Re: chlorine cannister flats (was Virginia Chemical Tank Cars)

Tim O'Connor


I don't think the real estate around Taylor or the Bullring-Cornfield yards was
especially dear. I see many modest single family homes - at least in the STMFC era.

I don't think chemical weapons (other than LSD) were being made in California. :-)

On 2/21/2020 3:47 PM, Garth Groff and Sally Sanford wrote:
Tim and Ed,

Two possibilities for the USAX cars:

Many large bases had their own water treatment facilities, which would have used chlorine. They used chlorine for more than just officers' swimming pools.

Even though we weren't supposed to have poison gas the US was still making chemical weapons up until 1969 "just in case". Chlorine was a component of some of these weapons, and maybe others I've never heard of.

Love the photo. I wonder what those rich people living up on the distant hills thought about the view in Taylor Yard's direction. Well, the railroad was there first.
Yours Aye,

Garth Groff  🦆

On Fri, Feb 21, 2020 at 1:52 PM Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:

Thanks for that roster Ed!

The attached photo may be one of those mysterious USA cars. From the Gerstley duplicates.

Tim O'Connor

On 2/21/2020 1:33 PM, Ed Hawkins wrote:
On Feb 19, 2020, at 4:02 PM, Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:

I have numerous photos of these cannister flat cars, and they are always loaded with
their cannisters. The precise style of cannisters does vary - perhaps related to the
commodity, or time period? They all have 15 cannisters in my photos.

ACF wasn’t the only builder of cars of this type that were primarily used for chlorine containers. ACF records document the company built approximately 350 "Multi-Unit Tank Cars" from 1924 to 1958 comprised of 87 orders having lot numbers assigned. Roughly half of the cars were built before 1940 with the largest pre-1940 order being 16 cars.

Ten of these cars were built “for stock” for the U.S.A. Chief of Engineers. I don’t know the disposition of these lot 2370 cars built in July 1941. 

Six ACF builder photos of these cars are on the Barriger Flickr web site with 3/4-views & “B” end views of 3 of the earliest cars - lot 10, MALX 365; lot 188, VSX 204; lot 401, GWEX 4?? (angled view hides car number). 

List of ACF M-U tank cars by reporting marks to include the quantity of cars, number of orders, and range of build dates:
ACCX - 10 cars, 4 lots 1926-1935
ACF - 10 cars, 1 lot, built 1941 (U.S.A. Chief of Engineers)
BAKX - 2 cars, 2 lots 1931-1932
BCX - 7 cars, 3 lots 1926-1931
CACX (or possibly PPGX) - 21 cars, 2 lots 1936-1937
CALX - 3 cars, 3 lots 1927-1934
CILX (Canada) - 2 cars, 2 lots 1932, 1945
DAX - 23 cars, 11 lots 1928-1946
DUPX - 15 cars, 3 lots 1926-1933
GCX - 26 cars, 1 lot, built 1948
GWEX - 8 cars, 2 lots 1927-1928
HOKX - 8 cars, 2 lots 1925-1926
MALX - 10 cars, 1 lot, built 1925
MONX - 7 cars, 3 lots 1932-1936
PSMX - 32 cars, 12 lots 1924-1948
SHPX - 101 cars, 16 lots 1937-1948 (lessees - Westvaco, DuPont, Diamond Chemical, likely others)
SPX - 44 cars, 11 lots 1927-1948
TELX - 1 car, 1 lot, built 1930
TENX - 4 cars, 1 lot, built 1949 (for sulphur dioxide containers)
VSX - 15 cars, 5 lots 1924-1929
WCX - 1 car, 1 lot, built 1930? (unsure about this order)

Ed Hawkins

Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

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