Chipmans Weedkilling Train

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BR NER/ER Weedkilling Train

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Chipman Chemical Company  trains were based at Horsham, West Sussex.  The Company had first supplied Spraying equipment and Chemicals to the Southern Railway in 1935 who then had their own trains.  This arrangement continuing with the descendant BR Southern Region.  At some point, certainly by the mid 1960's, the whole Southern Region contract including train provision was passed to Chipman Chemical Company.

However,  it seams that prior to this, in 1955, a train to the requirements of the Chief Civil Engineer, Eastern Region had been designed and equipped by the Chipman Chemical Company.  This was placed in service on April 17 1955  and was used on the Eastern and North Eastern Regions.  Included in the formation were a Staff & Dormitory Van numbered CWT1  and a Machinery & Spray Van numbered CWT2.  These had been  converted from SR PMV's,  the most likely candidates being 2201 & 2203,  but it has not been possible to confirm this.   An article about this train appeared in the May 6, 1955 edition of the Railway Gazette.  CWT1 & CWT2 were withdrawn in 1966 and it is presumed the train saw regular use until then. In November 1967 CWT1 & CWT2 were sold to E,G, Steele for scrap.

By the early 1960's another two similar trains are believed to have been in use.  A photograph taken in 1963 at Bangor depicts a train including CWT3 converted from GNR bogied Milk Van 4151 and CWT4 converted from a GNR 6-wheeler.  It seems this train was also withdrawn in 1966 with CWT3 passing to the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway the following year.   The other train included CWT5, believed to have been converted from a GNR/LNER van and CWT6 possibly converted from a GWR Siphon G.  This train was withdrawn in 1965.  CWT5 was disposed of for scrap to Birds, Bynea in July 1965.

Very little else is known about these trains, please make contact if you know of any references or photographs that give more details about this period.  The details so far known known about CWT1 - CWT6 are below.   Further information about these carriages would be welcomed.

Number Origin Use Comments
CWT1 SR PMV (A) Staff & Dormitory Van Withdrawn 1966
CWT2 SR PMV (A) Machinery & Spray Van Withdrawn 1966
CWT3 GNR Milk Van (bogied) 3013 - 4151 (built 1912) Machinery & Spray Coach Withdrawn 1966. Preserved 1967 at K&WVR, subsequently scrapped.
CWT4 GNR 6-whl ? (built 1912) Staff & Dormitory Van Withdrawn 1966?
CWT5 GNR?/LNER 24 ton Van (built 1922) ? Withdrawn 1965
CWT6 possibly GWR Siphon G (built 1913) ? Withdrawn 1965

(A) - Evidence suggests these were converted from 2201 and 2203

By the mid 1960's the original carriages, CWT1-6, had all been replaced with former SR Maunsel & Bulleid design carriages. This process started in 1963 when Maunsell BTK 3724 and CK 5644 were converted at Lancing to Spray Coach CWT7 and Staff & Dormitory Coach CWT8 respectively. These being referred to as "Train 4" and the pictures below show these carriages in use in 1965 and 1975.  The carriages which were converted to CWT9-12 were sold to Chipmans in March 1965 and CWT13 in November 1965.  Adaptation for Weedkilling Train use followed soon after.

The gentlemen in the centre of this group is John Chamberlain who was then Chief Engineer of Chipman Chemical Company. The picture was taken at Cricklewood on 1st July 1965 and clearly shows the type of tank wagon then in use.   Michael Wild

Another view of the Chipman Chemical Company train at Cricklewood on 1st July 1965. The Spay Coach is CWT7 converted from SR Maunsell design BTK 3724 and behind it is Staff & Dormitory Coach CWT8 converted from SR Maunsell design CK 5644.   Michael Wild

A decade lafter the above photographs the Chipman Chemical Company train passes through Westbury on 26th April 1975. The Staff & Dormitory Coach CWT8 converted from SR Maunsell design CK 5644 and tank wagons are tailed by what is presumably a SR BY for use by the guard..   Trevor Davis

The Chipman Chemical Company train at Westbury on 26th April 1975. The Spray Coach CWT7 converted from SR Maunsell design BTK 3724 is prominent in this view.   Trevor Davis

