Date   

Re: GATX fleet breakdown?

Ian Cranstone
 

I had a few thoughts vis-a-vis tracking the GATX fleet based on my experiences in working through understanding the Imperial Oil/Transit Company Ltd. to Products Tank Line of Canada fleet, and the Canadian General Transit Company fleet

1) Those 1917 design GATC cars lasted a long time. CGTX had a number handed down from parent GATX in the 1930s and 1940s (and possibly as late as the 1950s). Based upon ORER and Tank Car Capacity tariffs, it would seem that a lot of them lasted into the 1960s. Similarly, the ones built new for Imperial Oil seem to have served subsequent owner Products Tank Line of Canada about as long.

2) Although it is difficult to understand tank car fleets based on ORER listings (and some are particularly difficult — not mentioning the Products Tank Line of Canada in particular), it is very possible to track cars through the various issues of the Tank Car Capacities tariff, and I was able to do a lot of this with the Imperial Oil Ltd./Transit Company Ltd. fleet to Products Tank Line of Canada. Many of their cars varied slightly in terms of both shell and dome capacity, and in many cases the combination of the two was unique to one or only a few cars. Fortunately for me, Products Tank Line of Canada made it easier by carefully placing them into UTLX series in their original numbering order, regardless of the predecessors random renumbering into new series. I don’t know that GATX did the same, but one can hope. If the ORER is helpful in terms of understanding which fleets were acquired by GATX, there is a good place to start, and with the 1919, 1936, 1955 and 1970 TCCs around to compare to each other, there might be a very real possibility of coming to a reasonable understanding of the fleet, and its origins.

Ian Cranstone

Osgoode, Ontario, Canada

lamontc@...

http://freightcars.nakina.net



Re: GATX fleet breakdown?

Ken Adams
 

A fantastic discussion. Loaded with information and I am looking forward to the Tangent GATC type 30 hopefully in both 8K and 10K versions with AB brakes.

Shifting my plain black tank fleet emphasis to GATX from UTLX.  Now I just have to complete the 3 SP O-50-13's that have been under construction for 5-6 months.
--
Ken Adams
Still in splendid Shelter In Place solitude, about half way up Walnut Creek


Photo: S.P. Gondola 53336 & U.P. Gondola (1921)

Bob Chaparro
 

Photo: S.P. Gondola 53336 & U.P. Gondola (1921)

A fair quality photo from the Vintage Portland Website:

https://vintageportland.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/a2009-009-1825-se-water-near-hawthorne-1921-24k.jpg

Third gondola also is S.P.

Click on the photo to enlarge it.

Location:

SW Water Street, Portland, OR.

The loads appear to be some kind of wood. Does anyone know for sure?

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


GATX fleet breakdown?

David
 

I think we have enough information now to make a rough approximation of the GATX fleet composition in the late 1940s.

Assuming that the GATX WW1 fleet buildup (1651 cars in 1914 to 10806 in 1920) was supplied by GATX itself, that would be around 2700 cars built 1915-17 to the pre-1917 GATX design and the transitional 1917-design cars, plus 6500 cars built 1918-20 to the 1917 design made by Tangent. These numbers might be somewhat higher if older tanks were being retired, but I expect that is unlikely. The fleet stayed essentially constant through the mid-1920s. There were likely some additions of the 1922 design to offset retirements, but probably not in large numbers.

1926-1932 saw the fleet grow to just under 25,000 cars: 9000 by acquisition, and 6000+ new construction (some of the 1926 design, but mostly Type 30s in 1929-30). The merged lines were generally a variety of builders, leaning toward AC&F cars. The big exception here is Standard Tank Line, whose 2827 cars would have been almost entirely STC radial and longitudinal tanks.

The next big leap to around 37,000 cars came in 1936-7 with more acquisitions: 4662 Texaco tanks from a variety of builders (but these were still lettered TCX); around 6000 PTX cars (some high-walkway, mostly radial, and some longitudinal); about 2000 Conley cars from a variety of builders; 1200 P&G cars from a variety of builders;  and 776 Canton cars that were mostly AC&F Type 27s.

After that, the fleet size stayed fairly constant, though there were likely some additions of specialized cars and retirements of older and smaller cars built before 1915 or so.

So, very roughly:
2700 pre-1917 and transition
6500 Type 1917 design
a few hundred to maybe 1000, 1922 design
6200 or so: many ACF, some GAT, STC, PTC
2800 STC design
2000 1926 design
4000 Type 30 design
6000 PTC designs
3200 or so: many ACF, some GAT, STC, PTC
4662 TCX cars: many ACF, some GAT, STC, PTC
600+ ACF Type 27
maybe 1-2000 later Type 30s, mostly specialized cars?

