Re: universal gasoline

Chuck Soule

Regarding "pipelines on rails" during WW2, the Northern Pacific ran a weekly unit train of aviation gasoline to Seattle.  I believe the loaded train going to the Pacific Theater was called the "G Manifest" and I know the train of empties being returned was the "R Manifest."

I understand the point of origin was in Oklahoma, and the train came onto the NP from the CB&Q at Billings, MT.  It was routed over Stampede Pass to Auburn, then to Seattle, where it was unloaded in the tank farms at the north end of Elliot Bay to be loaded onto ships at Pier 90-92.  This included passing through downtown Seattle on either Railroad Avenue (Alaskan Way) or through the Fourth Street Tunnel right under downtown.  Seattleites whine today about Bakken crude taking the tunnel beneath downtown, but the WW2 av-gas was even more volatile, and it was pulled by steam engines with an instant combustion source available in case of derailment.

I am aware of one Jim Fredrickson photo of the "R Manifest" eastbound through Easton, WA in 1944, being pulled by the brand new FTs.  Unfortunately, the picture is framed so that it is not possible to discern too much about the tank cars.

Chuck Soule

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