Re: % private owner tank cars

Tim Gilbert <tgilbert@...>

timboconnor@... wrote:

From: Tim Gilbert <tgilbert@...>

Among the 111,183 privately owned tank cars, GATC owned 48,134
(30.5% of
the 158 thousand total) under its GATX, TCX and other reporting marks;
UTLX was second with 42,121 (26.6%) - these two firms owned 57.1% of
tank cars in the US.

Or a more concise way of saying to modelers is: Unless you model the
N&W or one of the other coal-intensive roads, about 5% (1 in 20) of all
the cars on your layout should be either GATC or UTLX tank cars.

You are becoming a "Chubbist" with your one in twenty statement - actually what you mean that one in 20 freight cars on line nationally were tank cars, and about 60% of those tank cars should be owned by GATC or UTLX.

I don't buy that your one in twenty cars will be tank cars nor that the six out of ten tank cars will be owned by GATC or UTLX maxims can be applied across the board.

Because of tank cars being either owned by shippers (or consignees) or leased by them, tank cars were usually tethered to the lessee or shipper/owner. When empty, the leash was pulled so the cars came back home. A good percentage of the tank cars were either owned or leased by oil companies. These companies had primarily regional markets - for national distribution, pipelines, barges or ocean shipping was used. Therefore, the radius from which these petroleum tank cars operated was limited.

UTLX leased to oil companies until the mid-1950's. Their prime lessees were the old Standard Oil Companies. Jersey Standard, Sohio and SoCal used UTLX exclusively while Socony & Standard of Indiana bought companies who had their own tank cars which they kept out from UTLX's wing.

GATX's business was more diverse than UTLX. Besides oil companies (they bought Texaco's fleet in 1935), their lessees ranged from Proctor & Gamble, meat packers - in 1949, they leased two cars to the town of Minburn Iowa water company to haul water from the Des Moines River to Minburn for a couple of months.

What must be done is to ID more of the customers of private tank car lines. I am just skeptical of using GATC and UTLX as "generic" tank cars.

But I agree with you completely upon the lack of GATC and UTLX tank car models - not enough diverse pretty logos to attract the toy train crowd I suppose.

Tim Gilbert

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