Re: CRWX fleet

Eric Neubauer <eaneubauer@...>

Tanks are usually tested a month or two before the built date, so 11-13 is unlikely for a car built 5-15 or later.
The 9-25 ORER shows 85 cars 201-295, all 40-ton, 8000g.. The listing hadn't been updated since 7-23. The 10-20 listing shows 95 cars in the same series. This suggests that 226-250 existed. I thought I'd scan 1913 for ACF orders for 25 tank cars. Anything stand out below?
lot 7206 25 for Keith Car
lot 7239 25 for Jacob Dold Packing
lot 7253 25 for Keith Car, 50-ton
So, I figure 201-225 are lot 7239, 226-250 are the 1915 ACF lot discussed earlier, 251-270 are unknown, and 271-295 are older cars, possibly relettered from GATX or JDPCo. 5-100. Later just JDPCo 60-95 were shown suggesting the series included just 20 cars numbered by 5s and would be a good quantity match for 251-270.
Why 226-250 don't appear in the 1919 tank car capacities is unknown. Perhaps they were just overlooked, and I got an impression that the listing wasn't complete anyway.
And thanks to James for asking the question in the first place. Some of these questions can actually get answers if a number of people pool their thoughts and resources. Granted that the CRWX roster is still speculative in many details, but it certainly helps understand the car photos, and at least one avenue of inquiry remains: Anyone know anything about Jacob Dold tank cars? If they were built at Berwick/Milton, I should have the original order(s) listed somewhere.
Eric N.

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, April 12, 2014 9:35 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] CRWX fleet


Thanks to everyone for the great responses on and off list about the
CRWX cars. The responses were very helpful to me.

Eric Neubauer wrote:
> Can you provide a little more in formation. Do all CRWX cars predate 1914 or were some acquired after that? Do you have any built dates off of specific cars? The answers may help me focus my search a bit more. I hope to be able to provide you with some order dates and sizes.
The first record I can find of cars with CRWX reporting marks is in the
1913 ORER. The Capitol Refining Co. took over the Columbia Cotton Oil &
Provisions Corp. that same year, as mentioned in the text Doug cited.
The facility had been an abattoir and meat packing plant since 1894
under various owners until a shift was made in 1907 to include cotton
oil refining, alongside dressed meats and lard.

In 1913 when the facility became the Capitol Refining Co. the stockyards
and abattoir seem to have been deprioritized in favor of cotton oil
products. The Capitol Refining Co. traded under the brand name CAPRECO.
Some CAPRECO products included White Dome shortening, Shortolene
shortening, Potomac Cooking Oil, and Caprecorn Cooking Oil. Based on the
products CAPRECO manufactured I suspected that the CRWX fleet was
largely or entirely composed of tank cars, and Ian's and Cyril's
references come close to confirming this.

The ORER lists the range CRWX 201 to 300 from beginning in 1913 and the
same listing (including the 1913 date) appears in each ORER through
1919. My ORER library stops at this point and picks up again in 1950,
but thanks to Ian I know now that the last ORER listing for CRWX cars is
in November 1926. The Capitol Refining Co. appears to have ceased
operations entirely in 1933.

I am unsure whether the fact that CRWX 201 to 300 is not fully occupied
in the 1919 ICC Circular 6O Tank Car Capacities document indicates that
the fleet was originally all tank cars and shrunk over time, that other
car types filled in the gaps, or if the range was merely anticipatory
and was never fully occupied.

The originals of the photos posted on Shorpy are in the collection of
the Library of Congress. Here are the links:

CRWX cars at the CAPRECO facility. Viewed from east looking west (lo rez: 90K) (hi rez: 31MB)

CAPRECO plant, viewed from southeast to northwest (after 1915) (lo rez: 100K) (hi rez: 31MB)

The date must be after 1915 because visible in the background of the
second photo I've linked are a trio of radio towers that were erected in
1915. If someone knows automobile types (not my forte), perhaps the one
in the courtyard of the facility could be used determine the date more

Eric Neubauer wrote:
> I searched all Railway Age annual order summaries from 1901-1919 and came up with only one:
> Capitol Refining 25 40-ton tank, ACF ordered 5-15 lot 7689
> CRWX 284 might have been relettered. Since the large lettering looks original, it might be from a leasing company and suggests the ACF order mentioned above was for 201-225 by process of elimination.
I agree with you on CRWX 284. That looks like it was recently relettered.

In the higher resolution image one can zoom in enough to read that the
car on the far left, CRWX 224, was tested "11 1913" by AC&F Milton, PA.
Would it be common for a car's tank to be tested more than a year before
its delivery, or could the 1915 order have been for a different range of
cars, perhaps an incomplete order of 250-270?

I'm hypothesizing that the GATC-buit cars were the 81xx gal. cars
271-295 since 273 and 284 seen in the photo are both GATC products.

Many thanks again for the great responses all around.

All the best,


James McDonald
Greenbelt, MD.

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