Date   

Re: Photo: Steel Beams On PRR Flatcars (Circa 1927-1936)

Eric Hansmann
 

The far right flat car in this image bears a 7-27 weigh stencil.

 

 

Eric Hansmann

Murfreesboro, TN

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bob Chaparro via groups.io
Sent: Monday, October 5, 2020 10:23 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Photo: Steel Beams On PRR Flatcars (Circa 1927-1936)

 

Photo: Steel Beams On PRR Flatcars (Circa 1927-1936)

A photo from the Historic Pittsburgh website:

https://historicpittsburgh.org/islandora/object/pitt%3A943.000016.GN/viewer

Scroll on the photo to enlarge it.

The beams straddle two flatcars apiece.

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


Re: Storzek & Des Plaines 1916 NYC Auto Box Cars

Benjamin Hom
 

Don Valentine asked:
"Being a Rutland modeler I have a number of these box car and auto car kits and have some questions about two that turn out to be NYC cars, NOT Rutland versions. For those who do not know the difference it is clear to me that when designing these kits Dennis was aware of the fact that the 1916 NYC ordered cars had 6 over 6 rib ends but that the 1924 Rutland ordered cars used a 5 over 7 rib end while being alike in  all other respects. Two auto boxes purchased in the after market as Rutland cars have proven to be NYC cars, which it the reason for the following questions:
 
1. The instructions Dennis prepared for these car kits state the NYC began to rebuild the auto cars with only 6 ft. doors beginning in 1931. Does this mean the NYC only had auto box cars originally?"

Correct.  Cars were originally in Lots 327-B, 328-B, 329-B, 352-B, 353-B, 357-B, 358-B, 361-B, 363-B, 364-B, 365-B, and 366-B.  See Terry Link's website for more details on individual lots.

"2. He further states that one hundred cars were sold to the Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic in 1935 and that 'within the next two years most of the rest had been rebuilt as all steel boxcars'. Does this mean that no cars of this type as either auto box cars or 6 ft. door box cars remained on the entire NYC system?"

Rebuilt steel boxcar lots include 633-B, 634-B, 637-B, 643-B, 644-B, 648-B, 649-B, 652-B, 654-B, 657-B, 662-B, 663-B, 664-B, 672-B, and 679-B; however, some DS cars survived to at least 1950, though you'll have to check the ORERs for specifics regarding numbers of cars left.  The steel rebuilds were offered by Sunshine, and were surprisingly common cars, with many turning up in the Premo shifting lists.

"What happened to the cars assigned to the Michigan Central? If an auto box car of this type were still in use on the Michigan Central in the 1948 era I’d use the decals that came with the kit and have one Michigan Central car."

The Michigan Central cars were notionally renumbered in NYC car series in 1936, but cars with MCRR reporting marks ran until 1945.  Again, check the applicable ORERs for details.

Finally, these cars are currently available from Westerfield, including the Rutland and DSS&A variations.
Ben Hom



Photo: Steel Beams On PRR Flatcars (Circa 1927-1936)

Bob Chaparro
 

Photo: Steel Beams On PRR Flatcars (Circa 1927-1936)

A photo from the Historic Pittsburgh website:

https://historicpittsburgh.org/islandora/object/pitt%3A943.000016.GN/viewer

Scroll on the photo to enlarge it.

The beams straddle two flatcars apiece.

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


Waynesburg & Washington Railroad

Bob Chaparro
 

Waynesburg & Washington Railroad

Does anyone have photos/photo links to the rolling stock of this railroad? Thanks.

From Wikipedia:

The Waynesburg and Washington Railroad was a 28-mile 3 foot gauge subsidiary of the Pennsylvania Railroad. From the 1870s through the 1920s the line served its namesake towns in Southwestern Pennsylvania (often referred to as the Wayynie). After the 1930s, the line did struggle on, but mostly on paper.

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


Re: Storzek & Des Plaines 1916 NYC Auto Box Cars

Donald B. Valentine <riverman_vt@...>
 

    Being a Rutland modeler I have a number of these box car and auto car kits and have some questions about two that turn out to be NYC cars, NOT Rutland versions. For those wo do not know the difference it

is clear to me that when designing these kits Dennis was aware of the fact that the 1916 NYC ordered cars had 6 over 6 rib ends but that the 1924 Rutland ordered cars used a 5 over 7 rib end while being alike in

all other respects. Two auto boxes purchased in the after market as Rutland cars have proven to be NYC cars, which it the reason for the following questions.

