UTLX Class X Tank Car Build


Nelson Moyer
 

I finished the build on RCW 7.02 UTLX Class X 6,000 gallon tank car this afternoon. It’s the last resin kit in my stash, so it’s a milestone of sorts. When I purposed to build the stash, there were 48 kits, and it took a little over two years to build them.

 

This kit was a challenge, because as I reported in earlier posts on the resincarbuilders io group. The bottom tank course was too high as a result of using an Intermountain bottom course as the master. This pushed up the running boards and handrails. I determined to build the kit as close to prototype as I could, using prototype drawings provided by Steve Hile. The details for lowering the running board and handrail are in the earlier posts. I used Archer rivets to restore the bottom course line, and to repair the vertical rivets sanded off while filling the cast drilling dimples of the running board. The tank detail photos posted herein show the extent of the tank error, as the original course line is visible under the running board detail photos. The B end right side sill step had a casting flaw where the grab iron rung was open. I cut off the remanent, and glued a piece of 0.0125 in . wire to replace the missing rung.

 

The B end uncoupling lever got flipped up while I was staging the car for photography, and I’ll move it back down and glue it in place before blasting and priming.

 

I saved the five tank cars for last, and I’m glad I did, because they were the most difficult of all the resin kits I’ve built.  I attached a photo of those last five cars.

 

I very rarely cross post, but I decided to share this last resin build with a larger audience. I included my build notes for those of you who have this car in your stash.

 

Nelson Moyer

 


Tim O'Connor
 


Excellent work !


Last-Five-in-the-Stash.jpg



On 7/15/2022 6:40 PM, Nelson Moyer wrote:

I finished the build on RCW 7.02 UTLX Class X 6,000 gallon tank car this afternoon. It’s the last resin kit in my stash, so it’s a milestone of sorts. When I purposed to build the stash, there were 48 kits, and it took a little over two years to build them.

 

This kit was a challenge, because as I reported in earlier posts on the resincarbuilders io group. The bottom tank course was too high as a result of using an Intermountain bottom course as the master. This pushed up the running boards and handrails. I determined to build the kit as close to prototype as I could, using prototype drawings provided by Steve Hile. The details for lowering the running board and handrail are in the earlier posts. I used Archer rivets to restore the bottom course line, and to repair the vertical rivets sanded off while filling the cast drilling dimples of the running board. The tank detail photos posted herein show the extent of the tank error, as the original course line is visible under the running board detail photos. The B end right side sill step had a casting flaw where the grab iron rung was open. I cut off the remanent, and glued a piece of 0.0125 in . wire to replace the missing rung.

 

The B end uncoupling lever got flipped up while I was staging the car for photography, and I’ll move it back down and glue it in place before blasting and priming.

 

I saved the five tank cars for last, and I’m glad I did, because they were the most difficult of all the resin kits I’ve built.  I attached a photo of those last five cars.

 

I very rarely cross post, but I decided to share this last resin build with a larger audience. I included my build notes for those of you who have this car in your stash.

 

Nelson Moyer




--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


Jim Betz
 

Nelson/anyone,

  First - Nelson this is a good looking build.  (The following is -not- a criticism.)

  The variety of Nelson's build prompts me to ask "how similar would the dome plus
the equipment on it be ... for cars in the same service?".  Certainly a three dome
tank would be unlikely to be delivered to the same location as a one.  But would
the variety of domes and hardware on them be likely/possible to be together on a
single loading facility (at a refinery, for example)?

  There is a refinery near me that 'ships' out product in both tank cars and pipeline.
I drove past the refinery just yesterday - and the cars waiting to be loaded and/or
picked up by the next outbound move were -highly- similar to each other.  There
were a few different reporting marks but even those were 'mostly the same'.
  Is this a modern thing or does it also describe "our era here on STMFC"?

                                                                            - Jim in the PNW


Nelson Moyer
 

You can download a brief history and photographs of these cars with information about modifications over the years since they were first built in 1907 from the RCW web page. Rebuilds continued to at least 1937.  I built this car to represent UTLX 16285 because I have a good side view photo. This car was converted to AB brakes, but the single elbow vent was retained. Steve Hile’s tank car book devoted an entire chapter the Class X cars.

