Richard Hendrickson wrote:
Bob, I have a much better print of that photo and the tank car is SDRX 122, an 8,000 gal. three compartment car built by the Standard Tank Car Co. and owned by the Sinclair Refining Co. Since Sinclair was exclusively in the "awl" business, as they say in Texas, the car was doubtless intended to carry petroleum products. However, note that there are no placards in the placard holders, as there would have been if the car were loaded or if it still contained flammable vapors from a previous load. So the rule about not placing tank cars adjacent to locomotives would not have applied in this case.Richard is right about the placards, but he didn't mention that if the car were carrying a cargo not requiring a placard, it simply would not have one at all. So you cannot be sure the car is empty, only that it does not contain anything that crewmen need to know about. And as Richard observes, no restriction on placing the car where it is.
Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
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