3-Dome GATX Type 30 Tank Car from Tangent

Andy Carlson


I was talking with some other modelers/railfans about these new 6K tank cars. It was mentioned by an individual that in the national fleet of tank cars very few were multiple compartment cars--single compartment cars were vastly more prevalent. Therefore, it was opined, modelers should limit their purchases of multiple dome cars to only about 2% of their empire's fleet. (Gilbert/Nelson principles)

I responded by admitting that thought would be correct if their own modeling aim is mainline operations, where multiple dome cars are just sprinkled into freight train consists, but wrong if they were modeling branches and short lines. Remember that multiple compartment tank cars were useful in delivering smaller quantities of differing products to bulk and oil distributors, especially to rural areas. The small SP branch which served my hometown of Ojai, CA. had 5 online petroleum distributors which received product by rail. I would postulate that on our branch, like many other rural branches, the single compartment tank cars would be the minority. Oil distributors were commonly important business on short lines.

-Andy Carlson
Ojai CA

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