Tankcar Challange


Dennis Storzek
 

OK, enough aeroplanes. I've got a freightcar question.

On the Railway Preservation News discussion board there is a question as to the origins of a tankcar presently at the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum in North Judson, Indiana. The car was last used by the Walter Haffner Company, who dealt in animal by-products... yuck! Anyway, the museum would like to restore/repaint the car for an earlier era, and in general would like to nail down its history. One thought they had is since the car rides on Vulcan trucks with NYC cast in the sideframes, that the car is ex-NYC, but that really doesn't seem likely (it's possible) and it's not unusual for used trucks to make their way into service in the lease fleets.

Here's what is known so far:

AAR III, Built by AC&F 7/1919, last tested by Keith Tank Line at Longview TX 4/30/54. The last reporting marks were WCHX 1114, previous mark was PTCX 1103.

Photos are in the discussion at RyPN.org, I don't think you need to be registered to view the discusston at this link:

http://www.rypn.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=35047

If you read through the thread, you'll see I make quite the case for collaborating with the modeling fraternity, since modelers seem to do considerably more in depth research than the railway meseums do, simply because the museum folks are pre-occupied with just preserving and maintaining the stuff. Let's show them what we can do. I'm sure any information we can add, even general histories of the car design or fleets it was in would be appreciated.

Dennis Storzek


Richard Hendrickson
 

On May 30, 2013, at 11:03 AM, soolinehistory <destorzek@mchsi.com> wrote:

OK, enough aeroplanes. I've got a freightcar question.

On the Railway Preservation News discussion board there is a question as to the origins of a tankcar presently at the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum in North Judson, Indiana. The car was last used by the Walter Haffner Company, who dealt in animal by-products... yuck! Anyway, the museum would like to restore/repaint the car for an earlier era, and in general would like to nail down its history. One thought they had is since the car rides on Vulcan trucks with NYC cast in the sideframes, that the car is ex-NYC, but that really doesn't seem likely (it's possible) and it's not unusual for used trucks to make their way into service in the lease fleets.

Here's what is known so far:

AAR III, Built by AC&F 7/1919, last tested by Keith Tank Line at Longview TX 4/30/54. The last reporting marks were WCHX 1114, previous mark was PTCX 1103.

Photos are in the discussion at RyPN.org, I don't think you need to be registered to view the discusston at this link:

http://www.rypn.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=35047

If you read through the thread, you'll see I make quite the case for collaborating with the modeling fraternity, since modelers seem to do considerably more in depth research than the railway meseums do, simply because the museum folks are pre-occupied with just preserving and maintaining the stuff. Let's show them what we can do. I'm sure any information we can add, even general histories of the car design or fleets it was in would be appreciated.

Dennis, the car in question is an 8,000 gal. AC&F Type 17 built, as the stenciling says, in July, 1919. And that is the original AC&F underframe with AB air brake equipment replacing its original KC brakes. This car would originally have had two safety valves on an elbow attached to the dome, but they were doubtless removed and the hole plated over when the car was converted to carry non-regulatory commodities in the late 1950s; note the frangible disk relief valve on top of the dome. We know the car wasn't used for regulatory commodities much after 1954, since that's the last pressure test date. Cars used for non-regulatory commodities were not required to be pressure tested. As several people who contributed to the discussion pointed out, the fact that the truck side frames were originally cast for the New York Central is of no significance; most Type 17s were delivered with arch bar trucks which were, of course, required to be replaced on cars in interchange by 1941, and the original trucks were often replaced with second hand trucks. The Keith Railway Equipment Co. operated its own tank car fleet, but their extensive shops at Longview, TX performed tests and maintenance on cars for many tank car owners. PTCX were the reporting marks of the People's Transportation Co. of New Orleans, LA and first appeared in the Official Railway Equipment Registers in the mid-1960s showing six cars numbered 1101-1106. The ORERs provide no data about People's Transportation Co. or the commodities their cars carried, but someone with access to a major business affairs library might be able to track down more information. Their tank car fleet was short lived, as it appeared in the 10/65 ORER but was absent from the 10/67 ORER. I have no clue about who owned the PTCX cars before People's Transportation acquired them second hand, but there might some evidence for that on the car itself. The Walter Haffner Co., originally of Chicago, first appeared in the ORERs at the end of World War II with a fleet of almost 200 tank cars operating under WCHX reporting marks, mostly if not entirely second hand. By the '60s they had relocated their headquarters to Mobile, AL and operated a sizable tank car fleet. It appears that their cars carried a lot more than animal by-products, as they had insulated cars, high pressure cars. cars with aluminum tanks, etc. Photographic evidence indicates that most, if not all, of these cars continued to be acquired second (or third or fourth) hand.