 

The two and three dome cars in the group photo are from SC&F, while the others are from RCW. There’s not much available on the two and three dome cars built by Standard Tank Car Co., but the similar cars built by AC&F are well documented.

 

Modern tank cars have a uniformity not seen in the steam era after the oil trains of WWII until new and larger cars were built as steel restrictions loosened. To me, one of the attractions of steam era modeling is tank car variety.

 

I haven’t made a study of refineries in the U.S., but I think there were many small refineries during the steam era that were closed or consolidated into the large refineries we have today. I can’t answer the question about loading facilities and their ability to handle differing car types. Since I don’t model loading facilities, that’s a moot point.

 

I plan to use the three dome car for deliveries on the branch for small bulk oil dealers stocking multiple products. The other cars are for through East-West trains and block drops in Burlington for transfer to Southbound trains to St. Louis.

 

Nelson Moyer

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Jim Betz
Sent: Saturday, July 16, 2022 11:01 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] UTLX Class X Tank Car Build

 

Nelson/anyone,

  First - Nelson this is a good looking build.  (The following is -not- a criticism.)

  The variety of Nelson's build prompts me to ask "how similar would the dome plus
the equipment on it be ... for cars in the same service?".  Certainly a three dome
tank would be unlikely to be delivered to the same location as a one.  But would
the variety of domes and hardware on them be likely/possible to be together on a
single loading facility (at a refinery, for example)?

  There is a refinery near me that 'ships' out product in both tank cars and pipeline.
I drove past the refinery just yesterday - and the cars waiting to be loaded and/or
picked up by the next outbound move were -highly- similar to each other.  There
were a few different reporting marks but even those were 'mostly the same'.
  Is this a modern thing or does it also describe "our era here on STMFC"?

                                                                            - Jim in the PNW

 


Nelson Moyer
 

Thanks Tim. I just realized that it’s actually the last six cars in the stash, because I forgot to consider the Class X in the count, so it’s the last six cars in the stash.

 

Nelson Moyer

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Tim O'Connor
Sent: Saturday, July 16, 2022 10:07 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] UTLX Class X Tank Car Build

 


Excellent work !

Last-Five-in-the-Stash.jpg



On 7/15/2022 6:40 PM, Nelson Moyer wrote:

I finished the build on RCW 7.02 UTLX Class X 6,000 gallon tank car this afternoon. It’s the last resin kit in my stash, so it’s a milestone of sorts. When I purposed to build the stash, there were 48 kits, and it took a little over two years to build them.

 

This kit was a challenge, because as I reported in earlier posts on the resincarbuilders io group. The bottom tank course was too high as a result of using an Intermountain bottom course as the master. This pushed up the running boards and handrails. I determined to build the kit as close to prototype as I could, using prototype drawings provided by Steve Hile. The details for lowering the running board and handrail are in the earlier posts. I used Archer rivets to restore the bottom course line, and to repair the vertical rivets sanded off while filling the cast drilling dimples of the running board. The tank detail photos posted herein show the extent of the tank error, as the original course line is visible under the running board detail photos. The B end right side sill step had a casting flaw where the grab iron rung was open. I cut off the remanent, and glued a piece of 0.0125 in . wire to replace the missing rung.

 

The B end uncoupling lever got flipped up while I was staging the car for photography, and I’ll move it back down and glue it in place before blasting and priming.

 

I saved the five tank cars for last, and I’m glad I did, because they were the most difficult of all the resin kits I’ve built.  I attached a photo of those last five cars.

 

I very rarely cross post, but I decided to share this last resin build with a larger audience. I included my build notes for those of you who have this car in your stash.

 

Nelson Moyer

 

 


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


Clarence Zink
 

Jim -

I believe strings of "mostly the same" tank cars has been an industry practice for a long time.  I'm particularly fond of Sinclair tank cars and company history, and as vividly as 55 years of memory will allow, remember standing on the platform in Rock Springs, Wyoming in 1965 - 68, waiting for our summer camp group to arrive,  seeing long strings of identical tankers blasting by on the outer tracks.  The Sinclair refinery was +/- 150 miles to the east, at Sinclair, Wyo.