This is close to 40,000 cars; there would have been some retirements of older equipment along the way.

David Thompson


Re: GATX fleet breakdown?

Dave Parker
 

Garth:

I visited that same collection about 15 years after you did (more because of a box-car there), and have a couple of pix of this BMX car.  I will add yours to my album.  At the time, I did not appreciate the significance that BMX (and GATX cars under lease) would take on for me, nor that Tangent would provide matching models for some.  This particular car is significant because it is the first Barret 1917 design GA car that I have found in the 8000-gal configuration.  In general, 10,000-gal cars were quite a bit more common in the Barrett fleet, at least in 1936.  So, thanks for the memory jog!

BTW, Barrett is not the easiest fleet to sort out because of leases under GATX reporting marks, and because of some uncertainty about what was purchased new versus second-hand.  But it's a fun company to think about modeling, with widespread geographic utility.

Thanks again.
--
Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA


Re: GATX fleet breakdown?

Garth Groff and Sally Sanford
 

Dave,

Barrett Tarvia? Would these two photos be of help? This car is part of a private collection in East Barnet, Vermont. I photographed it (with permission) about 2000.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff  🦆

On Sat, Oct 3, 2020 at 3:13 PM Dave Parker via groups.io <spottab=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
All:

Many thanks to both Steve and David for jogging my feeble memory about the 1922-47 data in the Epstein book.  I knew they were there, but had never gotten around to studying them.  I want to make a few follow-up observations and comments.

1.  First, just to reiterate my point that the Railway Age data reflect orders placed, not cars built, where as the Epstein tabulation reflects the latter.   Also, as I understand the accompanying narratives in RA, orders from private lines were self-reported by the buyer, not the builder.  The editors seem to have felt that most companies were quite assiduous about accurate reporting, but these data should probably be taken with a couple of grains of salt.  The Epstein data are likely quite a bit "firmer".

2.  I misspoke in an earlier post.  While the October, 1919, ORER gives the GATX fleet as 4540 cars, the August tariff book shows something like 6500+ cars.  I cannot account for this discrepancy, except to speculate that GA was "lazy" about sending current car-counts to the register.

3.  David, your first table shows "Body Design", but a little further down the page your refer to them as "frame designs".  I can easily spot the difference between the 1917 frame and the 1928, but I am somewhat fuzzy on what changes occurred in 1922 and 1926.  I have heretofore thought of the transition from the 1917 to 1922 designs as being a tank change, i.e., the switch from radial to longitudinal courses.  My sense from Ted's SEFCRM book is that a lot of this had to do with center tank anchors and bolster supports, but I have never seen the transitions enumerated in any detail. Can you help?

4.  Also, I am naturally skeptical of the sharp cutoffs implied by the construction of your first table.  Much of this is based on experience with the ACF tank cars of the 1920s.  "Type 21" cars first appeared in 1920, and were built until 1929 at least (I recently finished a Shell car that was built 4/29).  There are scattered occurrences of intermediate types (25, 26 IIRC) before the advent of the Type 27, very few of which where actually built in the 1920s.  So, my guess would be that the GATC cars evolved in a similarly erratic manner.  If the 1917 design involved a distinct frame design, do we know that the switch from radial to longitudinal courses matched up exactly with a change in the frame?  Was there a length difference anywhere as was the case with the ACF 21 to 27 transition?

5.  I did spend a bit more time poring over the 1919 tariff.  In the latter half of the tabulation there are large blocks of 8000-gal cars with 198-gal domes, and these match up with the Tangent model..  These are almost certainly MCB Class III cars (IMO), and thus 1917 design cars.  My best guess is that there were somewhere between 2000 and 2400 of these cars on the GATX roster in the summer of 1919, so that's a starting point as to abundance.  There were also some 10,000-gal cars with 270-gal domes that seem likely to have been 1917 cars, but not nearly as many as the 8000-gal version (I have not tried to count these yet).

