15 June 2017

VTGX Liveries

With the recent release of the SDS Models GS gas tankers in HO scale, I wanted to get one to put on my model steel train dating to the early 2000s.  My inspiration is a 35mm film photo I took at Goulburn of tank VTGX 009 on NP2 SteelLink service.  

While the image isn't dated (I haven't looked for the negatives and dates as yet), I can date the photo to around 2000-2001 both from memory, the fact it isn't digital, and the bearing axle box colours.  

VTGX 009 on an NRC SteelLink service at Goulburn around 2000 to 2001.  

To replicate this wagon I thought that I would buy VTGX 008 in Incitec livery, however after doing some research it seems that these gas tankers had some very quickly changing liveries. 

My photo shows VTGX 009 which was built at AFL 6.  It has round bolster support posts. The model from SDS is of VTGX 008 which was built as GS 402 as has square bolster support posts. 

SDS image of VTGX 008 in model form.

The model of VTGX 008 is based on this great photo from Norm Bray in 1996 here. Surprisingly, this livery is different to the one on VTGX 009 that I saw only a few years later.

After digging around, I was able to find some photos of VTGX wagons in Chemtrans livery from 1998 here.  The link shows VTGX 009, and other photos show 007 and 008 in the same Chemtrans livery in 1998.  This threw me off track a bit, as I couldn't work out where my photos fitted into the livery timeline.  Surely Chemtrans livery wasn't in between two Incitec liveries??

After looking further at my photo, and a few other shots from the early 2000s, I can see that the Incitec wording (above the stripes) is on a new white background covering the Chemtrans text, plus the ladder was now blanked off, making it likely to be a more recent livery than Chemtrans without the ladder blanked off.  I then found that Chemtrans was sold to Heggies in 1998, and as such, the tanks must have gone back to Incitec ownership.

I photoed all 5 Incitec tanks in 2012, and they can be seen here.  Interestingly, all tanks except VTGX 009 have evidence of the early 1996 Incitec livery (which is evident by the high black stripe).  

VTGX 009 with no evidence of the first Incitec livery.

VTGX 008 showing evidence of the first Incitec livery by the high black stripe.

So, from the photos and information at hand:
  1. 4 of the 5 tank had the early Incitec livery around 1996. (009 did not).
  2. It is unknown what livery 009 had in the mid 1990s?  (Maybe Aftrans?)
  3. All 5 tanks had Chemtrans livery in 1998
  4. All 5 tanks had Incitec mk2 livery in early 2000s
  5. I don't think the tankers ran much from the mid 2000s, and may have ceased running in the early 2000s.  
  6. All 5 tanks were scrapped in late 2013 at Koorgang Island I believe.

If you have any photos, information, or comments, pleae post them in the comments section of the blog.


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