Tuesday 15 July 2014

A Decauville Skip

During my vacation I had the chance to see a Decauville skip. It was rather a coincidence, as I simply turned up at the gasworks museum in Athens, Greece. Apart from the Greek railway museum and a preserved Liberty ship (Hellas Liberty) in Piraeus, the gasworks museum is the only major industrial museum in Athens. The gasworks museum is a really good one, with several good exhibits. Even the air in the retort building still had an unmistakenly smell of burned coal. Nice! See the museums website.

Cast axle box on the Decauville skip in the gasworks museum in Athens. Although the skip body is a reconstruction the skip really is a Decauville product. I have seen several skips being labelled as a Decauville product by misguided museums curators.  The gasworks used the skips to transport coal to the retorts. The skips were manhandled and the gasworks never had any locos.
The gasworks in Athens was built by French investors, opened in 1857 and only closed in 1984. The old retorts were still used until closure and fired in the same way as when the gasworks opened. It must have demanded a good deal of Greek flexibility towards environmental and health and safety standards! See a few images from the museum at my Flickr-album.

You don't have to go to Greece to see historic Decauville skips as the Dutch Decauville Spoorweg Museum has several. Visit the museums website.

Back home I have enjoyed some quiet outdoor modelling in the summer cottage. There is some progress on the oil loco to report - more on that later.

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