Re: ID Help With Container Car

Claus Schlund \(HGM\)

Hi Garth,
Back in the 1990s and early 2000s I used to regularly get to check out the railroad cars being handled at the former SP yard in South San Francisco. A car much like this one, perhaps even the SAME one, would show up every once in a while. I checked it out at the time, and my memory is that these containers contain calcium carbide.
I think one of the containers, closest to your camera, might be stenciled PACIFIC CARBIDE.
As I recall, the containers had a footprint of around 4ft square. As you can see in your image, there is a set of angle bars over the top of the containers to hold them securely in place during transit. Calcium carbide is used in the industrial world to make acetylene gas. There was a industrial gas business not far from the yard I mentioned, I think the business was called County Welding, they may have been the recipient of this material and may have used it to make acetylene on site.
As a final item, link to a discussion regarding calcium carbide freight cars...
Hope this helps!
Claus Schlund

From: Garth Groff and Sally Sanford
Sent: Tuesday, May 12, 2020 7:08 AM
Subject: [RealSTMFC] ID Help With Container Car
The attached photo of a container car is well beyond our era of interest. I was hoping to learn more about the car itself to see if it would barely scrape into our last year or so.
The car in question is CCKX 281. The only reference I can find to this reporting mark is California
Contemporary, Inc., which doesn't seem right. I shot this in the SP/UP Roseville yard near the RIP track around 1987. I suspect the car is loaded with toxic waste of some sort.
Any help with the car's origin and who it belonged to would be appreciated.
Yours Aye,
Garth Groff  🦆

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