Richard Hendrickson


Tony Thompson
 

Small point: the car is an ARA III spec, NOT an AAR car. The ARA handled tank car specs until 1927, when it went over to the ICC -- which is well before the formation of the AAR. Older cars were correctly stenciled with the identity of the spec under which they were built, in this case ARA III. There WAS no spec called AAR III.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, tony@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history


proto48er
 

Guys -

I think this tank car has the "AC&F Type 19" underframe. The tank style is similar to the tanks built in 1919 and 1920 by AC&F. The 8,000 gallon capacity ARA Type III tank built by AC&F during these two years had the almost exact configuration of the tank of the preserved car.

By comparison to a known tank car lot of 300 cars ordered on 12/17/19 that were built by AC&F in 1920 (one car in builder's photo about 45 cars into the order blt 7/1920), it probably took AC&F a couple of months to build the car in question.

Using the built date of 7/1920 on the preserved car, examination of the AC&F Order Book strongly suggests the following candidates (all 8,000 gallon tank cars) for the original owner of the car:

- Lot 8657 (30) White Eagle Petroleum Co. tank cars ordered 12/4/18

- Lot 8661 (3) Smethport Extract Co. 50-T 8,000 gal tank cars ordered 1/19/1919

- Lot 8670 (15) Magnolia Petroleum 40-T ? gallon tank cars ordered 4/16/1919

- Lot 8678 (10) Akin Gasoline Co. 40-T 8,000 gallon tank cars ordered 5/9/1919

- Lot 8684 (2) Kendall Refining Co. 40-T 8,000 gallon tank cars ordered 6/5/1919

- Lot 8708 (2) Kendall Refining Co. 40-T 8,000 gallon tank cars ordered 7/25/1919

- Lot 8712 (50) North American Car Co. 40-T "Type 19" 8,000 gallon tank cars ordered 7/30/1919

Since Doug has indicated that the history of one of the predecessor companies of PTCX traced back to North American Car, I would vote for the car being from Lot 8712. However, based on the order date and the built date on the car, the car at the museum must have been (a) the first car in the series and (b) business at AC&F must have been VERY slow in 1919! ALSO - Lot 8712 is the first mention of a "Type 19" tank car in the listing!

Just my 2 cents on the subject!

A.T. Kott

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "soolinehistory" <destorzek@...> wrote:

OK, enough aeroplanes. I've got a freightcar question.

On the Railway Preservation News discussion board there is a question as to the origins of a tankcar presently at the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum in North Judson, Indiana. The car was last used by the Walter Haffner Company, who dealt in animal by-products... yuck! Anyway, the museum would like to restore/repaint the car for an earlier era, and in general would like to nail down its history. One thought they had is since the car rides on Vulcan trucks with NYC cast in the sideframes, that the car is ex-NYC, but that really doesn't seem likely (it's possible) and it's not unusual for used trucks to make their way into service in the lease fleets.

Here's what is known so far:

AAR III, Built by AC&F 7/1919, last tested by Keith Tank Line at Longview TX 4/30/54. The last reporting marks were WCHX 1114, previous mark was PTCX 1103.

Photos are in the discussion at RyPN.org, I don't think you need to be registered to view the discusston at this link:

http://www.rypn.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=35047

If you read through the thread, you'll see I make quite the case for collaborating with the modeling fraternity, since modelers seem to do considerably more in depth research than the railway meseums do, simply because the museum folks are pre-occupied with just preserving and maintaining the stuff. Let's show them what we can do. I'm sure any information we can add, even general histories of the car design or fleets it was in would be appreciated.

Dennis Storzek


proto48er
 

Just a couple more comments - I think the dome pressure vents on the Type 19 tank cars as-built in 1919 and 1920 were on top of the dome, on the "B" side of the dome lid. Also, the cars had only one ladder and platform to the dome, and it was on the side of the car that you face when the "B" end is to your right. The museum car conforms with this, but the vents appear to be of a newer design.

