Re: A little help?

Ian Cranstone

Bob Kutella asks:

We are investigating a possible acquisition at the Illinois Railway
Museum and perhaps you guys can point me to a site with AAR info. Or
just answer the two quick questions.

The car in question is a tank car listed as AAR Mech Designation TLI.
That is T for tank car and I for insulated but I am unsure the
specialty class for the L.
The definition varies a little over the years, but the classic definition
for a TL is a tank car lined with a material other than glass. Primary
purpose is to keep the lading (such as acids) from attacking the body of the

Type of construction is class 203W, again
I assume W for welded although the built date is 1940 and that might
be a little early for an all welded tank body - but not impossible.
If we can get it and it is a welded tank it would certainly be our
oldest example of an all welded tank car.
W does indeed stand for welded. I don't know the timeline for such cars in
the U.S., but have seen a number of photos of Canadian Car & Foundry tanks
which were welded by the mid-1930s. This was true of the special tank types
only (acid & pressure types), the standard type 103's remained riveted until
well into the 1940s.

Ian Cranstone
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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