On Apr 13, 2009, at 10:13 AM, Doug Rhodes wrote:
The presence of heater coils is a strong hint that these cars were
used for heavy fuel oil, also known as bunker C.
In the steam era, Vancouver refineries were operated to produce an
unusually large proportion of heavy fuel oil compared to other
petroleum products, to supply railway locomotives, the CPR boats
and other shipping at a very favourable price. At least some older
tugboats also used bunker C as a fuel.
So it seems possible that it was not diesel fuel but heavy fuel oil
in at least the two cars with heater coils.
Doug is quite right about this, and I should have thought of it when
I posted my own suggestion. Keep in mind, of course, that so far no
one has come up with anything resembling documentation, so we're all
engaging in sheer speculation.