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I think Tom Madden's family was in the bulk oil biz too. But perhaps
they got the stuff via pipeline. :-)
I think you're right, Tony, I can't seem to find any evidence of top unloading standpipes
west of Albuquerque... Maybe California outlawed ladders over three steps high or sumtin'
I did find a nice multi-part article on bulk oil distributors in the March and May issues of Rail Model Journal, available for viewing at:
In the articles the author describes the use of stand pipes for unloading cars through the dome, and presents drawings and photos of four different installations in Greely, CO. A companion article describes modeling the standpipes.
I will note that most these installations also have plugged elbows on the ground, so apparently bottom unloading could also be done, and the article really doesn't give any rational for one over the other, but the presence of unloading standpipes at these facilities was widespread, at least as far east as Chicago. It's too bad Ken Corry isn't a member of this list; I believe his family has been in the bulk oil business for fifty or sixty years, and perhaps he could shed some light on the reason for choice of unloading method.