TG1704 : Railway sidings into petrol depot

taken 9 years ago, near to Ketteringham, Norfolk, Great Britain

Railway sidings into petrol depot
Railway sidings into petrol depot
During WWII the site served as a Ministry of Defence oil depot and after the war it was known as the Hethersett Aviation Fuel Distribution Depot. It had private railway sidings which have since been disconnected but are still in place > LinkExternal link. Serving as a petrol storage depot after the war - supplying fuel to RAF Coltishall > LinkExternal link until the airbase was closed in 2006 - the petrol was stored in a number of subterranean tanks which are shown as lakes on OS Maps. A look at Magicmap reveals that the lakes are not lakes at all. Deemed surplus to requirements the depot was sold in summer 2009.

Note the powered capstan and two rope-rollers between the two sidings. (A capstan is a rotating machine used to apply force to ropes, cables, and hawsers, commonly, though not exclusively, in a maritime setting. Hydraulically-powered capstans were sometimes used in railway goods yards for shunting, or shifting railcars short distances.) This indicates that a rope system was used to move tank wagons of aviation fuel into and within the depot; the haulage was provided by the capstan which could have been elerctrically or hydraulically powered. The use of rope haulage avoided locomotives having to enter the sidings: steam locomotives would have been an obvious fire hazard in an aviation fuel depot.
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TG1704, 66 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Saturday, 5 December, 2009   (more nearby)
Saturday, 5 December, 2009
Railway sidings   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TG 171 041 [100m precision]
WGS84: 52:35.4993N 1:12.2677E
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TG 170 040
View Direction
Northeast (about 45 degrees)
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Image classification(about): Geograph
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