6.  One exercise that I have enjoyed with these 1917 GA cars is to see where they could fit into fleets of interest to me.  The various (and very cool) schemes issued by Tangent thus far seldom line up with the combination of geography, industry, and era (1934) that I model, so I have dug around looking for better "fits" that can be created using undecs or kits.   So, in addition to GATX cars themselves, I have focused on:

Sinclair cars (1000 8000-gal and 300 10,000-gal cars purchased new; more were added later with second-hand purchases)
UTLX (1000 cars initially.  The Tangent model of this was a must-have, but only one.  There were so many more UTLX V, X, and X-3 cars out there!).
Gulf (350 cars new but, disappointingly, they dropped out of the ORERs between 1926 and 1930)
Barrett Tarvia (very cool asphalt cars mostly built by GA, but a bit tricky to sort out.  Correct dome size is a significant issue here, but I will likely end up with one car).

So far, that's about it for me.  As I mentioned earlier, the Railway Age tabulations show a great many purchases of 1, 10, 25, or 50 cars by obscure (and a few not-so-obscure) petroleum companies, so many of these would only show up in specialized, local/regional circumstances.  And to reiterate David's point, many of these wound up back at GTAX (or UTLX, or Sinclair) after ~1930, so confirmation from photos, ORERs, and tariff books is really needed for accurate placement on 1940s and 1950s layouts.

Again, I hope this is helpful and germane to the original post.
--
Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA


Re: Photo: GATX 15039/Mid-Co Tank Car (1919)

Tangent Scale Models
 

Thank you for pointing this out Bob!

David Lehlbach


Re: GATX fleet breakdown?

Dave Parker
 

All:

Many thanks to both Steve and David for jogging my feeble memory about the 1922-47 data in the Epstein book.  I knew they were there, but had never gotten around to studying them.  I want to make a few follow-up observations and comments.

1.  First, just to reiterate my point that the Railway Age data reflect orders placed, not cars built, where as the Epstein tabulation reflects the latter.   Also, as I understand the accompanying narratives in RA, orders from private lines were self-reported by the buyer, not the builder.  The editors seem to have felt that most companies were quite assiduous about accurate reporting, but these data should probably be taken with a couple of grains of salt.  The Epstein data are likely quite a bit "firmer".

2.  I misspoke in an earlier post.  While the October, 1919, ORER gives the GATX fleet as 4540 cars, the August tariff book shows something like 6500+ cars.  I cannot account for this discrepancy, except to speculate that GA was "lazy" about sending current car-counts to the register.

3.  David, your first table shows "Body Design", but a little further down the page your refer to them as "frame designs".  I can easily spot the difference between the 1917 frame and the 1928, but I am somewhat fuzzy on what changes occurred in 1922 and 1926.  I have heretofore thought of the transition from the 1917 to 1922 designs as being a tank change, i.e., the switch from radial to longitudinal courses.  My sense from Ted's SEFCRM book is that a lot of this had to do with center tank anchors and bolster supports, but I have never seen the transitions enumerated in any detail. Can you help?

4.  Also, I am naturally skeptical of the sharp cutoffs implied by the construction of your first table.  Much of this is based on experience with the ACF tank cars of the 1920s.  "Type 21" cars first appeared in 1920, and were built until 1929 at least (I recently finished a Shell car that was built 4/29).  There are scattered occurrences of intermediate types (25, 26 IIRC) before the advent of the Type 27, very few of which where actually built in the 1920s.  So, my guess would be that the GATC cars evolved in a similarly erratic manner.  If the 1917 design involved a distinct frame design, do we know that the switch from radial to longitudinal courses matched up exactly with a change in the frame?  Was there a length difference anywhere as was the case with the ACF 21 to 27 transition?

5.  I did spend a bit more time poring over the 1919 tariff.  In the latter half of the tabulation there are large blocks of 8000-gal cars with 198-gal domes, and these match up with the Tangent model..  These are almost certainly MCB Class III cars (IMO), and thus 1917 design cars.  My best guess is that there were somewhere between 2000 and 2400 of these cars on the GATX roster in the summer of 1919, so that's a starting point as to abundance.  There were also some 10,000-gal cars with 270-gal domes that seem likely to have been 1917 cars, but not nearly as many as the 8000-gal version (I have not tried to count these yet).

6.  One exercise that I have enjoyed with these 1917 GA cars is to see where they could fit into fleets of interest to me.  The various (and very cool) schemes issued by Tangent thus far seldom line up with the combination of geography, industry, and era (1934) that I model, so I have dug around looking for better "fits" that can be created using undecs or kits.   So, in addition to GATX cars themselves, I have focused on:

Sinclair cars (1000 8000-gal and 300 10,000-gal cars purchased new; more were added later with second-hand purchases)
UTLX (1000 cars initially.  The Tangent model of this was a must-have, but only one.  There were so many more UTLX V, X, and X-3 cars out there!).
Gulf (350 cars new but, disappointingly, they dropped out of the ORERs between 1926 and 1930)
Barrett Tarvia (very cool asphalt cars mostly built by GA, but a bit tricky to sort out.  Correct dome size is a significant issue here, but I will likely end up with one car).