Class 33 33045 leaves Victoria on 8th May 1974 with a Chipmans Weedkilling train comprising Spray Coach CC990xx and Staff & Dormitory Coach CC99010 (ex Bullied BTK 4035) David Mant

Chipmans Weedkilling Train Staff & Dormitory Coach CC99010 (converted from Bullied BTK 4035)) in a train at London Victoria on 8th May 1974 David Mant

Numbers Origin Use
CWT7 - CC99007 Maunsell BTK 3724 Spray Coach
CWT8 - CC99008 Maunsell CK 5644 Staff & Dormitory Coach
CWT9 - CC99009 Maunsell BCK 6699 Spray Coach
CWT10 - CC99010 Bulleid BTSO 4035 Staff & Dormitory Coach
CWT11 - CC99011 Maunsell BCK 6697 Spray Coach
CWT12 - CC99012 Bulleid BTSO 4036 Staff & Dormitory Coach
CWT13 - CC99013 Bulleid BTK 2850 Spray Coach

These carriages continued in use until around 1977 formed in three pairs CWT7+CWT8, CWT9+CWT10 and CWT11+CWT12. CWT13 was a spare Spray Coach and saw limited if any use. In c1977 the pair of CWT11+CWT12 was disbanded. CWT11 became the spare Spray Coach. CWT12 was disposed of to the Bluebell Railway in c1977 and CWT13 to the Mid-Hants Railway in 1978.

Towards the end of 1980 SR design General Utility Vans 4589 and 4600 were acquired and numbered CC99015 and CC99014 respectively. These were adapted for use as a Spray Coach (CC99014) and Staff and Dormitory Coach (CC99015). These replaced CC99009+CC99010. CC99009 then became the spare Spray Coach, displacing CC99011 which was disposed of to the Mid-Hants Railway, initially being stored at Basingstoke. CC99010 is believed to have seen no further use and was stored at Horsham until being disposed of to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway in 1988.

From about 1981 to 1983 the trains were formed CC99007+CC99008 and CC99014+CC99015. In 1983 CC99009 replaced CC99007 and the trains were then formed CC99008+CC99009 and CC99014+CC99015 until 1988. CC99007 is believed to have seen no further use and was stored at Horsham until being disposed of to the Bluebell Railway in 1987. CC99008 & CC99009 were disposed of to the Bluebell and Swanage Railways respectively in 1989.

About 1987 Chipman Chemical Company was acquired by Nomix and subsequently traded as Nomix-Chipman.

Between 1989 and 1993 a fleet replacement program took place which culminated in the formation of a four carriage train of converted BR Mark I's. From 1989 only one train operated which was top n' tailed with Hunslet-Barclay Class 20 locomotives. The table details these carriages.

Number Origin Use
CC99016 Mark I BCK 21275 Dormitory & Storage Coach
CC99017 Mark I TSO 4066 Staff Coach
CC99018 Mark I TSO 4393 Chemical Storage Coach
CC99019 Mark I RMB 1870 Spray Coach

For the 1989 Weedkilling season the train was formed of CC99014, CC99015 & CC99016 along with Ferry Van B786951 which seemingly temporarily carried number CC99017 and was used as a stores van.

During June 1990 newly converted CC99017 was released from conversion at Cardiff Cathays replacing CC99015 in the train. The train then being formed CC99014, CC99016, CC99017 and Ferry Van B786951. Displaced CC99015 was subsequently used as a Leaf Jetting Van in the mid 1990's.

For the 1991, 1992 & 1993 Weedkilling seasons the train was formed CC99014+CC99016+CC99017+CC99018 with CC99019 subsequently replacing CC99014 in 1994.

The train last operated in 1997 with the carriages being sold on for other uses in the rail industry the following year.

Another vehicle acquired was Ferry Scenery Van B889200.  This was acquired from Clapham Yard and moved to Horsham on 24th November 1987.  It is understood that it only saw static use at Horsham.  Subsequently it was sold to Venice-Simplon Orient Express and moved to Stewarts Lane on 15th January 1990.

This page is maintained by Peter Hall.