Which tank cars?


Jim and Lisa Hayes <jimandlisa97225@...>
 

Which tank cars are correct for the late '50s in the Northwest? No, I'm not
looking for specific advice. I didn't live in the Northwest in the 1950s so
I can't reach back into my own memories.
Most of the tank cars I buy/build are plain Jane black because that's what
most of them were and I'm less likely to go wrong with them. I'd like to
have one decorated with a flying red horse or a flying A or a billboard
Sinclair or some such. But where do I look for the era and location
information I need to choose correct models? Where do I look to find out if
Mobil or Flying A or Sinclair or whoever had gas stations here then? Old
phone books? Business directories? Or ??? Suggestions gladly accepted.

Jim Hayes
Portland Oregon


Shawn Beckert
 

Jim Hayes asked:

Where do I look to find out if Mobil or Flying A or Sinclair or
whoever had gas stations here then? Old phone books? Business
directories? Or ??? Suggestions gladly accepted.
Jim,

You don't mention what railroad you model. This will make a little
bit of difference as to which gas and oil companies you want to have
represented, retailers as well as rolling stock. Naturally, you're
pretty safe in running tank cars lettered for UTLX and GATX.

What I would suggest is to make a list of the towns/cities in the
region you want to represent. If you have access to Sanborn Fire
Maps (usually your library or, if you're lucky, online) you can
dial in the towns in question and see who was there in the way of
gas and oil jobbers and bulk facilities.

If not, find a copy of the "Official List of Open and Prepay Stations"
for the year(s) you're interested in. The back half of the book will
list a number of industries located by station and railroad. Not *every*
industry will be listed, but enough of them will be there to give you a
rough idea of what oil and gas companies were present on your railroad.

Hope this helps,

Shawn Beckert


Tim Gilbert <tgilbert@...>
 

Jim and Lisa Hayes wrote:

Which tank cars are correct for the late '50s in the Northwest? No, I'm not
looking for specific advice. I didn't live in the Northwest in the 1950s so
I can't reach back into my own memories.
Most of the tank cars I buy/build are plain Jane black because that's what
most of them were and I'm less likely to go wrong with them. I'd like to
have one decorated with a flying red horse or a flying A or a billboard
Sinclair or some such. But where do I look for the era and location
information I need to choose correct models? Where do I look to find out if
Mobil or Flying A or Sinclair or whoever had gas stations here then? Old
phone books? Business directories? Or ??? Suggestions gladly accepted.
A concise history of whatever happened to Standard Oil after the break up of the Trust in 1911 and their marketing territories is at http://www.us-highways.com/sohist.htm . For other companies, a Google search may yield similar results.

These searches, however, will not answer the question necessarily of who owned the tank cars a specific oil company used.

Tim Gilbert


Tim Gilbert <tgilbert@...>
 

Jim and Lisa Hayes wrote:


Which tank cars are correct for the late '50s in the Northwest? No, I'm not
looking for specific advice. I didn't live in the Northwest in the 1950s so
I can't reach back into my own memories.
Most of the tank cars I buy/build are plain Jane black because that's what
most of them were and I'm less likely to go wrong with them. I'd like to
have one decorated with a flying red horse or a flying A or a billboard
Sinclair or some such. But where do I look for the era and location
information I need to choose correct models? Where do I look to find out if
Mobil or Flying A or Sinclair or whoever had gas stations here then? Old
phone books? Business directories? Or ??? Suggestions gladly accepted.
I replied:

A concise history of whatever happened to Standard Oil after the break up of the Trust in 1911 and their marketing territories is at http://www.us-highways.com/sohist.htm . For other companies, a Google search may yield similar results.

These searches, however, will not answer the question necessarily of who owned the tank cars a specific oil company used.
Another source of what company retailed petroleum products in the Northwest in the late 1950's would be the Moody's Industrial Manuals. This, however, would entail a company by company review.

