Re: Speaking of odd tank cars...

Richard Hendrickson

Bruce Smith writes:

While perusing the pages of The United States Military Railway Service,
America's Soldier-Railroaders in WWII, by Don DeNevi and Bob Hall (ISBN
1-55046-021-8), which is loaded with great WWII era photos, I saw
several photos of 2-dome tank cars (pages 86, 108).

Both photos were taken in the British Isles, of tank cars built in the
USA for use on the continent after D-Day. The cars are labeled
"Transportation Corps, US Army" and the reporting marks are in the USA
17,000 series and appear to be around 10,000 gallon in size and are
both 3 and 4 course in design. The sills are a simple box design with
with the channel facing inward with european buffers and couplers.

The first thing that caught my eye was that these cars have only one
platform. That's right, out of 4 possible locations (2 domes, 2 sides)
only one dome has a loading platform and only on one side. Closer
inspection indicates that each dome has only one safety valve and only
one dome has a hatch (that would be the one with the platform <G>). No
rivet lines are evident for internal tank bulkheads...

So what these appear to be are 2-dome cars, that are a single tank...
weird... Anything like this ever get used domestically in the US?
No. I have a photo of one of these cars numbered USA 1332 stenciled "for
diesel oil service only," heavily weathered and out of service (with an
even more heavily weathered European steam loco partly visible behind it).
It had a four horizontal course tank. My guess about the reason for the
two domes is that a single dome of adequate expansion capacity would have
been too tall for European line clearances, so two domes were fitted to
provide adequate room for expansion but only one a platform and an access
hatch. There would have been no reason to build such a car for service in
North America and AFAIK it was never done.

Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520

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