So far, that's about it for me.  As I mentioned earlier, the Railway Age tabulations show a great many purchases of 1, 10, 25, or 50 cars by obscure (and a few not-so-obscure) petroleum companies, so many of these would only show up in specialized, local/regional circumstances.  And to reiterate David's point, many of these wound up back at GTAX (or UTLX, or Sinclair) after ~1930, so confirmation from photos, ORERs, and tariff books is really needed for accurate placement on 1940s and 1950s layouts.

Again, I hope this is helpful and germane to the original post.
--
Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA


Re: GATX fleet breakdown?

Bruce Smith
 

David,

In real life, I am a scientist. I form hypotheses based on the available evidence, and when that evidence changes, I am happy to adjust my hypothesis. The data you have provided is really interesting! Thank you. And I never ever considered you a "dumb manufacturer"!  

Regards,
Bruce
PS. I am lookiong forward to that "type 30"! 


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Tangent Scale Models via groups.io <tangentscalemodels@...>
Sent: Saturday, October 3, 2020 12:00 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] GATX fleet breakdown?
 

Guys,

 

Thanks to Dave Parker for sharing his research from Railway Age tabulations and subsequent analysis on the likely GATC production numbers for the first years of General American production, including the subject cars here, the 1917-Design tanks.  (Bruce, the German American name was dropped in 1916).

 

I too have done my own research on this, and built my own business case for spending lots of money tooling the 1917-tanks.  Spoiler alert for Bruce Smith (and Tony Thompson who seemed to resoundingly agree):  they are not “minority cars.”  If you will indulge a “dumb manufacturer” (but one who does his homework) to weigh in, please read on. 

 

First let’s look at the numbers.  Here is the raw data of GATC tank car builds, by production year, compiled from Dave Parker’s 1917-1921 data and the stated production numbers in Epstein’s “A History of General American Transportation Corporation.”  Also included is a key element, which is the body type.

 

Now when those numbers are aggregated, you can see the breakdowns by body type:

 

So you might say, you see!  The 1917-design is only 25% - there are more numerous GATC builds!  Yes, that is true from a raw numbers standpoint, but let’s peel that onion a bit more, and look at how many carbodies were built by GATC for each frame design:

 

So is the 1917-Design a “minority car?”  A few comments:

  1. GATC produced 9,079 1917-design cars.  That is a huge number of tank cars in the context of cars produced at that time. 
  2. No other tank car touched those total production numbers at that time.
  3. Most of those are 8,000 and 10,000 non-insulated cars.

But what about the “Type 30s!”  Conversely, the 1928-Design cars (dubbed “Type 30”) were produced in larger numbers at 43%, or 15,570 cars at least, possibly a few more in 1945 and 1928.  But consider this.  By 1928, based on market demand for specialized service tank cars, GATC had introduced many tank car size and type options.  As the table above states, I count at least 30 different body types sitting on 1928-design underframes (of varying lengths just to add to the complexity).  Yes, the 8,000 and 10,000 non-insulated cars were significant cars, but there were many other significant cars as well, and in multiple body configurations:

  1. Non insulated tanks: at least 6 different single compartment sizes ranging from 4000 to 16000 gallons, and like X-3 tanks, there were multiple designs for the same gallonages
  2. Non insulated tanks: at least 7 multiple compartment designs
  3. Insulated, non-pressurized tanks: at least 7 insulated designs, including the beloved “wine” tank cars in at least 4 different sizes
  4. Insulated pressurized tanks: at least 3 designs
  5. Many miscellaneous designs (acid, etc.)

This is the closest analysis we will get to figuring out whether the 1917-design tank is a minority car.  I think it is very clear it is not, since 2 car types dominated the total production of 9,079 cars. The “Type 30” 1928-design is spread out amongst many different designs, not just the 8,000 and 10,000 gallon non-insulated, non-pressurized car types.  So 15,570 total production is heavily diluted by car type.

 

And speaking of diluted, how many were built per year?  This table will assess that:

 

The 1917-design had ~DOUBLE the production pace of the “Type 30” 1928-design.  Yes, the 1928-design had to contend with the depression, as well as the corresponding turmoil of demand for oil and similar products, but they also had to contend with “tooling” changes for the different tank car types they were constructing.