Tim Gilbert


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Jan 25, 2006, at 2:28 PM, Jim and Lisa Hayes wrote:

Which tank cars are correct for the late '50s in the Northwest? No,
I'm not
looking for specific advice. I didn't live in the Northwest in the
1950s so
I can't reach back into my own memories.
Most of the tank cars I buy/build are plain Jane black because that's
what
most of them were and I'm less likely to go wrong with them. I'd like
to
have one decorated with a flying red horse or a flying A or a
billboard
Sinclair or some such. But where do I look for the era and location
information I need to choose correct models? Where do I look to find
out if
Mobil or Flying A or Sinclair or whoever had gas stations here then?
Old
phone books? Business directories? Or ??? Suggestions gladly accepted.
Definitely not Mobil, which marketed only in the east and midwest at
that time. Sinclair did not market in the far west (Salt Lake City was
about as far west as they got). Associated Oil Co., the west coast
affiliate of Tidewater Associated, certainly did market in the
northwest, transporting petroleum products in AOX (but not TIDX or
TWOX) cars. I have a 1947 car interchange book from Bieber, CA, where
the WP handed off northbound traffic to the GN, and there was a steady
stream of tank cars from Shell of Calif. (SCCX, but not RPX or SEPX)
and Union Oil of Cailf. (UOCX). And, of course, lots of UTLX and GATX
cars, plus an occasional SHPX car.

Tank cars owned by oil companies that didn't market in the far west
also turned up occasionally. There is photographic evidence of
Magnolia cars on Cajon Pass, a Mid-Continet D-X car at San Luis Obispo,
and Conoco cars on the SP near Ventura, CA, where Conoco had an oil
field and bulk oil depot, and doubtless there were similar traffic
anomalies in the northwest as well, but you don't want to assume
anything without photographic or documentary evidence.

Richard Hendrickson


Tim O'Connor
 

Richard, I think Sinclair was pretty big in the west, just not on
the COAST... Honestly you guys are so provincial at times! :-)

Tim O'Connor

-------------- Original message ----------------------
From: Richard Hendrickson <rhendrickson@...>

Sinclair did not market in the far west (Salt Lake City was
about as far west as they got).


Brian Termunde
 

In a message dated 1/25/2006 10:19:44 P.M. Mountain Standard Time,
thompson@... writes:

Salt Lake ain't even half way to the coast from Denver. Get used to it, Tim.
The west is bigger than Massachusetts. <g>


---> Speaking as someone who lives (?) in Salt Lake, we ain't halfway to
anywhere! Speaking of the size of the West (before the moderator decides to
terminate this subject), I was IM'ing a friend who lived in New Jur-see, and he
was talking about his state and how big it was. I sent him data that showed
that San Bernardino County (through which a LOT of steam era freight cars
rolled) is bigger then the entire state of NJ. And that was only one county in the
State of California! To someone who hasn't been out west, it's hard to
comprehend the size of the west, and flying over it really doesn't count!


Take Care!

Brian R. Termunde
West Jordan, Utah

"Ship and Travel the Grand Canyon Line!"
Grand Canyon Railway
Utah District


Brian Termunde
 

In a message dated 1/25/2006 10:26:43 P.M. Mountain Standard Time,
thompson@... writes:

So this would be gasoline from the Akinbak Mountains?? Wow! You can learn a
lot on this list <g>.


---> ROTFLMAO!!! I almost sent in almost the exact same post!


Take Care!

Brian R. Termunde
West Jordan, Utah

"Ship and Travel the Grand Canyon Line!"
Grand Canyon Railway
Utah District


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Jan 25, 2006, at 5:00 PM, timboconnor@... wrote:

Richard, I think Sinclair was pretty big in the west, just not on
the COAST... Honestly you guys are so provincial at times! :-)
Please note that I wrote "far west." You easterners tend to think that
"west" is anything west of the Appalachians. Those of us who are
natives of the real west know that "west" starts at the Front Range.
Everything east of Denver and Cheyenne is either east or south.

Richard Hendrickson


Jim and Lisa Hayes <jimandlisa97225@...>
 

Richard, I agree. I remember back in the 60s and 70s when I lived back East
in Minnesota even the radio personalities were confused. WCCO radio in
Minneapolis/St. Paul was always braying "Here in the great Northwest!" I may
have been raised in the Midwest but I was born in the real
Great Northwest and knew the difference.

Jim Hayes
Portland Oregon


Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

Jim Hayes asks about tank cars in the "far west":

But where do I look for the era and location
information I need to choose correct models? Where do I look to find
out if
Mobil or Flying A or Sinclair or whoever had gas stations here then?
Old
phone books? Business directories? Or ??? Suggestions gladly accepted.

