Re: N&W Ladderless Tank Car
This photo was almost certainly taken by an N&W photographer at an N&W car shop. The two cars pictured are both in new paint and lettering, as noted by Johannes and others. A careful look at the tank car indicates that it may not yet have been reweighed. So no, it's probably not a "special" occasion, it's just two cars outside the car shops, fresh from repairs, rebuilding, or simply repainting, waiting to go to the scales.
This is, of course, not a builder's photo. The tank car looks like an AC&F type 21. As such, this photo may represent the N&W's acquisition of a 2nd hand car, or their documentation of repair/repaint of a car they have owned for some time. Either situation tends to lend credence to the idea that the car was built with 2 ladders and that the right hand ladder has subsequently been removed, whether because the owner (prior or N&W) felt it was unnecessary, or because it was damaged, leaving the dome platform (so as not to require patching holes in the tank).
No great mystery here, just an oddball car that probably only matters to N&W modelers 😉
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of vapeurchapelon <j.markwart@...>
Sent: Wednesday, August 26, 2020 2:44 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] N&W Ladderless Tank Car
when I saw the car in this clean condition and realized that 12-wheel "battleship" gondola in the back ground in about same condition I think it could have been some promoting event to show these cars, and maybe the tank car just wasn't completely finished, which didn't matter if photographed only from the other side?
Modeling the early post-war years up to about 1953