SN Tank Car MW 68

Garth Groff and Sally Sanford

Good Friends,

While working through scanning Sacramento Northern negatives shot by the late Kenneth Jenkins, I came to the tank car below. This car is something of a puzzle, particularly its original builder. I'm open to any suggestions as to its origins (I know it is not an AC&F car as Ed Kaminski told me it wasn't a few years back).

SN MW 68 was one of three tanks purchased used in 1937. I am not certain, but United Commercial, a vendor of used equipment, may have been the source. AFE records show them as 7,500 gallon cars, but the actual capacity of this car is 7,923 gallons (could that dome hold 423 gallons?). There is a large wooden box added to the top of the tank, which apparently held a gasoline pump and hoses. The lettering on the frame of the first photo seems to give a build date of 1/05.

The first photo is by Will Whittaker (negative also in my collection), and shows the car when new to the SN, circa 1938 (repack date).

The second view is the Jenkins shot, and since it clearly has AB brakes, that means it is post-1955. AB brakes were added on AFE 27-54 dated 8/8/55.

I have only seen one photo of one of the other tanks from this lot, and I can't say if they were all the same. What frustrates me today is that I saw one of these cars on the deadline in West Sacramento about 1967. I only took a photo of the car next to it (a burned out caboose), and that photo tantalizingly shows just the tank's end without enough information to be useful. Oy! But hey, I was only 16. Kids do dumb things.

Yours Aye,

Garth Groff  🦆

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