Re: What is this tank car?

Tony Thompson

Richard Hendrickson wrote:


Brian is correct.  The Skelly Oil Co. had a substantial fleet of tank cars in the 1920s (more than 1,000 cars) but, like many private tank car owners, they sold them in 1933 to Union Tank Line owing to the economic effects of the great depression and thereafter leased tank cars from UTL.  After World War II, some UTL ICC-105-400 insulated high pressure cars that were on long-term assignment to Skelly for LPG service bore “Skelgas” trade marks, but UTL never applied that stenciling to conventional ARA III/ICC-103 tank cars.  Modelers may have been confused in the past by the fact that Champ offered a decal set for a UTL car with “Skelgas” logo but, though the car number was correct for a high pressure car, the application drawing showed a conventional ICC-103.

Ironically, the one photo I know of a Skelgas car showed it with small stenciling on the tank reading “Leased to Tidewater Associated Oil Co.”  Presumably that was a short term lease, or Tidewater Associated would have complained about using a car lettered for another oil company.

      From the early 1930s, Standard Oil of New Jersey controlled Skelly Oil via a holding company called Mission Corporation -- which also owned Tidewater Associated, so the leased tank car is no accident. After J. Paul Getty got control of Mission away from Standard, he continued the ownership of Tidewater Associated and Skelly via Mission well into the 1950s.
      I have touched on some of this history (the Tidewater Associated side) in a recent blog post. If you're interested, it's at:

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history

Join to automatically receive all group messages.