 

Is the 1917-design a minority car?  I think the GATC 1917-design is probably a DRAW with the 1928-design “Type 30” - at best.

 

Bruce, next time just say you wished Tangent would have done the "Type 30."  Don't despair though, both will be in the Tangent product line. 

 

David Lehlbach

Tangent Scale Models

 


Re: RP Cyc #35

Ted Schnepf
 

Hello Jim,

RP Cyc #35 lists for $75 and my price is $65.00 plus $7.00 for shipping.

I take checks or for credit cards my processor adds 6%

Rails Unlimited
Ted Schnepf
126 Will Scarlet,
Elgin, Ill. 60120

847=697-5353

On Friday, October 2, 2020, 11:51:22 PM CDT, np328 <jcdworkingonthenp@...> wrote:


Reserve one copy for me. 
James Dick 
1974 Hamline Ave No
Roseville, MN 55113-5808     

 I might stop by and pick it up if I and the wife head down your way.   
Meanwhile, a check for......?        Jim  


Re: RP Cyc #35

np328
 

   Sorry, I know how to post off list 
I honestly thought I hit the private button   Jim 


Re: GATX fleet breakdown?

Tony Thompson
 

David Lehlbach wrote:

I too have done my own research on this, and built my own business case for spending lots of money tooling the 1917-tanks.  Spoiler alert for Bruce Smith (and Tony Thompson who seemed to resoundingly agree):  they are not “minority cars.”  If you will indulge a “dumb manufacturer” (but one who does his homework) to weigh in, please read on. 

       Actually, David, I was agreeing with Bruce's opinion that the Type 17 doesn't allow one to, as it were, "create a complete GATC fleet." As a 1953 modeler, I have four of your Type 17s myself and am happy to have them. If someone called you a "dumb manufacturer," I didn't notice it, and would have vigorously disputed it.
       Bruce seems to think that the Type 17's obsolete design by WW II (which it was) would have led to them disappearing, but tank cars typically had very long lives. There is ample photo documentation in the 1950s of lots of radial-course tank cars still in service -- which is why I have yours, along with some SP ones that I made with Archer rivets.
        And if a Type 30 is in our future, I am as ecstatic as anyone!

Tony Thompson




Re: GATX fleet breakdown?

Tangent Scale Models
 

Guys,

 

Thanks to Dave Parker for sharing his research from Railway Age tabulations and subsequent analysis on the likely GATC production numbers for the first years of General American production, including the subject cars here, the 1917-Design tanks.  (Bruce, the German American name was dropped in 1916).

 

I too have done my own research on this, and built my own business case for spending lots of money tooling the 1917-tanks.  Spoiler alert for Bruce Smith (and Tony Thompson who seemed to resoundingly agree):  they are not “minority cars.”  If you will indulge a “dumb manufacturer” (but one who does his homework) to weigh in, please read on. 

 

First let’s look at the numbers.  Here is the raw data of GATC tank car builds, by production year, compiled from Dave Parker’s 1917-1921 data and the stated production numbers in Epstein’s “A History of General American Transportation Corporation.”  Also included is a key element, which is the body type.

 

Now when those numbers are aggregated, you can see the breakdowns by body type:

 

So you might say, you see!  The 1917-design is only 25% - there are more numerous GATC builds!  Yes, that is true from a raw numbers standpoint, but let’s peel that onion a bit more, and look at how many carbodies were built by GATC for each frame design:

 

So is the 1917-Design a “minority car?”  A few comments:

  1. GATC produced 9,079 1917-design cars.  That is a huge number of tank cars in the context of cars produced at that time. 
  2. No other tank car touched those total production numbers at that time.
  3. Most of those are 8,000 and 10,000 non-insulated cars.

But what about the “Type 30s!”  Conversely, the 1928-Design cars (dubbed “Type 30”) were produced in larger numbers at 43%, or 15,570 cars at least, possibly a few more in 1945 and 1928.  But consider this.  By 1928, based on market demand for specialized service tank cars, GATC had introduced many tank car size and type options.  As the table above states, I count at least 30 different body types sitting on 1928-design underframes (of varying lengths just to add to the complexity).  Yes, the 8,000 and 10,000 non-insulated cars were significant cars, but there were many other significant cars as well, and in multiple body configurations:

  1. Non insulated tanks: at least 6 different single compartment sizes ranging from 4000 to 16000 gallons, and like X-3 tanks, there were multiple designs for the same gallonages
  2. Non insulated tanks: at least 7 multiple compartment designs
  3. Insulated, non-pressurized tanks: at least 7 insulated designs, including the beloved “wine” tank cars in at least 4 different sizes
  4. Insulated pressurized tanks: at least 3 designs
  5. Many miscellaneous designs (acid, etc.)

