Re: Need Help with GATX Tank Cars from the 1950s

Bruce Smith


You would pick the hardest first <VBG>. Based on the 80,000 lbs, these all appear to be 8,000 gallon tanks. Unless someone has a GATC roster listing tanks by number and builder, you're stuck with making some assumptions. While GATC did buy some cars from other builders, the majority of their cars were built to their own designs. It is my understanding that number series did not necessarily reflect purity of design or builder, but just capacity. Richard Hendrickson has given clinics on GATC cars, and among the issues would be the use of welded frames and tanks on cars build during and post WWII respectively. Additionally, he stated that many GATC cars were not used for petroleum, and were ICC 203 designs, with frangible disks rather than safety valves. If cars were pre-WWII designs, it is likely that they were the GATC type 30. GATX 64899 is unique amongst the group in that it is most likely either an ICC 105 insulated car.

Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL

On May 13, 2010, at 11:30 PM, ow802 wrote:

Folks -

I'm doing research on cars that are listed in various train consists on the PRR's Delmarva Division between 1955-1956. After looking at the 1953 ORER, I was able to narrow down what number series these tanks below to, but I don't have too much information on them other than the series and their pounds capacity.

What I need to know is:

(1) Prototype info on these cars; and

(2) Good HO Scale models to represent these cars.

Here are the cars and when they were listed:

GATX 2369; AAR Class TM; 80,000 lbs.; 1800-2899 series; empty on 8/27/56; no consignee, headed to Lewes, DE.

GATX 7156; AAR Class TM; 80,000 lbs.; 7000-7999 series; empty on 8/27/56; no consignee, headed to Lewes, DE.

GATX 25319; AAR Class TM; 80,000 lbs.; 25276-25411 series; empty on 8/27/56; going to Seacoast Products in Lewes, DE.

GATX 64899; AAR Class TPI; 80,000 lbs.; 7000-7999 series; loaded with petroleum gas on 3/8/56; going to S.P. Gas Co. in Rehoboth, DE.

Regarding Lewes, DE: there was a large fish factory that probably had fish oil/meal as a by-product (Lewes - pronounced "Lewis" is located where the Delaware Bay begins and the Atlantic Ocean ends). I am guessing that's where the cars were headed. The only other place that could use tank cars was the U.S. Army base in Lewes - I doubt they would be receiving empty tanks (but I've been known to be wrong in the past).

Any and all help would be appreciated. This is just the tip of the iceberg - in the future I've got questions on ISX, SHPX, and UTLX tank cars, but I'll leave this conversation just to these four GATX cars.

Thanks in advance,

Joe Walder


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