Re: Tank car ratio?


Cyril Durrenberger
 

A few comments on this issue:

1. It is important to determine what railroad and the location you are modeling. There was a large difference in the number and owners of tank cars that traveled over the Houston East & West Texas (HE&WT) from Houston to Shreveport and the Galveston Harrisburg and San Antonio (GH&SA) west of San Antonio. Both were part of the T&NO. A number of tank cars have historically traveled on the HE&WT to connect the oil and chemical industries with the lines that went north and east of Shreveport. Not many tank cars were sent west of San Antonio on the GH&SA line. Lists of private owner roads on these two lines show this clearly.

2. The industries located on the model railroad will make a difference in what tank cars are needed to service them. The best example is the companies that owned bulk oil plants on the line. Cars for these industries would be expected, but cars for companies not on the line would not be expected, unless they were in the bridge traffic. There may be industries on the line being modeled, but that are not included on the model railroad for which tank cars would be expected on the line. For example there may be a cottonseed oil plant on the line, but not on the model railroad, but its cars would expected to be in trains along the line. There are too many cases to articulate here and they are site specific. These are listed as examples of the sort of thing that happened.

3. I do not know about all oil companies, but a reference in a 1929 article in the Texaco Star indicated that The Texas Oil Company (aka Texaco) was repainting all of their cars hauling gasoline with the silver tank and large black lettering. Tank cars hauling heavy oil were painted black, but with the large white letters. So they repainted and relettered their old cars. So the date being modeled in important.

4. Besides the paint and lettering schemes, the date being modeled is important for other reasons. The tank car fleets were moved sometimes from owner to leaser and this could impact the paint and lettering schemes applied to the cars. Texaco is an example. There was a lot of movement in the names of the companies that owned the oil production and refining facilities. Some names disappeared and some new ones were formed, so the date is important.

5; Crude oil was shipped to refineries in some locations, but not all locations. For example crude oil was shipped from the Humble, Texas oil field for about a year after the field was discovered until pipelines were built, then shipment of crude oil from this field all but disappeared. However, there was one company that shipped by rail rather than pipeline after given special rates on the railroad by the Texas Railroad Commission. The shipping of crude oil was very dependent on the site and time period.

6. Result: It is not possible to give an overall ratio of billboard to black tank cars that will be accurate, unless one is given a specific location or locations, railroad of interest, route of interest and time period. The data on the HE&WT show that the owners of private owner tank cars over the line varied greatly from year to year, with few constant patterns This holds for all periods when tank cars were used on railroads, even today.


Cyril Durrenberger
--------------------------------------------

On Wed, 7/1/15, tangentscalemodels@yahoo.com [STMFC] <STMFC@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

Subject: Re: [STMFC] Tank car ratio?
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Date: Wednesday, July 1, 2015, 10:03 AM


 









---In STMFC@yahoogroups.com,
<timboconnor@...> wrote :

David Lehlbach
wrote


> I
believe that the 1 billboard for every 10 black cars to be
only somewhat true

> ... It depends on the LOCALE you are modeling.



Tim O'Connor wrote:

"I think the trend in the
postwar era was for bolder paint schemes for NEW cars
built

for private leases but wherever the older cars predominated,
you would mostly still see

plain black tank cars."

I agree somewhat.  The older cars were still
REPAINTED regularly and were probably never in original
paint by 1950.  In my collection of photos I don't
think I have a single photo of a 20s-30s tank in original
paint by 1955.  They may still be wearing a very very
similar scheme by 1955, but if you carefully read the
lettering it is clear it was repainted.  This is true for
basic black cars as well as billboard cars - billboard cars
are easy to spot since the logo and/or lettering standards
of many of the brands, take Diamond Chemical for example,
changed regularly, which makes dating photos of those cars a
relatively simple proposition. 

The 20s-30s older cars that were already in the
lease fleets were typically repainted into basic lease black
schemes because they weren't desired for captive service
lease service like the new cars were.  However, the 20s-30s
older cars that were in an existing private fleet, such as
SPX fleet cars belonging to Solvay, were repainted into
Solvay's newest image assuming they weren't sold or
scrapped.  So it is not entirely about the age of the car,
but the service it was in. 



David Lehlbach










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