This is the closest analysis we will get to figuring out whether the 1917-design tank is a minority car.  I think it is very clear it is not, since 2 car types dominated the total production of 9,079 cars. The “Type 30” 1928-design is spread out amongst many different designs, not just the 8,000 and 10,000 gallon non-insulated, non-pressurized car types.  So 15,570 total production is heavily diluted by car type.

 

And speaking of diluted, how many were built per year?  This table will assess that:

 

The 1917-design had ~DOUBLE the production pace of the “Type 30” 1928-design.  Yes, the 1928-design had to contend with the depression, as well as the corresponding turmoil of demand for oil and similar products, but they also had to contend with “tooling” changes for the different tank car types they were constructing.

 

Is the 1917-design a minority car?  I think the GATC 1917-design is probably a DRAW with the 1928-design “Type 30” - at best.

 

Bruce, next time just say you wished Tangent would have done the "Type 30."  Don't despair though, both will be in the Tangent product line. 

 

David Lehlbach

Tangent Scale Models

 


Re: RP Cyc #35

np328
 

Reserve one copy for me. 
James Dick 
1974 Hamline Ave No
Roseville, MN 55113-5808     

 I might stop by and pick it up if I and the wife head down your way.   
Meanwhile, a check for......?        Jim  


Re: RP Cyc #35

Armand Premo
 

Please reserve one for me.Armand Premo

On Fri, Oct 2, 2020 at 9:35 PM Ted Schnepf <railsunl@...> wrote:
Hello Everyone,

The RP Cyc #35 has arrived and is ready to ship at a discount.

Contact me off list if interested.  The book is expected to be out of print in a few weeks.

Rails Unlimited
Ted Schnepf
126 Will Scarlet,
Elgin, Ill. 60120

847=697-5353






RP Cyc #35

Ted Schnepf
 

Hello Everyone,

The RP Cyc #35 has arrived and is ready to ship at a discount.

Contact me off list if interested. The book is expected to be out of print in a few weeks.

Rails Unlimited
Ted Schnepf
126 Will Scarlet,
Elgin, Ill. 60120

847=697-5353


Re: GATX fleet breakdown?

Steve and Barb Hile
 

Let me add a bit more to what Dave is saying.  Attached is an Excel file of data gleaned from GATX 1898-1948 A History of the General American Transportation Corporation by Ralph C. Epstein.  There is data buried in the text and summarized in Appendix tables.  Hopefully this will make some sense.

 

Some things to note include that GAT built lots of cars for other lines, besides their own fleet.  The owned fleet expands rapidly in the period between 1925-1935 with the acquisition and management of other lines.  Very few new cars are built in the early 1930’s, but cars were being repaired and refurbished.

 

Steve Hile

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Dave Parker via groups.io
Sent: Friday, October 2, 2020 1:58 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] GATX fleet breakdown?

 

Well, I do have some numbers that may or may not shed any light on the question of the abundance of GA 1917 design cars.

First, a reminder that the 1917 design represented the advent of MCB/ARA Class III cars  built by GA.  The "double rivet" Class III cars became the required standard on May 1, 1917.

Second, a distinction needs to be made between cars built by GATC, and the subset built for use by the GATX leasing arm (at least initially). 

Railway Age published annual tabulations of car orders (not deliveries) at this time, and I have teased out the numbers for GATC-built tank cars as follows:

1917  284
1918  2499   (555 went to GATC)
1919  869
1920  5386  2104 of these "not reported in detail" i.e, buyer not identified
1921  41

Total  9079   (for comparison, there were ca. 7000 and 19,000 UTLX Class X and X-3 cars built, respectively)

Exactly how many of these conformed to the 1917 design is a matter of speculation (I have already excluded some cars built for UTLX to their X-3 design).  I am tempted to say "all" of the 1918-1919 orders, and some subset of the 1920 orders.  My only clue for 1920 is a lot of 240 8000-gal cars ordered by Sinclair, but never delivered.  I have long assumed this order somehow got canceled due to the changeover to longitudinal courses.  It will prove very difficult to ever pin this down, as these orders are peppered with small lots of 100 cars or less across a great many private companies.

It's also hard to know how many of these cars actually went into the GATX fleet initially.  The 555 cars from 1918 are suggestive, but could also represent a "speculative" build for later sale.  That chunk of 2104 cars without a named buyer in 1920 is also curious/intriguing.

