peninsula Pioneer Revisited.  I do need to check some facts as to the dates the VR concrete coaling towers were erected to see whether it's feasiible that's where the equipment went.
  pjknife Assistant Commissioner

Location: Port Lincoln
Port Lincoln wold have made some sense, but I would have thought that if that was the case, Peter Knife would have dug up something about that, and there's no mention on Peninsula Pioneer Revisited.  I do need to check some facts as to the dates the VR concrete coaling towers were erected to see whether it's feasiible that's where the equipment went.
duttonbay

Very interesting! I must admit that my focus was more on tracking down details of what was there rather than the many 'what-if' possibilities. But a search through the 'Local plans index' from Port Lincoln reveals references to plans for a proposed 200 ton 'Whiting Hoist' at Port Lincoln loco, including proposed position, general arrangement, foundation plan and amended plan. Unfortunately the actual plans don't seem to have survived, probably because nothing actually happened.

Ron Stewien's book gives the manufacturer of the mechanical equipment for the coaling towers as Roberts and Schaefer, a company that still exists in the vicinity of Whiting, Illinois. Whiting Hoists are still in business supplying rollingstock lifting cranes, amongst other things. Is it reasonable to assume that the equipment supplied in the 1920s by Roberts and Schaefer was commonly referred to as a Whiting Hoist? If so, then I would say that the references in the plans index confirm that Port Lincoln was indeed one of the intended locations for a Webb concrete coaling tower.

Research is never 'finished'!

Peter
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Very interesting! I must admit that my focus was more on tracking down details of what was there rather than the many 'what-if' possibilities. But a search through the 'Local plans index' from Port Lincoln reveals references to plans for a proposed 200 ton 'Whiting Hoist' at Port Lincoln loco, including proposed position, general arrangement, foundation plan and amended plan. Unfortunately the actual plans don't seem to have survived, probably because nothing actually happened.

Ron Stewien's book gives the manufacturer of the mechanical equipment for the coaling towers as Roberts and Schaefer, a company that still exists in the vicinity of Whiting, Illinois. Whiting Hoists are still in business supplying rollingstock lifting cranes, amongst other things. Is it reasonable to assume that the equipment supplied in the 1920s by Roberts and Schaefer was commonly referred to as a Whiting Hoist? If so, then I would say that the references in the plans index confirm that Port Lincoln was indeed one of the intended locations for a Webb concrete coaling tower.

Research is never 'finished'!

Peter
pjknife

Sensible as it may have been to put a 200 ton coaling stage at Pt Lincoln I do not think it and the Whiting Hoist are the same thing.
I have heard/read of Whiting Hoists being referred to as engine lifts, wheel drop pits or similar.

I think in later years the locos were coaled by steam grabs whilst outlying sites like Kimba and Minnipa had 15 ton wooden towers. I was delighted in the early 70s to still find the tower at Kimba intact.

Regards
Ian
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland


Is it possible that the gear was sold to Victoria for use at Ararat, North Melbourne or Hamilton?
"duttonbay"


Coal towers existed In Victoria at North Melbourne, Ararat, Wodonga, Geelong and Korumburra.

The North Melbourne and Wodonga towers were built very early In the era of railway network development.

Geelong and Korumburra had small Iron/steel towers.

Ararat had a very large concrete coal tower.
The Ararat tower proved to be extremely difficult to dismantle, the contractor that had the job to remove the tower set up explosive charges to topple the tower, but after the charges went off the tower ended up on 45 degrees lean, workers had the extremely dangerous job of re planting new charges to fully topple the tower.
  pjknife Assistant Commissioner

Location: Port Lincoln
Sensible as it may have been to put a 200 ton coaling stage at Pt Lincoln I do not think it and the Whiting Hoist are the same thing.
I have heard/read of Whiting Hoists being referred to as engine lifts, wheel drop pits or similar.

Regards
Ian
steam4ian

Thanks Ian, I had my doubts anyway. It just seemed that a 200 ton engine lift would have been a drastic overkill when the T class was the largest loco on Eyre Peninsula at the time. Then again, Peterborough's 75 ft turntable was an overkill until the arrival of the Garratts in the 1950s.

So after a bit more digging, your suspicion is now proved absolutely correct: the 1931 SAR Annual Report mentions the completion of installation of a Whiting Hoist in the Locomotive Shops, Port Lincoln.

Cheers,
Peter

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