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Author Topic: Reeds Paper Mill Sidings  (Read 3372 times)

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Offline CBen

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Re: Reeds Paper Mill Sidings
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2017, 11:11:49 »
Hi
The receiving of chlorine rail tankers to the mill was part of the responsibilities of mt department at Aylesford in the 1970s. The chlorine was used to treat river and recycled water to kill bacteria that would have caused problems in papermaking.
The rail tankers were used as on-site storage and swapped over when needed. The system worked pretty well, although occasionally BR would lose one en-transit and take several days to find it in some siding somewhere.
Up to 1980 they were 10 ton nett weight, which is why the brake unit was required. Then BR decided that these were to be phased out and double bogie wagons of 26 tn nett weight were the thing. Given the hazards in transit there was a strong case, however on-site there were a number of changes needed.
Firstly, the curve radii were too tight so tracks needed relaying and secondly the emergency plan was up-graded.
The potential chlorine cloud was so large (in the "aircraft crashed on the tank" scenario) that a very large population would need to be evacuated i.e. most of Maidstone if the wind was in that direction.
This was not something I wanted to be responsible for so after a few of the larger tankers we found safer alternatives to chlorine - first and organic biocide then a bromine release.
Another case of freight off the rails.

Offline DGM

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Re: Reeds Paper Mill Sidings
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2017, 10:36:50 »
In the book "Strood to Paddock Wood" by Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith it states that the mill was still receiving fuel oil and coal by rail in 1993, the year their book was published.

Later than I thought I must confess!!

Have just come across this interesting topic, without digging too deeply into my old files the dates for rail traffic in relatively recent times are roughly as follows.  Reeds Paper Mill, latterly Aylesford Newsprint,  had two separate sets of sidings in BR days, Reeds New Hythe Siding was on the Down Side and dealt with wagonload traffic as described by Philip B, and Brookgate Siding on the Up Side.  Brookgate Sdg continued to receive block trainloads after the movement of general wagonload traffic finished and New Hythe Siding closed.  During the 1970's & 1980's Brookgate Sdg received trainloads of heavy fuel oil from the BP Grain Refinery, and when BP refining ceased the supply switched to the Shell Refinery at Thameshaven.  In 1986 new coal fired boilers were installed at the mill and the first delivery of coal by rail (in recent times) was made on 17/9/86, after this the mill received two or three coal trains per week.  Regular oil deliveries by rail will have ceased at around this time.  Sometime around 1993 a gas fired boiler house / power station opened on site and all rail traffic ceased, however the main line connection for Brookgate Siding was retained.  During the early 1990's a decision was made to construct a new paper making machine (PM14) on site to produce newsprint from waste paper, as part of this massive project the derelict sidings were restored and extended during 1995 as per the photos by cliveh.  The intention was to export some of the newsprint  by rail to Germany via the Channel Tunnel.  On 15/1/96 the new sidings were commissioned and a couple of wagons placed into the loading shed for staff training.  Eventually a few trainloads of newsprint were despatched to Darmstadt before the sidings entered their final period of disuse before closure.

Offline philip b

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Re: Reeds Paper Mill Sidings
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2016, 17:27:01 »
  As a new ember, have just found this. I used to be a Tonbridge guard from 1978 to 1994 and we used to drop off and pick up china clay wagons from the down sidings at Reeds - sometimes we would have a chlorine tank on the train into or out of Reeds; this was a hazardous liquid which meant that we used to have a brake van on the back of the train in case there was a need to protect the rear of the train with detonators if anything went wrong. Using a brake van was by then a rare occasion as trains were fully fitted (i.e. a working automatic brake throughout the train.) To get into the down siding there was a ground frame which was operated by the guard.
 The Paddock Wood-Strood branch had many freight sidings at one time and a freight turn on the branch might involve shunting most, if not all of them. Sadly as the 80s progressed, the sidings gradually closed but they were still much in evidence. I don't remember dates but the down siding closed long before the up ones. Perhaps a minor claim to fame for me was that my first mishap involved an incident shunting at Maidstone West after collecting empty china clay wagons from Reeds. We had to collect some empty coal wagons from "the west" before taking the whole lot to Tonbridge. I had carefully put the chlorine tank to one side before shunting the rest of the yard. Having done that I hooked up the chlorine tank and brake van and as the train moved forward again, the driver gently stopped but somehow two wagons got buffer locked which neatly shut the whole branch line for a couple of hours or so till it was sorted out - nobody seemed concerned about the chlorine tank and really it was just one of those things but as the guard I got a gentle telling off anyway - ho hum.

Offline cliveh

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Re: Reeds Paper Mill Sidings
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2014, 16:32:08 »
Thanks mikeb.

That makes sense. The newsprint works have covered sheds over the sidings at the end of the yard that look like relatively modern additions together with some mobile unloading platforms inside them. The sheds are now being used for vehicle storage.

cliveh

Offline mikeb

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Re: Reeds Paper Mill Sidings
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2014, 16:06:30 »
In the book "Strood to Paddock Wood" by Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith it states that the mill was still receiving fuel oil and coal by rail in 1993, the year their book was published.

Later than I thought I must confess!!

Offline cliveh

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Re: Reeds Paper Mill Sidings
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2014, 14:12:57 »
This GE aerial view of the site in 1960 shows the large amount of traffic using these sidings and the rest of the mill's rail network at the time.

cliveh

Offline cliveh

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Reeds Paper Mill Sidings
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2014, 18:51:56 »
Not sure when these fell out of use but the line runs into the site of the old Reeds Paper Mill at Aylesford, a site now occupied by Aylesford Newsprint:

cliveh

 

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