Re: GATX fleet breakdown?

Ian Cranstone

I had a few thoughts vis-a-vis tracking the GATX fleet based on my experiences in working through understanding the Imperial Oil/Transit Company Ltd. to Products Tank Line of Canada fleet, and the Canadian General Transit Company fleet

1) Those 1917 design GATC cars lasted a long time. CGTX had a number handed down from parent GATX in the 1930s and 1940s (and possibly as late as the 1950s). Based upon ORER and Tank Car Capacity tariffs, it would seem that a lot of them lasted into the 1960s. Similarly, the ones built new for Imperial Oil seem to have served subsequent owner Products Tank Line of Canada about as long.

2) Although it is difficult to understand tank car fleets based on ORER listings (and some are particularly difficult — not mentioning the Products Tank Line of Canada in particular), it is very possible to track cars through the various issues of the Tank Car Capacities tariff, and I was able to do a lot of this with the Imperial Oil Ltd./Transit Company Ltd. fleet to Products Tank Line of Canada. Many of their cars varied slightly in terms of both shell and dome capacity, and in many cases the combination of the two was unique to one or only a few cars. Fortunately for me, Products Tank Line of Canada made it easier by carefully placing them into UTLX series in their original numbering order, regardless of the predecessors random renumbering into new series. I don’t know that GATX did the same, but one can hope. If the ORER is helpful in terms of understanding which fleets were acquired by GATX, there is a good place to start, and with the 1919, 1936, 1955 and 1970 TCCs around to compare to each other, there might be a very real possibility of coming to a reasonable understanding of the fleet, and its origins.

Ian Cranstone

Osgoode, Ontario, Canada


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