And Richard Hendrikson replies:

Tank cars owned by oil companies that didn't market in the far west
also turned up occasionally. There is photographic evidence of
Magnolia cars on Cajon Pass, a Mid-Continet D-X car at San Luis Obispo,
and Conoco cars on the SP near Ventura, CA, where Conoco had an oil
field and bulk oil depot, and doubtless there were similar traffic
anomalies in the northwest as well, but you don't want to assume
anything without photographic or documentary evidence.
The book Southern Pacific in Color by Sweetland shows on pg 91 two interesting tank cars in 1950...supposedly in Bay Shore frt yard in San Francisco. At least we know it's on SP tracks because there's an SP 2-8-0 at work in the photo. Anyhow, the two cars are of Vendome Tank Car Co...AGCX...of Tulsa, OK. The cars are metallic silver color and appear to be insulated. These two cars may the only ones of this company that ever went west of Oklahoma...we'll probably never know. This is the problem, of course, with having such a small sample of data to draw conclusions from. Nevertheless, if the photo IS of San Francisco, one modeling the area would be historically correct in having 2 such cars in Bay Shore yard in 1950.

I discovered the photo, BTW, while searching for color photos of flat car decks in our time period. I have found one that is a bit surprising. GN painted at least one with Vermillion Red paint.

Mike Brock


Tim Gilbert <tgilbert@...>
 

Richard Hendrickson wrote in response to Jim Hayes' inquiry about retail oil dealers in the Northwest in the late 1950's:

Definitely not Mobil, which marketed only in the east and midwest at
that time. Sinclair did not market in the far west (Salt Lake City was
about as far west as they got). Associated Oil Co., the west coast
affiliate of Tidewater Associated, certainly did market in the
northwest, transporting petroleum products in AOX (but not TIDX or
TWOX) cars. I have a 1947 car interchange book from Bieber, CA, where
the WP handed off northbound traffic to the GN, and there was a steady
stream of tank cars from Shell of Calif. (SCCX, but not RPX or SEPX)
and Union Oil of Cailf. (UOCX). And, of course, lots of UTLX and GATX
cars, plus an occasional SHPX car.
Richard,

Thank you for providing some link between owners and lessees in the Northwest. I believe that UTLX was Chevron's lessor. If Texaco was retailed in the Northwest, GATX was the owner of the TCX mark, but when that supply was scarce, GATX cars could be used.

Your and my assignations, however, are before any swapping.

Tim Gilbert


Tim O'Connor
 

Please note that I wrote "far west." You easterners tend to think that
"west" is anything west of the Appalachians. Those of us who are
natives of the real west know that "west" starts at the Front Range.
Everything east of Denver and Cheyenne is either east or south.
Richard Hendrickson
Richard, even Mr. Brock knows :-) that Sinclair had a very large
refinery west of Laramie in the eponymous Sinclair WY*. They had
stations in Utah, Idaho, Montana... that's pretty durn fur west
IMO. A lot closer to the coast than Denver!

Tim O'Connor

( * remember Teapot Dome? )


Schuyler Larrabee
 

And then there's what used to be called Case Western Reserve . . . .in Cleveland OH!

SGL

-----Original Message-----
From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On
Behalf Of Jim and Lisa Hayes
Sent: Wednesday, January 25, 2006 10:10 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Which tank cars?

Richard, I agree. I remember back in the 60s and 70s when I
lived back East in Minnesota even the radio personalities
were confused. WCCO radio in Minneapolis/St. Paul was always
braying "Here in the great Northwest!" I may have been raised
in the Midwest but I was born in the real Great Northwest and
knew the difference.

Jim Hayes
Portland Oregon





Yahoo! Groups Links






D. Scott Chatfield
 

Tim Gilbert wrote:

Thank you for providing some link between owners and lessees in the
Northwest. I believe that UTLX was Chevron's lessor. If Texaco was
retailed in the Northwest, GATX was the owner of the TCX mark, but when
that supply was scarce, GATX cars could be used.

UTLX was owned by the Standard Oil Trust and I gather was still largely owned by the Rockefeller estate after the breakup. As such, it supplied almost all of the tank cars for the several "Baby Standards", such as Esso/Humble, Socony/Mobil, Sohio, Standard/American, and Standard/Chevron. I'd be interested to learn if they provided tanks for any other refiners on a regular basis. Most of the refinery photos I've seen lately have been of Baby Standard plants.

As for dying gasoline, it is still done for farm-grade gas and diesel to identify stuff that road tax has not been paid on.

The primary additive that effected octane was tetraethyl lead, a very potent and poisonous liquid. Only a few drops per gallon were needed, but above that no additional benefit was gained, so chemists were very careful when adding it. Tetraethyl lead was hauled in special, small gallonage tanks since it was so heavy and volatile, but I don't know if it was only shipped to refineries or if some was shipped to tank farms/terminals. Certainly it was not shipped to your average bulk plant (fuel dealer). Getting higher octane ratings without tetraethyl lead is a lot more complicated. MTBE and ethanol are used today, but neither is as efficient and both have drawbacks. Of course, adding large amounts of lead to the air is also a drawback....

