Re: 1940s tank car questions

Andy Laurent <andy.laurent@...>

--- In STMFC@..., "ed_mines" <ed_mines@...> wrote:

Did any customers unload gasoline from a team track or a siding as
needed it?

Did farm equipment run on gasoline?

Was tank car utilization greater during the winter when petroleum
couldn't be delivered by water?

Ed, what locale are you modeling?

In the Midwest, retail fuel dealers (typically called "jobbers")
existed in almost every small town with railroad service. The
shortline I model was only 34 miles long, but had 16 bulk oil dealers
in 1950. They were the most common rail customers for bulk fuels.

One of those dealers was located off-line, but did not use a team
track/truck arrangement for their deliveries. They had 3 vertical
storage tanks along a siding, and would unload the tankcar there
(using standard rack/pumps/piping system) and run their truck to/from
those storage tanks. That would be a great "small footprint" industry
to model...a few tanks (gasoline, fuel oil, maybe diesel), an
unloading stand/rack, and a pump house.

This traffic all but dried up on the A&W between 1952 and 1956 as oil
company terminals switched to trucks for short-haul distribution of
petroleum products. Standard Oil was the exception, as they continued
to send bulk fuel on the 50-mile rail routing.

As for winter tank car utilization...I can only guess. Fuel oil usage
would have been higher in the winter (heating), but gasoline demand
was higher in summer (vacations) it may have evened out.

Andy Laurent
modeling the Ahnapee & Western Railway in the early 1950s

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