Sunday, 22 April 2018

OHE Amoco Tank Wagons

OHE Tank Wagons (AMOCO).

In the early 1960’s there were a few changes and new comers to the distributions of petroleum products in Australia.

1960's :- STANDARD OIL OF INDIANA commenced marketing from AMOCO service stations.

1960's :- STANDARD OIL OF NEW JERSEY replaced the ATLANTIC signs with the ESSO oval in their Australian service stations.  (OA Class wagons)

1960 :- CC WAKEFIELD & CO. changed its name to CASTROL LIMITED.

1961 :- PHILLIPS PETROLEUM commenced operations in Queensland using the PHILLIPS 66 brand name. (OE Class wagons)

1965 :- AMOCO opened a refinery at Bulwer Island , Brisbane, Queensland.

This information was located on the web at, the site has a timeline of events in the Australian Oil Industries as far back as 1854.

The Brisbane AMOCO terminal for loading tank wagons was at Pinkenba, just a few miles from the refinery. The siding was located on what later become known at the Bulwer Island Branch. In 1962 on the line there was ACF and Shirleys, Shell, Phillips 66 and Amoco. Later Speed-e-Gas had a siding next to Amoco and in 1966 the line was extended to the Oil Refinery. The refinery siding later became known as BP-bitumen. In 1962, Ampol was also at Pinkenba on the western (other) end of the yard.

The first Amoco tank wagon OHX 1 entered service in 1962, by 1967 the company had 29 wagons in service, all built by Scotts. Two were OHY wagons (OHY 11, 12) , the rest were OHE wagons.  OHE 1 – 5, 18 – 24, 27 -29 were two dome tanks, OHE 6 – 10, 13 – 17, 25, 26 were single dome tanks.  By 1983 the company had 55 wagons on the books. 19 OHO wagons and 7 OHAO wagons being added.
OHE 19 No red circle or tow anchor's. Photo AMRA Qld.
OHE 3. Red circle. no tow anchor's Photo AMRA Qld.
OHE 1 Pinkenba

OHX (1 – 10) were reclassed to OHE in 1965. Early 1970’s the class were upgraded to express freight status and the red circle was added. Soon after tow anchor’s were added to the sole bar above the bogies, most being painted white. 1970 Supplement to Working Time Tables  showed some wagons fitted with automatic coupling classed OHET. 1984/85 with the introduction of Rollingstock Information Control System (RICS), the wagon were given 5 digit numbers (44136 – 44188), OHE 13 and 21 had been written off by this time.  Also around this time the Australian Dangerous Good code came into play, wagons were then fitted with DG Information panels.  

DG panel on side. '
1984 : BP bought the downstream assets of AMOCO in Australia - including the Bulwer Island oil refinery, the wagons were then used by BP, the classification of the tank wagons did not change.  (BP tank wagons carried an OC classification).

Another change took place in 1992/3, most of the first 29 wagons were fitted with modified first contract (32369 – 32668) QLX frames, except OHE 22 (44155) was placed on a WHE frame. All wagons were classed OHET and a few months later when the buffers were removed the wagons were reclasses again to OHEM. During the modification the tanks were painted black, the underframes mainly retained their grey colour. A number of the class were written off in 1994.
OHE on QLX frame.
Two dome OHE on QLX underframe.  Photo Internet.
OHET Charleville. QR Locomotive fuel
Around 2000 some were fitted with ground loading / unloading equipment with an extra dome/hatch fitted to the top of the tank, photos suggest this was done mainly to single dome tanks which had the higher carrying capacity. By this time, orders for small consignment of mix products was long gone, most wagons were being used for bulk orders.

Ground loading/unloading equipment.
QR Plan P 245 has many pages covering imperial and metric measures. The diagram on the plan is for the two dome tank wagon. All tanks had the same inside diameter 6’ 1½” (1 867).  Two domed tanks were 38’ 8½” (10 579) long, the single domed tanks were 10 850 long. (Opp’s that something I missed ???). Likewise the carrying capacity was greater in the single dome tanks, 29272 Lts (6429 Gals) to 27768 Lts (6108 Gals), this was subject to product being carried.  The single dome wagons tared weight was around 16 tonnes as to the two domed wagons at 17 t.  Loaded, all wagons were 40.6 t gross.

The plan shows OHE 1 – 20 was fitted with QR 11 bogies (5’ 9” axle centre with 2‘ 9½” roller bearing wheels).  QR 11 bogies were also used under PE, OBY, OTE, OPY, OFY, OGE wagons. Some of the later OHE were fitted with QR 22 A bogies. One plan shows the drawgear at D2, another shows D4. Photos of OHE 3 shows a coupling hooks under the headstock. This was common in the early 1960’s for new wagons to come with fixed coupling at each end. The hook was provided so the coupling not in use could be fixed back under the wagon. At the time these wagons were all classed as “premium” drawgear which later become D2. The overall height also was different, two dome tanks are shown as 3 454 and one dome tanks
3 660.
OHEM 44162 (29)  One that didn't receive a new underframe. Jan 98 less buffers.
(Don’t look to hard at the models ?? One should not assume ??).  

