Alcohol Shipments, was Pacific Northwest WWII was Lumber Traffic


John Barry
 


 
John Barry ATSF North Bay Lines Golden Gates & Fast Freights 707-490-9696 PO Box 44736 Washington, DC 20026-4736



From: "railsnw@... [STMFC]"
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Thursday, September 3, 2015 3:42 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Alcohol Shipments, was Pacific Northwest WWII was Lumber Traffic

 
A mention was made about transporting alcohol from the Pacific Northwest. In the SP&S Railway Historical Society Archives at the Pacific Northwest Railroad Archives we have Secretary Files that have yearly permits starting from the mid 1930's in to the 1960's  that read as follows but with a different year:

Permit with United States of America (Treasury Dept.) - Permit C-Ore-4-54 (Internal Revenue Service) to transport tax free alcohol and specially denatured alcohol during the year 1954

The ones that have been cataloged are mostly for the Oregon Trunk. Where was this alcohol coming from?

Richard Wilkens



Bill Decker
 

Larry,

Now I understand why the US Government was interested in a wood alcohol plant.  Plywood would have been an important commodity for the WWII effort and beyond.

As to Jon Miller's question on where the wood alcohol plant was in Springfield, it looks like the plant was out along the Marcola Branch of NE Springfield--headed toward Weyerhauser.  There is and was a fair bit of industry spread along that branch.  

My alternate history will have this plant staying in service (rail-served, of course!) throughout the period of this list.  So now I need appropriate tank cars!  ;-))

Bill Decker
Southern Pacific Cascade Line

 




Larry Rice
 


Wood alcohol is/was an important raw material in the manufacture of formaldehyde, which is an ingredient in some adhesives used in plywood manufacture. Formaldehyde was also used widely in pulp mills during the steam era, though that use has been illegal for some time.

Off the top of my head, I can think of four or five plants in the Northwest that manufactured wood or methyl alcohol. 

Larry Rice
Port Townsend WA


Jon Miller <atsfus@...>
 

On 9/3/2015 4:39 PM, Mike Bauers mwbauers55@... [STMFC] wrote:
I think that is exactly on target…… so to speak .

Best to ya,
Mike Bauers
Milwaukee, Wi

    From the net is appears the Mark 14 was hardly ever "on target" (VBG)!
    Does anyone else have any more information on that facility?  It interested me because I lived in Eugene from the middle to late 50s and never heard of the plant.  Springfield was close in those days and now I understand it's just one big city.

-- 
Jon Miller
For me time stopped in 1941
Digitrax  Chief/Zephyr systems, JMRI User
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS


mwbauers
 

I think that is exactly on target…… so to speak .

Best to ya,
Mike Bauers
Milwaukee, Wi

On Sep 3, 2015, at 6:35 PM, Jon Miller  wrote:


On 9/3/2015 3:59 PM, sp.billd@... [STMFC] wrote:
This raises the question of what the Federal Government interest was in wood alcohol. 
Torpedo fuel?


Charles Peck
 

The alcohol fueled torpedo was obsolete before the end of WWII.
A plant built in 1947 had to have some other purpose.
Chuck Peck in FL

On Thu, Sep 3, 2015 at 7:35 PM, Jon Miller atsfus@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:
 

On 9/3/2015 3:59 PM, sp.billd@... [STMFC] wrote:
This raises the question of what the Federal Government interest was in wood alcohol.
Torpedo fuel?

--
Jon Miller
For me time stopped in 1941
Digitrax  Chief/Zephyr systems, JMRI User
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS



Jon Miller <atsfus@...>
 

On 9/3/2015 3:59 PM, sp.billd@... [STMFC] wrote:
This raises the question of what the Federal Government interest was in wood alcohol.
Torpedo fuel?

-- 
Jon Miller
For me time stopped in 1941
Digitrax  Chief/Zephyr systems, JMRI User
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS


Bill Decker
 

Richard,

I don't have a direct answer, probably more to muddy the waters.  I have a copy of a photo of a wood alcohol plant built with Federal money at Springfield, OR, ca. 1947.  I also have a copy of a Sanborn map for the plant.  That plant clearly had Southern Pacific rail service, though we have no indication it actually ever shipped anything.  This raises the question of what the Federal Government interest was in wood alcohol.  It also raises the possibility there might have been another such plant elsewhere along the Pacific Slope.  

I can somewhat understand a post-war plant.  V-2 missiles used alcohol as fuel.  Alcohol needs during WWII are a different matter.

This still does not answer your question.  Ever more curious...

Bill Decker


railsnw@...
 

A mention was made about transporting alcohol from the Pacific Northwest. In the SP&S Railway Historical Society Archives at the Pacific Northwest Railroad Archives we have Secretary Files that have yearly permits starting from the mid 1930's in to the 1960's  that read as follows but with a different year:

Permit with United States of America (Treasury Dept.) - Permit C-Ore-4-54 (Internal Revenue Service) to transport tax free alcohol and specially denatured alcohol during the year 1954

The ones that have been cataloged are mostly for the Oregon Trunk. Where was this alcohol coming from?

Richard Wilkens