Saturday, 13 August 2011

The American or Lifting Jib

During the construction of the Batlow line in 1922-23 (it was opened on 17 December 1923) a new type of jib was used on the tank at Batlow. This lifting jib was similar to the type widely used in the United States for many years (hence their name). While the origin of its use in New South Wales is not known, it is suggested that it may be as a result of a visit by senior railway staff to the Americas and Europe in the early 1920’s or possibly a result of seeing its use in Europe during the First World War – a large number of water columns in Europe were of this type.
Whereas previous jib designs swung out from the tank the lifting jib simply lifted clear of the loading gauge with the train passing under it. The jib was made from No. 6 SWG Galvanised Iron and was thus significantly lighter than the swinging type. The support and lifting mechanism of the jib being more complicated though.
Two more lifting jibs were built in 1924 on the Dorrigo line but it was four years before the next example was constructed. There being no reason for this gap other than very few tanks were constructed in this period. Five more examples were subsequently constructed from late 1928 through to 1932, all of them in country New South Wales.
Lifting jibs were provided on the following tanks – the approximate construction date is also listed:
  • Batlow (12.1923)
  • Megan (11.1924)
  • Dorrigo (11.1924)
  • Bullenbung Creek (10.1928)
  • Naradhan (1.1929)
  • Casino (6.1930)
  • Crooble (6.1932)
  • Boggabilla (6.1932)
  • Taralga (moved from Dubbo)
There were two tanks constructed during this period where the type of jib (swinging or lifting) has not been able to be established. They are at Westby (constructed in 1925) and Ballina (constructed in 1930). Any information on these would be appreciated.

Todaythe tanks at Bullenbung Creek, Naradhan, Casino and Crooble survive although only Casino and Naradhan still have the lifting jib in place. The tank at Boggabilla was removed in the 1990s.

The 20,000 gallon tank at Naradhan showing the lifting jib.
By the time of this photo, 1998, the end of the jib had
fallen off and was lying on the ground.
A view of the jib from the top of the tank.
You can see the end of the jib lying on the
ground at the bottom of the picture.
The end of the jib of the ground.
Detail showing how the jib was attached to the tank.
More detail on the jib attachment showing one of the panels with
'builders plate' on it.
The jib attachments from the rear.
The 20,000 gallon tank at Crooble.
Detail of the Crooble tank.
Note the similarity to Naradhan.
The 40,000 gallon tank in the loco depot at Casino in 1996.
A side on view showng the jib lifted clear.
Note the sand bin in the background