Operations:- Fuel companies had terminals along the east coast at sea ports, Brisbane, Gladstone, Townsville etc. This varied company by company with some using other ports as well. Tank wagons conveyed the company product to company depots and customers from these terminals. Each terminal being responsible for a set area with a fleet of tank wagons.

Below is a list of incidents involving Amoco facilities and wagons. This will give you some understanding of what was where within a given time frame. Some show other wagons in the incident which give us some idea what was on trains around that time.      

13/3/73 - 123.75 Km (GNR) Mungunburra. Derailment of PCC 25624,  PCC 25793, HSAT 34708, FJS 28706, OHE 6, UR 20535, FJS 28230, H 9539 on train 52 Up due to track buckle.

21/12/74 - 613Km Bajool – Archer. Derailment FJS 28861, HO 38107, OB 68, OB 78, FJS 22455, OHE 20 on train 387.

26/05/75 - 86.5 Km NCL Marmor – Raglan. Derailment of DEL 1637, OVE 64, OTY 50, OPE 17, OP 15, OHE 23, OHE 25, OHE 14, HSA 33134, QLX 34389 on 356 Up due to broken rail.

24/9/75 - Auckland Point. Damage to Amoco siding gates by a train. 

29/5/76 - 230Km Pentland (GNR). Derailment of DEL 1408 and OHE 17 on 19 Down due to striking a beast, loco rolled on side.

26/2/80 - Maxwelton (GNR). Derailment of QLXT 37011 and OHE 7, due to points not being correctly set.

23/8/80 - Townsville south yard. Collision of OHE 6 and OV 23.

8/7/81 - Morey Street, Townsville. Derailment of OHE 6 and OTY 48 (being shunted by DEL 1170), due to vandalism of points.

Emerald Fri 2nd January 81.  Train 54A 1609/1653, CMIST, 2 / QLX, 2/ QLXT, BLCT, QLX, BLCT, OTE, OBA, OP, OTA, OC, OTA, OHE, QLX, BLCT, QLX, CMIST, 2/QLX, CMIS, QLX, TDV 1885,TLV 1848.
16/12/81 - 379.900km Hannam's Gap. Derailment of DEL 1610 and wagons on 66 Up. Petrol tankers ignited, loco burnt out. Board of Inquiry. Loco condemned as a result

JULY 1982 ARHS Sunshine Express.Hannam’s Gap derailment , OHE 13, 21, OTA 6, 24, OV 76, OBA 68, OC 21.
21/10/83 – Cardwell. Derailment of ALY 33642 and OHO 33 on 154 Up, due to incorrectly set points.

10/2/84 - Pinkenba (Amoco siding). Derailment of OHAO 52 during shunting, due to incorrectly set points.

18/6/85 - Gympie yard. Derailment of OHO 44171 during shunting, due to an error by the shunt foreman.

30/7/86 – Redbank. Derailment of OHO 44176 and VAOS 34052 on 7682 Up, due to the track spreading.
1/9/86 – Yukan. Derailment of TGVS 1774 and OHO 44177 on 7J22 Up, due to being pushed through stop blocks.
20/5/87 - Homestead (GNR). Derailment of OHE 44142 on 7269 Down (hauled by DEL 1261) on points at 7.06pm.
18/8/87 - Maxwelton yard (GNR). Derailment of OCE 44055 and OHE 44150 on 7269 Down (hauled by DEL 1470) in the goods shed siding at 5.33am.

4/8/88 - Gilliat (GNR). Derailment of OHO 44168 (empty).

14/12/88 - Charleville yard. Derailment of OHE 44153, OTE 44367 and OTA 44356, due to incorrectly set points.

For many years, AMOCO had the QR contract for diesel fuel for locomotives. The last use of the wagons was to convey premium unleaded petrol from BP at Whinstanes to Townsville. Three wagons of mixed classes, two or three times a week would go north on the steel train 6243. This traffic finished around 2009/10 when the product was transferred to sea transport. Most, if not all were scrapped soon after.


OHE 6 and 1.
Wuiske Models QRG053 Kits which I purchased at Austral Modelcraft a number of years ago. The underframes are pewter which gives a bit of weight in the right spot, the tank is PVC tube.

Bogies: Southern Rail.  To drop the underframe down closer to the correct height, just over 1 mm was filed off the centre casting.  

Decals: Ted Freeman. Email

Paint: Tru-color. TCP-007 Silver for the tank. TCP-171 Weathered Black for the underframe. (Austral Modelcraft)

Weathering: Model Color/Air. 70.941 Burnt Umber, 71.133 Dirt, 72.762 Earth, AK 723 Dust. (Hobby one / Hobbyrama)

As above, various tank wagon in a block on a train.
What next:- More tank wagons, I’m trying something new, scratch building the underframes in brass.

Modelling the Railways of Queensland Convention:- Saturday 13th October 2018.

I have been told I will have a rollingstock display at the Convention. You will be able to check out how well I went with my soldering skills. Plus, I’m doing a presentation on “O” class tank wagons in a bit more detail and how I have modelled them. 

Registrations will be open in May/June.  Webpage

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