 

  1. The instructions Dennis prepared for these car kits state the NYC began to rebuild the auto cars with only 6 ft. doors beginning in 1931. Does this mean the NYC only had auto box cars originally?

 

  1. He further states that one hundred cars were sold to the Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic n 1935

and that “within the next two years most of the rest had been rebuilt as all steel boxcars”. Does

this mean that no cars of this type as either auto box cars or 6 ft. door box cars remained on the entire NYC system? What happened to the cars assigned to the Michigan Central? If an auto box

car of this type were still in use on the Michigan Central in the 1948 era I’d use the decals that

came with the kit and have one Michigan Central car. The other will end up as a D.S.S.&A. car or

a Nickel Plate Road car, that road having acquired a number of them through its purchase of the

Wheeling & Lake Erie.

 

     Hopefully either Dennis has acquired more knowledge of these cars over the last thirty years or Ray Breyer or another list member with knowledge of these cars can respond to my questions.

 

Cordially, Don Valentme

 

.


Re: Tank Car Reweigh and Other Markings

Bruce Smith
 

Steve,

Um, most shippers did not have scales, so this is nothing special or specific to tank cars. It also does not present any problem. Shippers or consignees had cars weighed by the railroad. Tank cars would be no different, if billing was by weight (which it was not). 

Regards,
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Steve Summers via groups.io <summers1218@...>
Sent: Sunday, October 4, 2020 10:54 PM
To: main@realstmfc.groups.io <main@realstmfc.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Tank Car Reweigh and Other Markings
 
I’ll jump into this and hopefully not add to any confusion but there is another reason for not listing the car weight on tank cars back then.  Only the largest manufacturers or customers had a scale to weigh a tank car. 

Even today due to the high cost to purchase a scale with the weight capacity needed for heavy rail cars, there are only a few customers with scales.  In fact, several manufacturers still do not have scales today, hence the use of volume (gallons) which can be measured by a meter like at a gas pump.


On Oct 4, 2020, at 10:14 PM, Ray Carson via groups.io <PrewarUPModeler@...> wrote:



I was mainly confused due to seeing prototype photos with a "reweigh" date taken before photos (don't have any example photos, sorry) and I kept assuming tankers were treated the same as other freight cars. However I guess I was overthinking a bit on Tony's post due to me being used to the concept of freight cars reweighs as I continue to learn more about freight car assignments.

-Ray


Re: Tank Car Reweigh and Other Markings

Dave Parker
 

On Sun, Oct 4, 2020 at 06:58 PM, Ray Carson wrote:
So in the end, would a Tangent 1936+ scheme tank car fit my 1939 year without making any decal changes? How about older tank cars that are 5+ years older?
Strictly speaking no.  Despite the absence of periodic reweighing, tank cars would still have had stencils redone periodically,  Specifically:

1.  Regular brake service.  Every 12 months starting back in 1901, increased to 15 months in 1933 (I believe).  This was for K brakes.  The interval was longer for ABs.  Tony has a blog piece on this.

2.  Regular journal box repacking.  Every 12 months starting in 1920; I think this also increased in the mid-1930s as there was some movement towards standardizing intervals.  I should know how/when it changed, but can't put my hands on it right now.

3.  Tank cars required periodic testing of both valves and tanks.  The block of lettering at the right end of the car-sides had to be redone or touched up to reflect the new testing dates.  From 1930 forward, the interval was after 10 years since construction, and every five thereafter.  In the 1920s, the intervals were different for valves and tank, and varied some with car class.

All of these stencils are small and generally difficult to read without magnification (in HO).   But many of us have cameras capable of capturing these <2" stencils, and pad-printing makes them quite sharp on many RTRs.

If one is really fastidious about having every stenciled date correct for the chosen model year, this is unlikely to be easily achieved with many/most tank-car models.  I suspect most folks compromise. 

PS:  Brake stencils are often more obvious on tank cars because the reservoir is often easier to see.  Conversely, the repack stencils can be harder to see on cars without stub-sills, as they were generally applied to the center sill.

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


Re: Tank Car Reweigh and Other Markings

Steve Summers
 

I’ll jump into this and hopefully not add to any confusion but there is another reason for not listing the car weight on tank cars back then.  Only the largest manufacturers or customers had a scale to weigh a tank car. 

Even today due to the high cost to purchase a scale with the weight capacity needed for heavy rail cars, there are only a few customers with scales.  In fact, several manufacturers still do not have scales today, hence the use of volume (gallons) which can be measured by a meter like at a gas pump.