The Type 19 underframe differed from the Type 17 underframe in that the end sills were "tapered" downward on the Type 17 underframes, but were straight 9" channels on the Type 19 cars. The Type 19 underframe had a wood plank butting up to the back of the end sill and level with the top of the end sill. The Type 19 underframe was almost exactly like the Type 21 underframe, except that the wood walkway sat on top of the 9" channel end sills on the Type 21, not abutted to the back of them! More than you wanted to know!

Lot 8712 is the first mention of the "Type 19" tank car in the lot number book.

As for the number of cars ordered from 12/1918 to 8/1919, there were in lots from Lot 8655 to Lot 8712 (57 lots). For 12/1919 to 8/1920, there were cars built in lots from Lot 8807 to Lot 9063 (256 lots). Thus there was a good deal more business for AC&F in the later period than there was in the 12/1918 to 8/1919 period, so it is conceivable that the North American Car Co. cars could have started being built immediately upon being ordered.

Ed Hawkins knows more about this, I'll bet!

A.T. Kott

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "proto48er" <atkott@...> wrote:

Guys -

I think this tank car has the "AC&F Type 19" underframe. The tank style is similar to the tanks built in 1919 and 1920 by AC&F. The 8,000 gallon capacity ARA Type III tank built by AC&F during these two years had the almost exact configuration of the tank of the preserved car.

By comparison to a known tank car lot of 300 cars ordered on 12/17/19 that were built by AC&F in 1920 (one car in builder's photo about 45 cars into the order blt 7/1920), it probably took AC&F a couple of months to build the car in question.

Using the built date of 7/1920 on the preserved car, examination of the AC&F Order Book strongly suggests the following candidates (all 8,000 gallon tank cars) for the original owner of the car:

- Lot 8657 (30) White Eagle Petroleum Co. tank cars ordered 12/4/18

- Lot 8661 (3) Smethport Extract Co. 50-T 8,000 gal tank cars ordered 1/19/1919

- Lot 8670 (15) Magnolia Petroleum 40-T ? gallon tank cars ordered 4/16/1919

- Lot 8678 (10) Akin Gasoline Co. 40-T 8,000 gallon tank cars ordered 5/9/1919

- Lot 8684 (2) Kendall Refining Co. 40-T 8,000 gallon tank cars ordered 6/5/1919

- Lot 8708 (2) Kendall Refining Co. 40-T 8,000 gallon tank cars ordered 7/25/1919

- Lot 8712 (50) North American Car Co. 40-T "Type 19" 8,000 gallon tank cars ordered 7/30/1919

Since Doug has indicated that the history of one of the predecessor companies of PTCX traced back to North American Car, I would vote for the car being from Lot 8712. However, based on the order date and the built date on the car, the car at the museum must have been (a) the first car in the series and (b) business at AC&F must have been VERY slow in 1919! ALSO - Lot 8712 is the first mention of a "Type 19" tank car in the listing!

Just my 2 cents on the subject!

A.T. Kott


Dennis Storzek
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "proto48er" <atkott@...> wrote:

Since Doug has indicated that the history of one of the predecessor companies of PTCX traced back to North American Car, I would vote for the car being from Lot 8712. However, based on the order date and the built date on the car, the car at the museum must have been (a) the first car in the series and (b) business at AC&F must have been VERY slow in 1919! ALSO - Lot 8712 is the first mention of a "Type 19" tank car in the listing!

Just my 2 cents on the subject!

A.T. Kott
Considering that it was subsequently shown that Doug's comments were in error (the PTCX mark was at one time assigned to a North American subsidiary, but that company had no tankcars) is this still a valid assumption?

Comments?

Dennis


Dennis Storzek
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Tony Thompson <tony@...> wrote:

Small point: the car is an ARA III spec, NOT an AAR car. The ARA handled tank car specs until 1927, when it went over to the ICC -- which is well before the formation of the AAR. Older cars were correctly stenciled with the identity of the spec under which they were built, in this case ARA III. There WAS no spec called AAR III.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
That's what I thought, but if you look at the close-up photo of the tank test data on the actual car, it's stenciled "AAR III". I don't think the museum has ever repainted the car, so the error must have been made by Keith Tank line, if indeed it's an error.

Dennis


Dennis Storzek
 

Gentlemen,

Thanks to all.

Since it seems that discussion here has ended, when I get time this weekend I'll combine the posts into one long narrative and post that back to the discussion on the Railway Preservation News board. If anyone objects to having their comments or name re-posted, please e-mail me privately at destorzek@mchsi.com.

And, I can't believe I misspelled the word challenge in the title :-( Where was my spel chequer when I needed it?

Dennis Storzek