Re: The new Tangent tank car

Douglas Harding

Tim, the article gives a brief history of the Warren Petroleum Corporation. Founded by William Warren in 1922, it was based in Tulsa OK. He sold it to Gulf Oil in 1953. He then went on to start the Transwestern Pipeline Co. in 1959. He got started by purchasing both natural gas and LPG and then delivering them using tank cars and pipelines.


“Natural Gas” is not gasoline as commonly  used in vehicles. It is naturally occurring gas, primarily methane. Those of us who live in the mid-west typically heat our homes with natural gas, delivered by pipelines. Today it is being used to fire generating plants, replacing coal, as a clean burning fuel.


LPG is liquefied petroleum gas or butane, commonly known as propane. It also is used for home heating, etc. It is also known as bottle gas as it is delivered and stored in pressurized tanks. My grandparents had a dual vertical tank setup (about the size of two 40 gallon water heaters) that fed their furnace and cook stove. Today most use a 500 or 1000 gallon horizontal tank that is refilled from a delivery truck. I know many folks use a small 20lb tank for their gas grill or camper. There is one on my gas grill outside the back door.


Some enterprising individuals and railroads have modified internal combustion engines to run on natural gas or LPG. But I believe most of that use is beyond the time frame of this group.


As Warren specialized in selling and transporting various forms of natural gas as well as LPG, the company had different tank cars for different commodities. As the company was sold to Gulf in 1953, one would assume the Warren tank car lettering disappeared soon after that date, but it did not. The fleet actually grew.

1941 269 insulated tank cars

1943 378 insulated tank cars

1953 3800 insulated tank cars

1960 4356 insulated tank cars


These were both TMI and TPI designations, from 8000-11,000 gal in size. I let a tank car expert interpret the various ARA and ICC degignations.


In 1943 there were also 10 tankcars assigned to WK Warren WKWX. In 1953 this was known as the William K Warren Foundation with the same 10 cars.


Doug  Harding


From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 12:17 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] The new Tangent tank car



I think Warren was based in Oklahoma and Texas. LPG can travel very far
and has been a growing fuel since the 1930's. They definitely went to the
west coast, and I think I've seen Warren LPG tank cars in the east.

I thought those ICC 104 tank cars (non-pressure, insulated, with the green
domes) were for "natural gasoline" - basically gasoline straight out of the
ground? How long did those last in service?

Tim O'Connor

During the '50s, I often spotted Warren cars traveling the PRR mainline through Pittsburgh. I cannot state their origin nor destination, however.

Jim Kubanick
Morgantown WV

I was trying to research the reach of the Warren cars last night in my library with little luck. Any help on timeframe and geographical distribution would be appreciated.

Brian J. Carlson

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