Not sure why you are having so much trouble downloading from the Train Life site. I had the entire issue after about 1 minute.
Here's the excerpt that should be of most interest to you:
Since you seem keenly interested in tank cars, I would strongly recommend "The Gas Station in America" by Jakle and Sculle. Some great stuff in there about oil company history, and the entire supply chain going back to the beginning. In it, there are three maps (1926, 1940, 1990) showing the presence of Conoco retail outlets across the country. Zero in CA, OR, or NV. Conoco was the Rocky Mountain area "baby standard" after the 1911 breakup of Standard Oil. Although its territory expanded over the years, it did not include CA .
Last, I actually prefer the plastic handrails on the P2000 Type 21a. They flex enough without breaking, and rebound right back into shape if you squeeze one (gently). I did break one, but simply glued a butt joint to repair it (they are styrene). Tangent, which is the state of the art with plastic tank cars, uses plastic hand-rails, not brass, presumably because the brass gets bent and is a PITA to re-straighten.
With best regards.
Swall Meadows, CA