But the bottom line of the original question is modeling the early '50s still requires a fair number of plain-jane black non-pressure tanks, but the more specialized tanks were becoming more common, such as propane and acid tanks (very different critters). Likewise, welded non-pressure tanks were becoming more common, like the Red Caboose 10,000 ACF tank. However, a very obvious trend during the '50s was the total number of tank car loads went down as pipelines and highway competition siphoned off much of the petroleum traffic, and the "chemical" traffic of the plastics and agricultural businesses was still small potatoes. As the years went by, you were probably more likely to see gasoline deliveries by rail to places well off the beaten path. Indeed, gasoline is still delivered by rail to some places, especially out west.


Visually, I'd say the other big change is more tank cars were built or rebuilt with full platforms around the dome. Very noticable in photos from the '50s and '60s.

Oh yeah, and no domeless, non-pressure tanks (ICC-111, later DOT-111 spec), and no frameless tanks. They came in the '60s.

Remember, Black Is Beautiful, at least on a tank car.....

Blind Dog
(Scott Chatfield for Mike's benefit)


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Jan 25, 2006, at 8:32 PM, Tim O'Connor wrote:

Richard, even Mr. Brock knows :-) that Sinclair had a very large
refinery west of Laramie in the eponymous Sinclair WY*. They had
stations in Utah, Idaho, Montana... that's pretty durn fur west
IMO. A lot closer to the coast than Denver!
Tim, I'm well aware of all that but, as I've already pointed out, I
specified "far west" in my original post, as in the Pacific Coast
states and perhaps Nevada...at least, western Nevada. True westerners
know what "far west" means even if benighted easterners don't. And now
can we stop flogging this dead horse?

Richard Hendrickson


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Tim O'Connor wrote:
. . . Utah, Idaho, Montana... that's pretty durn fur west
IMO. A lot closer to the coast than Denver!
Salt Lake ain't even half way to the coast from Denver. Get used to it, Tim. The west is bigger than Massachusetts. <g>

Anthony Thompson
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937;
e-mail: thompsonmarytony@...


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Jan 25, 2006, at 7:59 PM, Mike Brock wrote:

The book Southern Pacific in Color by Sweetland shows on pg 91 two
interesting tank cars in 1950...supposedly in Bay Shore frt yard in
San
Francisco. At least we know it's on SP tracks because there's an SP
2-8-0 at
work in the photo. Anyhow, the two cars are of Vendome Tank Car
Co...AGCX...of Tulsa, OK. The cars are metallic silver color and
appear to
be insulated.
Vendome was indeed a Tulsa company, but they had nothing to do with the
AGCX cars. Those reporting marks were assigned to the Akin Gasoline
Co., whose cars were operated for them in 1950 by the Ohio Tank Car Co.
of...Tulsa. Tulsa, Ohio? No, Tulsa, Oklahoma. Go figure. Later in
the '50s the cars were operated for Akin by the North American Car
Corp., still under AGCX reporting marks. All of the Akin cars were
insulated 8K gal. ICC-104s built in the '20s by the Standard Tank Car
Co. AFAIK, Akin gasoline was never sold at retail, but was marketed to
other petroleum companies who sold it under their own brand names, so
Akin cars could have turned up in lots of places as far from Tulsa as
the SP's Bayshore yard.

Richard Hendrickson


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Richard Hendrickson wrote:
Vendome was indeed a Tulsa company, but they had nothing to do with the
AGCX cars. Those reporting marks were assigned to the Akin Gasoline
Co. . .
So this would be gasoline from the Akinbak Mountains?? Wow! You can learn a lot on this list <g>.

Anthony Thompson
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937;
e-mail: thompsonmarytony@...


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Jan 25, 2006, at 8:03 PM, Tim Gilbert wrote:

Thank you for providing some link between owners and lessees in the
Northwest. I believe that UTLX was Chevron's lessor. If Texaco was
retailed in the Northwest, GATX was the owner of the TCX mark, but when
that supply was scarce, GATX cars could be used.
It may be added that the Texaco tank car fleet was gradually absorbed into the GATX fleet, so by the '50s there were relatively few cars still under TCX reporting marks, and many of those were "plain Jane" black, not aluminum with billboard stenciling. So, increasingly, Texaco products were hauled in GATX cars, often former TCX cars with new reporting marks and numbers. And, of course, as you point out, Standard Oil products were carried in UTLX cars everywhere in the country.

Richard Hendrickson