The ORERs and tariffs may shed a little light.  The October, 1919, ORER lists 4540 cars under various GATC reporting marks, all but ~350 as GATX.  The 1919 (August) tariff seems to agree.  My next ORER is from May, 1925, and shows 11,000 cars, suggesting the addition of ~6500 cars.  I would guess most of these were new cars when added to the GATX roster, as the gobbling up of failing leasing companies seems to date to the 1930s. The December, 1930, register gives 12,123 GATX cars.  I am inclined to believe that much of the ~7600-car increase from 1919 to 1930 reflects the longitudinal-course GA cars from the 1920s, but that's just a guess. A 1921 count for GATX could be helpful.

I have absolutely no handle on how many GA 1930 design cars were built, or who bought them.  The GATX fleet did double from 1930 to 1935, but this was a time when lots of used tank cars could be had on the cheap.

I also want to mention  a couple of things about the 1919 Railway Age data.  This was strange year (perhaps due to the war and USRA control) in that about 2/3 of the 29,893 cars ordered for US companies were tanks cars (as per Railway Age; I have not counted them all).  In that particular year, GA got a very small slice of the pie; AC&F and Penn Tank Car received orders for 3686 and 2418 cars, respectively.  This reminds me of two other gaps in our modeling options for "classic" tank cars:  nothing for Penn Tank, and nothing easy for a transitional design of the ACF -- Type 11 frames, but fitted with Class III tanks. 

Last, I'm not sure I agree with Bruce about these 1917 design cars disappearing in large numbers by the war.  These were Class III cars, no different from the UTLX X-3 cars except for the use of radial courses.  They were fully compliant with all needed safety standards (as were a great many Class II cars).   It's hard to quantify, but a significant number of X-3s survived into the 1950s (as per the Hile book), and I'm not sure there is any a priori reason to think the GA cars were different.  From 1935 to 1945, the GATC fleet seems to have grown by about 14,000 cars.  Maybe they were concurrently scrapping cars, but my (very) limited understanding of the war years is that tank cars were in high demand.  It seems likely that a lot of the retirements of these cars occurred post-1950, but I am not sure how one would get a numerical handle on that given available resources.

Hope this helps.
--
Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA


Re: GATX fleet breakdown?

Dave Parker
 

Tony:

I don't have all of the 1930s ORERs, but I have enough to be able to sketch out the basics of the GATC fleet growth via acquisition.  Note that many of the mid-1930s ORERs did not have car counts from GATC (and other lines) anyway; this is another instance of when Ian's reprint of the 1936 tariff can really help. So, briefly:

1.  As far back as 1919, you can see GATC scooping up mom-and-pop leasing companies (Adler Tank Line, 6 cars) and refinery fleets (Kanoky Oil, 1 car).  In my 1919 edition, there 11 reporting marks other than GATX listed.  These tended to come and go over time, but I don't think in the aggregate we are looking at more than a few hundred cars in the 1920s.

2.  Things get more interesting between 12/30 and 7/35 with acquisition of the Standard Transit (STCX) and Quaker Tank Line (QTX) fleets, about 3000 cars each.  (Also Swift Tank Lines, but only ~400 cars).  These reporting marks are gone sometime after 1940, but before 1945.

3.  Probably early in 1936, Proctor and Gamble (PGX) was also added -- ~1200 cars.  This reporting mark has disappeared by January, 1940.  About the same time, the Canton Tank Car Co. (CTTX) was also added -- about 780 cars.

4.  Also by early 1936, the merged Pennsylvania-Conley Tank Lines (PTX, CYCX) had purchased the Texaco (TCX) fleet for lease-back, and their total holdings reached ~14,300 cars.  GATC had at least some control of this enterprise dating back to maybe 1928 (?; it's murky), but the separate P-C listing in the 1936 tariff doesn't mention the GATC "parentage".  This becomes explicit by the time of my 1/38 ORER.

5.  Some time between 1940 and 1945, the separate Penn-Conley listing disappears, and all three reporting marks appear under GATC's banner in the ORERs.  [I did not look past 1945].

I think those major acquisitions explain quite a bit (but certainly not all) of the growth of the GATC fleet totals from (very round numbers) 12,000 in 1930, to 25,000 in 1936, to 38,000 in 1945.  Of course there may have been (and probably was) concurrent scrapping of old, and building of new, cars but that will prove difficult to tease out with what we have to work with.

