Re: tank car question

Dennis Storzek <destorzek@...>

--- In STMFC@..., Richard Hendrickson <rhendrickson@...>

On Feb 26, 2009, at 4:26 AM, Ned Carey wrote:
what is the odd device on the end of this tank car?

Tim O'Connor
As Frank Fertitta observed, it's some sort of unusually large
cleanout cover with some sort of small crane arrangement to support
it when unbolted from the tank end. What Carnegie-Illinois Steel
might have been carrying in the cars that required a cleanout hole
that large I can't imagine, but it's big enough to admit a workman.
Everyone seems to be of the opinion that this plate is a cleanout; I
have a different take on the situation. I may be the only person on
this list who has ever had to enter a tankcar to clean it out; luckily
it had been steamed out years before, but left wet, I I was chipping
rust and washing it out before we put the car in service storing waste
oil fuel for the museum's oil burning steamer. The car was an 8,000
gal. UTLX car from the thirties.

I can see no reason to have a cleanout at the bottom of the tank head;
no workman is going to crawl in through the oil residue to enter the
car. The manway on the dome is much cleaner, and the cars have a
ladder leading down from the manway to the bottom. Yes, the manway was
small, but I was a lot skinnier then :-) Typical cleaning procedure,
from what I've been told, was to lower a rotating high pressure steam
/ water nozzle through the manway, and let the residue drain out the
bottom outlet. A man only entered for the final inspection, and to
buck rivets or caulk seams during tank repairs.

I have, however, seen tankcars with the steam connections for the
heater coils led out through the head rather than through the bottom
of the tank. What this looks like to me is that the heater was a
bundle of tubes with return bends, something like a locomotive
superheater, arranged so the whole unit could be extracted through
that hatch in the head and repaired outside the tank, rather than
having to do all the work in place. It's just a guess on my part, but
the other end may well have a similar hatch with the steam connections.


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