Re: Tank Cars

Tony Thompson

Gatwood, Elden wrote:
The single safety valves on each dome are interesting, as are the
unexplained rivets on the tank. I suspect this tank was created for
some odd commodity that is not that volatile, like ink, special
lubricating oil, or something like that. Lessors sometimes dictated the
nature of equipment like heating coils, vents and valves, or insulation.
The transverse mounting of the reservoir is also interesting.
Buyers of tank cars did indeed choose many external features of cars, but safety valves were not among those; the rules called for one safety valve for up to 6000 gallons of many commodities (thus the need for two such valves on 12,500 gallon cars). Of course heating coils, insulation, and a variety of loading and unloading fixtures were specified by the buyer, but certain combinations thereof were required for certain commodities. There is an informative table on this topic in the back of Kaminski's book on AC&F tank cars.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
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