Tank Car lettering conventions

Denny Anspach <danspach@...>

Friends, would you kindly refer me to a ready source for learning standard tank car lettering conventions? I have studied many tank photos, some of them very nice high resolution, and either my eyes or the pixelated nature of the photos have prevented me from actually reading much of the lettering, or enough to determine patterns.

From what I am able to determine, it seemed common- required?- that both reporting marks and car number be repeated on the sides of the center sill, presumably so that if tank and frame were separated, the source of each could still be identified. Capacity and weight the same? What about other data?

Sometimes the decals provide the clues, but in instances presently at hand, no such clues are available (in one instance, the fine white lettering cannot be read against the light blue background decal paper!) .

Any suggestions, help would be much appreciated.

(There is nothing so very relaxing on a Christmas Day afternoon as a little dose of Prototype Freight car modeling, made especially pleasant by the smells of a prime rib roast in the oven downstairs).


Denny S. Anspach MD

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