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Esso Petroleum Class B Tank Wagon no 48527
Above: Esso tank 48527 used as loco water storage at Caverswall Road in January 2004
Typical of a large number of revolutionary new tanks built for Esso and other larger users, this wagon shows a change of design from the traditional nineteenth century tank wagon represented by Birchenwood No30 and Crosfields No1. Safety and economy meant a move towards larger welded tanks, fitted with modern discharge apparatus, roller bearings and vacuum brakes, designed for use in block trains. Tank capacities started to be described by GLW ("gross loaded weight"), in this case being 35 tons. The example preserved at Foxfield was built by Charles Roberts of Wakefield in 1960 as a class B tank for heavy oils, and was originally numbered 3621 in Esso's series. Both the class A (silver) and class B (black) tanks in the Esso fleet carried the company logo on bold plates at the right hand end of each side of the barrel, but these were later removed, and the wagon was renumbered 48527. After about twenty years mainline use the design was replaced by the later 45 ton GLW and 100 ton GLW bogie airbraked tankers still used today.
Along with several others, 48527 was bought by the Central Electricity Generating Board and used at Meaford Power Station to store fuel oil for the power station boilers. After closure of the power station in 1990, four were sold to Foxfield but only 48527 retained its tank, the others being converted to useful vacuum-braked flat wagons. 48527 now carries the Esso logo once again (a vinyl sticker) and is used to store water for steam locomotives at Caverswall Road station until a permanent elevated water tank can be constructed.
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