Re: Tank Car Unloading-LPG

Gene Green <bierglaeser@...>

I just spoke by telephone with a gentleman who worked with my late
father at a propane terminal. (I just happened to be on the phone with
him for another reason when the message below popped up.)

Propane tank cars (currently, at least) are unloaded by pumping propane
vapors from an empty tank (fixed location tank, not tank car) into the
top of the tank car. The pressure forces the liquid propane up a
siphon, out the top of the car and into a pipe that connects to the
aforementioned tank where the vacuum created by pumping vapor into the
tank car sucks the liquid propane into the tank.

I dare not say, "This is the way it was always done" even though I
believe that to be the case.

By the way, Dad wrecked three propane tank cars about 10 years ago. He
was letting them roll down-grade to spot one for unloading. He was
relying on one hand brake to stop all three. It didn't. Dad's version
of the story included a hand brake that failed to work. This was
regular practice at this terminal - letting the cars roll down hill to
be spotted for unloading - except that it was supposed to be done one
car at a time, not three at a time with only one person present.

Gene Green
Out in the west Texas town of El Paso

--- In, "boyds1949" <E27ca@...> wrote:

I was looking at a recent model railroad publication on building a
propane dealership and it said that the liquid propane was unloaded
pumping air in the tank car to force the liquid propane out. Is that
correct? I would think that forcing air in a propane tank car would
creating the perfect mix for a violent explosion. It would make
to pump propane gas into the tank. Does anyone know what they really

John King

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