On Oct 4, 2020, at 10:14 PM, Ray Carson via groups.io <PrewarUPModeler@...> wrote:



I was mainly confused due to seeing prototype photos with a "reweigh" date taken before photos (don't have any example photos, sorry) and I kept assuming tankers were treated the same as other freight cars. However I guess I was overthinking a bit on Tony's post due to me being used to the concept of freight cars reweighs as I continue to learn more about freight car assignments.

-Ray


Re: Tank Car Reweigh and Other Markings

Ray Carson
 

I was mainly confused due to seeing prototype photos with a "reweigh" date taken before photos (don't have any example photos, sorry) and I kept assuming tankers were treated the same as other freight cars. However I guess I was overthinking a bit on Tony's post due to me being used to the concept of freight cars reweighs as I continue to learn more about freight car assignments.

-Ray


Re: Tank Car Reweigh and Other Markings

Bruce Smith
 

Ray,

I'm not sure why you are confused. Tony's comments are clear. Tank cars are not box cars. They were not required to be reweighed on a regular interval. Their cargos were not billed based on weight, but on volume. This a shipper has no need for an accurate light weight of the tank car, since the car will not be weighed and the weight of the cargo will not be calculated from the total weight minus the light weight. Thus, just as Tony says, there are plenty of examples of tank cars with reweigh dates a decade or more old.  And yes, they can also have more current dates if they have undergone some kind of service, again, just like Tony sez...

So to answer your question, the relevance of an older scheme depends on several issues, but generally not reweigh. Older lease schemes can be inappropriate due to the lease having ended. Likewise if an owner has changed paint schemes in the intervening years, the car may have been repainted into the newer scheme. 

Regards,
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Ray Carson via groups.io <PrewarUPModeler@...>
Sent: Sunday, October 4, 2020 8:58 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Tank Car Reweigh and Other Markings
 

Hello everyone,

With the release of Tangent's new run of 8000 gallon 1917-design tankers, I was interested in something that got me confused months before.

So I was reading on Tony Thompson's blog regarding an SP tank car he was building in 2014 (https://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2014/04/modeling-sp-gasoline-tank-car.html) and in one part he says:

On the tank at this point, there is no reweigh date. Tank car cargoes were billed by gallonage, not by weight, so the car’s light weight was of no importance (unlike all other types of freight cars). Prototype photos commonly show tank cars having weigh dates a decade, or even multiple decades, prior to the photo date. But when cars were repaired, they were ordinarily reweighed, and SP tank cars often do show that change.

Okay, that makes sense. However I've seen photos of tank cars with their dates reflecting when the photo was taken in service. I even recall seeing photos of tank car models with reweigh dates for some modelers modeling a year. Was this something overlooked or am I getting myself confused with tank cars?

So in the end, would a Tangent 1936+ scheme tank car fit my 1939 year without making any decal changes? How about older tank cars that are 5+ years older? I'm overall used to the concept of freight cars being reweighed every 1-2 years depending on whether wood or steel bodied and tank cars being an exception confuses me a bit.

Thanks, Ray


Tank Car Reweigh and Other Markings

Ray Carson
 

Hello everyone,

With the release of Tangent's new run of 8000 gallon 1917-design tankers, I was interested in something that got me confused months before.

So I was reading on Tony Thompson's blog regarding an SP tank car he was building in 2014 (https://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2014/04/modeling-sp-gasoline-tank-car.html) and in one part he says:

On the tank at this point, there is no reweigh date. Tank car cargoes were billed by gallonage, not by weight, so the car’s light weight was of no importance (unlike all other types of freight cars). Prototype photos commonly show tank cars having weigh dates a decade, or even multiple decades, prior to the photo date. But when cars were repaired, they were ordinarily reweighed, and SP tank cars often do show that change.

Okay, that makes sense. However I've seen photos of tank cars with their dates reflecting when the photo was taken in service. I even recall seeing photos of tank car models with reweigh dates for some modelers modeling a year. Was this something overlooked or am I getting myself confused with tank cars?

So in the end, would a Tangent 1936+ scheme tank car fit my 1939 year without making any decal changes? How about older tank cars that are 5+ years older? I'm overall used to the concept of freight cars being reweighed every 1-2 years depending on whether wood or steel bodied and tank cars being an exception confuses me a bit.

Thanks, Ray


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 <mallardlodge1000@...>
 

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

 

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