Re: Tank car matters

Jim Betz


  I wasn't saying "all tank cars lettered for any RR" - I put some wiggle
words because I knew about the SP (and other RRs).  I was descrbing
the way most (only many?) RRs dealt with their tank cars.  After the era
of this group I know of several RRs that had tank cars in true revenue
service - they seemed to be trying to compete with the UTLX and GATX
'monopoly' of that kind of service.  And certainly, if there were RR tanks
that were used in regular revenue service ... then probably the proverbial "there's a prototype for everything" comes into play.
  No Tony, I don't have all of your books - not even most of them.  But
I'm not an SP modeler and so my knowledge of the details about the
SP is related to what I pick up during conversations with friends - but
since I live in San Jose that amounts to a considerable body of 
"unrelated facts" building up over the years - sort of like rust on the
frame of a steam era freight car.  *G*.
  And yes, I realize that if I had all of your books (and had read them)
that I would have gained a great deal of knowledge about a lot of
different RRs ... and not just the SP.
                                                                                                     - Jim
     Your statements may be correct for many railroads (Santa Fe, certainly, assigned all or nearly all of its tank cars for company fuel or on-line water service). But in your search for RR tank car photos, you obviously didn't look at my book on SP tank cars. By SP's own calculation, they employed about a third of their extensive fleet of cars in company fuel service. Many were in commercial service, and not just for petroleum service -- there are photos in the book of a cotton-seed oil car and a car being switched at Procter & Gamble in Long Beach -- and I'm sure you are well aware of SP's cars with the "diamond S" on the dome, originally modified for and assigned at C&H Sugar in Crockett.
There are also photos of SP tank cars delivering fuel to NON-railroad destinations such as industries.

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

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