Vickers Oils Tank wagon on the track of the Great Central Railway- A journey of how it came about
The Great Central Railway is the only preserved heritage steam railway in the country with a double track main line which travels between Loughborough and Leicester. It originally ran from Sheffield to London Marylebone till the 1960s.
In 1975, the Great Central Railway was trying to purchase an Oil Tank Wagon from British Rail but could not do so due to shortage of funds. The railway then approached Roy Emmett, Technical Sales Manager at Vickers Oils at the time, to see if Vickers Oils would be interested in joining them in completing the purchase of the wagon. Roy Emmett was a member of the Great Central Railway for 50 years as Duty Station Master at Rothley.
John Vickers, the then Managing Director of Vickers Oils, did not hesitate in completing the purchase and Vickers Oils associated with the Great Central Railway in acquiring a tank wagon from British Rail. In return, the Great Central Railway offered to exhibit Vickers Brand on the tank which was a great honour and an advertisement for the company when it ran during festivals on demonstration freight trains. John Vickers took a keen interest during the restoration of the wagon and it was finally launched marking the 150th anniversary of Vickers Oils.
In the late 1980s, the tank wagon was withdrawn from the service for major repairs. This opportunity was taken to re-paint it and update the Vickers Oils logo. The relaunch of the wagon was marked by celebrating the annual works day on the train.
Although sponsored by an oil company, this tank wagon used to carry water for the steam and traction engine rallies showcased at the prime events on the railway held annually in Quorn Station yard.
The wagon had to be finally disposed of to another heritage railway but left a mark in the history for both the Great Central Railway and Vickers Oils.
Vickers Oils started trading in 1828 in Leeds, UK and remains a private, independent company now led by the 5th and 6th generation of the family. With almost 200 years of industry experience and wealth of knowledge in lubricants for fibre processing, knitting oils and Marine EALs, Vickers Oils enjoys a worldwide reputation as a reliable and innovative supplier of high performance, speciality lubricants in Marine, textile and Food Grade sectors with customers in over 60 countries.
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