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Tank wagon returns home

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A hundred year-old railway tank wagon, originally used to carry shale oil products from oil works in West Lothian, was unveiled by Fiona Hyslop, Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs.

The vehicle will go on display at the Museum of the Scottish Shale Oil Industry, part of the Almond Valley Heritage Centre in Livingston. The wagon is typical of many hundreds once used to distribute, petrol, diesel, and other oil products that were produced in West Lothian from oil shale.

Most such wagons were scrapped following closure of the industry in 1962.

Tank wagon No.50 outlived its contemporaries by many years, being used as a waste oil store, then a sewage storage tank, before being abandoned in a siding in South Yorkshire.

Almond Valley was alerted to this remarkable survivor by the Railway Heritage Committee; the body tasked with identifying objects and archives of historical merit held by the railway industry.

The wagon was then donated to the museum by railway company DB Schenker and returned to Scotland where the tank was restored to its original livery.


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