Re: Standard Tank Car Co.

Rob Adams

Tim Gilbert wrote:
Lot's of snippage here. - RA

Standard's problem, however, was that they put all their car
manufacturing eggs into one basket - tank cars; while its two
competitors had a more diversified manufacturing portfolio - GATC
getting into manufacturing of other car types in 1921. While new tank
car orders tanked in the early 1920's (a 59.4% decrease in the 1922-1926
average), orders for other types of freight cars increased 43.6% in the
same time frame. Standard's manufacturing arm seemed to be a victim of
the bad tank car manufacturing market, and the roughly 2,100 tank cars
they owned in the mid-1920's were not enough to bail them out. I don't
know when Standard started, but I would bet they expanded during WW I or
shortly thereafter before the market collapsed, and they could not repay
or refinance their debt. Hence, the bankruptcy.

Comments & Challenges welcomed.

Tim Gilbert


I have no idea what business they were able to generate from other roads, but it is certainly not the case that Standard limited its production to tank cars. In 1924, Standard Tank built two groups of box cars for the Ann Arbor RR. Those orders consisted of 250 9' IH XM cars and 250 10' IH Automobile boxes (150 or so of which were later rebuilt into single door cars). These are the distinctive AA 40' single sheathed cars with Hutchins ends and roof. I authored three articles about these cars ten or so years ago for the Ann Arbor Railroad Technical and Historical Association and references to those publications may be found on Ted Culotta's steam freight car site. An excellent photo of the one of the AA 9' IH XM cars appeared in Mainline Modeler last year. I believe it may have been the September issue, but I'm at work and don't have access to my references. It was contained in an article by Pat O'Boyle.

Kind regards, Rob Adams

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