Tilley AL9A tank - colour?

Discussion in 'Fettling Forum' started by Phil Harris, Nov 30, 2018.

  1. Phil Harris

    Phil Harris Subscriber

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    I'm restoring a TL9A which I think is a 1960s model as it has the aluminium cock. It came fitted with the wrong short 606 vapouriser so I've fitted the correct 169 type. I know the handle is on back-to-front and the heat shield is missing, but both are in hand.

    As I have got to repaint the tank, I'd like to restore it to its original colour. This is a trackwork lamp and was mostly bought by the railways, so I'm wondering why it didn't come in that mustard yellow colour like the BR49 and similar lamps.

    I have some Plastikote 'brass' at the ready, but before I start, I'd like to know if any TL9As have ever been seen in BR yellow...

    Tilley AL9A as found.JPG Tilley AL9A first light.JPG

    Many thanks,

    Phil
     
  2. george

    george Subscriber

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    I could be wrong but I think that yellow color was used by British Southern Railway. So I' m thinking it could be railroad but some other color. (?)
    :-k
     
  3. Phil Harris

    Phil Harris Subscriber

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    Hi George. Whilst in the 1960s the then Southern Region of British Railways ordered a batch of standard X246 lanterns with tanks painted in yellow, the same yellow colour had been used for much larger numbers of BR49 lanterns deployed right across the entire railway network.

    See the Gallery here: 1960 TILLEY BR no preheater

    I am just wondering if any yellow AL9As were produced. I can’t find any pictures of yellow ones, despite an extensive internet search. In fact several of these lamps appear with a dark grey or black painted tank, like mine.

    Phil
     
  4. JEFF JOHNSON

    JEFF JOHNSON United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Hello Phil, the control cock is a replacement and the tank appears to be a 1930's or 1940's R-1, if it has the deep socket for the XN control cock then it's pre 1940 and if it has the shallow socket for the GF., control cock then it's post 1940.

    Most track work lamps which I have seen have had black painted stands and the CH-1 hood and cage are a later addition, but many railway lamps turn up with parts from different periods as they were fettled in the railway stores and what was important was that the lamps worked. Jeff.

    Happy fettling!:thumbup::thumbup:
     
  5. Phil Harris

    Phil Harris Subscriber

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    That’s very helpful Jeff, many thanks! It might be older than I thought. I am pretty sure that the socket is shallow and the GF control cock is the original, as it’s identical to the illustration of the AL9A in Jim Dick’s book. Hence I was thinking it’s a late 1950s lamp, although you’re absolutely right about Tilleys being made up of parts from various sources!

    One other clue might be that the pump opening on the tank has the external rather than the internal thread. The only other one I’ve seen like that is on the steel tank of my wartime PL53.

    Phil
     
  6. JEFF JOHNSON

    JEFF JOHNSON United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Hello Phil, you are welcome and if it has the shallow socket then a GF., control cock is correct, but originally it would have been a brass one.
    Tilley used the external thread for decades and if I recall correctly, they started to use the internal thread in 1946 on the first pork pie lanterns, but they continued to use the external thread too on other models, such as the wall lamps and the R-1 and other heaters and the OH-574, etc.. Jeff.
     
  7. Mackburner

    Mackburner United Kingdom Founder Member Subscriber

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    Looks like an early '50s tank. Can't be an R1 tank from later than 1954 as it's the wrong tank shape for that. If it has a stamped logo on the side then it's after 1957 but if it does't then it's 1940 to 1954. I know in the late 1950s the track lamps were painted black but earlier examples tended to be in standard Tilley gold. In the early 1950's the lamp head would have been a 449 hood but the later '50s did use that CH1 you have. Nice lamp by the way and not common at all. ::Neil::
     
  8. Phil Harris

    Phil Harris Subscriber

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    Hi Neil and Jeff, and thanks to both for the info. Gold it will be, then! I’ve even bought the paint. I’ll pop some pictures in the gallery when it’s finished.

    Neil, this lamp came to me (from Mike Parker) in exchange for my having restored a pre-war electric clock for him. I like the barter system; no money changed hands, and we’re both happy.

    It’s interesting that it’s an uncommon lamp, but it’s going to spend the rest of its working life on a preserved steam railway, so it’s back in its natural environment.

    Phil
     

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