Re: Youngstown Sheet & Tube tank car

Dave Parker

To expand a little on what Steve Hile said about YS&T 110 (and TKX 700):

Standard Car (later Tank Car) Company commenced operations in April of 1916; it was the name change that dates to 1919.  Judging from their seminal publication "All About Tank Cars" (both 1919, 1921 editions), I don't believe that Standard ever built any MCB Class II cars, as the May, 1917, mandate for Class III cars was so imminent.  Since the two cars in question here are clearly Class IIs, I am skeptical that Standard built them, although the built-up tank bolsters certainly say "Standard".  There are four similar Class II cars with "high walkways" in Ted's SEFCRM vol. 2 but, absent some evidence beyond the bolster design that they were actually Standard-built, I remain dubious about these as well.  Perhaps there was some "engineering philosphy" associated with these earlier cars that somehow found it's way into Standard's design team.

As for Pennsylvania Tank Car, I have seen start dates of  1911 and 1914, both without any solid attribution.  There are some indications that they used built-up tank bolsters on some cars, but I have never seen a confirmed PTCCo car with anything like what we are discussing here.

As for Don's comment about the Rube Goldberg running board design, this raises some questions (that I can't fully answer) about the safety appliance standards for tank cars.  Based on AC&F's transition from the their Type 7 to the Type 11 (in ~1911), I have long assumed that the 1911 Safety Appliances Act banned the "high walkway design".  But a reread of the safety appliances section in the 1911 MCB annual proceedings doesn't really support this notion.  To date, the only place I have found good drawings is in the 1918 MCB Standards and Recommended Practices.  There, a tank car without end-sills (as is the case with YS&T 110) is shown with what I would call "intermediate height" running boards, as per the UTLX Class V and X designs.  Cars with end-sills are still shown with the high running boards as an allowable option, but I suspect this is something that was grandfathered back to MCB Class II cars (and perhaps some unknown cutoff date).  The MCB/ARA Specifications for Tank Cars strongly imply that anything built to the Class III standard had to have the low running boards and end platforms that we are so used to seeing (and the photographic evidence certainly agrees).

This is a long way of saying I don't know who built the two tank cars discussed in this thread, but I guess I have some strong opinions about who didn't.  Contrary evidence is of course welcome, as is any clarification about exactly how/when the 1911 SAA affected running-board design.

Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA

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