Re: Union Pacific gives way to battleship Iowa

Thomas Birkett

There is a good article in the "Central Headlight", Fourth Quarter 1998
about the Central's trains out of Norris City, Illinois to connections to
the East Coast. The available steel ran out at Norris City which was the
northernmost extension of the "Big Inch" pipeline from Longview, TX. From
there the Central shuttled 75 car trains to connections in the east,
commencing in February of 1943.

This is subsequent to the all rail route in which much of the oil came out
of Cushing, OK on the Santa Fe (Second District-Oklahoma Division, Pawhuska
and First Districts- Southern Kansas Division, Third and Second
Districts-Eastern Division) to Kansas City and points beyond. Doubtless the
Katy also ran unit oil trains out of Cushing through Bartlesville and
Parsons to St. Louis also, but I have not seen information on their efforts.

Apparently Union Tank Car and probably the other tank car owners had huge
strings of obsolete tank cars in storage awaiting scrapping that were
quickly reconditioned and put into crude oil service as soon as the Gulf
Coast to East Coast shipping was threatened by German submarines.

Thomas N. Birkett, PE

Southwestern Tank Line, LLC


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