With best regards.
--
Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA


Re: GATX fleet breakdown?

Tony Thompson
 

Dave Parker (in an informative post) wrote:

I have absolutely no handle on how many GA 1930 design cars were built, or who bought them.  The GATX fleet did double from 1930 to 1935, but this was a time when lots of used tank cars could be had on the cheap.

     And when quite a few smaller leasing companies went under, or changed business model, and sold their entire fleets to GATC. Richard Hendrickson tracked a lot of this in the early 1930s ORER issues (unfortunately less frequent because of the Depression), as the old reporting marks showed up there for awhile. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find any record of his findings among his papers and computer files. One of his great talents was a phenomenal memory, but we now pay the price because he didn't need to write a lot of stuff down.

Tony Thompson




Re: GATX fleet breakdown?

Dave Parker
 

Well, I do have some numbers that may or may not shed any light on the question of the abundance of GA 1917 design cars.

First, a reminder that the 1917 design represented the advent of MCB/ARA Class III cars  built by GA.  The "double rivet" Class III cars became the required standard on May 1, 1917.

Second, a distinction needs to be made between cars built by GATC, and the subset built for use by the GATX leasing arm (at least initially). 

Railway Age published annual tabulations of car orders (not deliveries) at this time, and I have teased out the numbers for GATC-built tank cars as follows:

1917  284
1918  2499   (555 went to GATC)
1919  869
1920  5386  2104 of these "not reported in detail" i.e, buyer not identified
1921  41

Total  9079   (for comparison, there were ca. 7000 and 19,000 UTLX Class X and X-3 cars built, respectively)

Exactly how many of these conformed to the 1917 design is a matter of speculation (I have already excluded some cars built for UTLX to their X-3 design).  I am tempted to say "all" of the 1918-1919 orders, and some subset of the 1920 orders.  My only clue for 1920 is a lot of 240 8000-gal cars ordered by Sinclair, but never delivered.  I have long assumed this order somehow got canceled due to the changeover to longitudinal courses.  It will prove very difficult to ever pin this down, as these orders are peppered with small lots of 100 cars or less across a great many private companies.

It's also hard to know how many of these cars actually went into the GATX fleet initially.  The 555 cars from 1918 are suggestive, but could also represent a "speculative" build for later sale.  That chunk of 2104 cars without a named buyer in 1920 is also curious/intriguing.

The ORERs and tariffs may shed a little light.  The October, 1919, ORER lists 4540 cars under various GATC reporting marks, all but ~350 as GATX.  The 1919 (August) tariff seems to agree.  My next ORER is from May, 1925, and shows 11,000 cars, suggesting the addition of ~6500 cars.  I would guess most of these were new cars when added to the GATX roster, as the gobbling up of failing leasing companies seems to date to the 1930s. The December, 1930, register gives 12,123 GATX cars.  I am inclined to believe that much of the ~7600-car increase from 1919 to 1930 reflects the longitudinal-course GA cars from the 1920s, but that's just a guess. A 1921 count for GATX could be helpful.

I have absolutely no handle on how many GA 1930 design cars were built, or who bought them.  The GATX fleet did double from 1930 to 1935, but this was a time when lots of used tank cars could be had on the cheap.

I also want to mention  a couple of things about the 1919 Railway Age data.  This was strange year (perhaps due to the war and USRA control) in that about 2/3 of the 29,893 cars ordered for US companies were tanks cars (as per Railway Age; I have not counted them all).  In that particular year, GA got a very small slice of the pie; AC&F and Penn Tank Car received orders for 3686 and 2418 cars, respectively.  This reminds me of two other gaps in our modeling options for "classic" tank cars:  nothing for Penn Tank, and nothing easy for a transitional design of the ACF -- Type 11 frames, but fitted with Class III tanks. 

Last, I'm not sure I agree with Bruce about these 1917 design cars disappearing in large numbers by the war.  These were Class III cars, no different from the UTLX X-3 cars except for the use of radial courses.  They were fully compliant with all needed safety standards (as were a great many Class II cars).   It's hard to quantify, but a significant number of X-3s survived into the 1950s (as per the Hile book), and I'm not sure there is any a priori reason to think the GA cars were different.  From 1935 to 1945, the GATC fleet seems to have grown by about 14,000 cars.  Maybe they were concurrently scrapping cars, but my (very) limited understanding of the war years is that tank cars were in high demand.  It seems likely that a lot of the retirements of these cars occurred post-1950, but I am not sure how one would get a numerical handle on that given available resources.

Hope this helps.
--
Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA

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