The really CRAZY part of that is that in trains going west, those long strings of tank cars passing the Rock Springs station in the afternoons were pulled by giant UP diesels with a hole in the middle!!  You could see right through them!!  It took 40 years for me to figure out those giant UP diesels, usually 3 in a row, were DD35's.  DD40's didn't exist in '65, '66, or '67, but I might have seen them in 1968.

Anyway, whenever I've seen long strings of tank cars, present day or past, they are "mostly the same", maybe with different road markings, but generally the same construction type.  If you're constantly shipping 100's of thousands of gallons of the same petroleum products to the same destination, why not use all of the same cars?  And stored cars seem to be "mostly the same" on the tracks where I've seen them stored.

I've enjoyed this discussion immensely, and got a lot of info out of it.

Thanks everyone!!

CRZ


Bruce Smith
 

Clarence,

I would disagree with you on this. Since "modern day" (for this list is 1959), we'll only talk about this and backwards. Tanks cars in petroleum service ranged from 6,000 to 12,000 gallons, with a few exceptions, with the most common sizes depending on the fleet (8K for SHPX, and 10 K for UTLX). The largest owners were the 3 leasing fleets, SHPX, UTLX, and GATX and those fleets were anything but uniform. The reason for that is pretty obvious if you think about it and that relates to the traffic. Bothe pre-WWII and post WWII, the basic traffic was from refineries to distributers and the distributers had different needs with respect to amount. Thus, the loadout at the refinery typically shows multiple different types of cars. There also wouldn't be long strings on tank cars out on the railroad with a couple of exceptions. One would be the local, serving the refinery. Both delivery of empty cars tod and pick of loaded cars from the refinery would be a string of different cars, as these cars would be split up at the local yard for their destinations. The other example might be a train like the PRR TRS symbols. Standing for "tank, reefer, stock", these trains were designed to expedite empties to get them off the railroad. Having all sorts of empties would mean a variety of cars. When we think about WWII, which is about the only time long strings of tank cars moved over major railroads for any distance, these were whatever car could be grabbed and so they were classic "dog's breakfast" of tank cars. 

Bottom line? For the purposes of this list, trains of tank cars should resemble trains of boxcars, with a stairstep effect (albeit perhaps more subtle) due to the variety of cars in service.

Regards,
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Clarence Zink <clarence.zink@...>
Sent: Sunday, July 17, 2022 2:58 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: [EXT] Re: [RealSTMFC] UTLX Class X Tank Car Build
 
CAUTION: Email Originated Outside of Auburn.
Jim -

I believe strings of "mostly the same" tank cars has been an industry practice for a long time.  I'm particularly fond of Sinclair tank cars and company history, and as vividly as 55 years of memory will allow, remember standing on the platform in Rock Springs, Wyoming in 1965 - 68, waiting for our summer camp group to arrive,  seeing long strings of identical tankers blasting by on the outer tracks.  The Sinclair refinery was +/- 150 miles to the east, at Sinclair, Wyo.

The really CRAZY part of that is that in trains going west, those long strings of tank cars passing the Rock Springs station in the afternoons were pulled by giant UP diesels with a hole in the middle!!  You could see right through them!!  It took 40 years for me to figure out those giant UP diesels, usually 3 in a row, were DD35's.  DD40's didn't exist in '65, '66, or '67, but I might have seen them in 1968.

Anyway, whenever I've seen long strings of tank cars, present day or past, they are "mostly the same", maybe with different road markings, but generally the same construction type.  If you're constantly shipping 100's of thousands of gallons of the same petroleum products to the same destination, why not use all of the same cars?  And stored cars seem to be "mostly the same" on the tracks where I've seen them stored.

I've enjoyed this discussion immensely, and got a lot of info out of it.

Thanks everyone!!

CRZ


John Barry
 

Adding to Bruce's observations, I discovered a tank car detention report for Port Chicago from November 1944 in the San Bruno branch of the National Archives and wrote a blog post about it in 2012.  Interchanges 2: Port Chicago


The Office of Defense Transportation asked the AAR to investigate perceived delays to tank car traffic to the SP served Tidewater refinery at Avon and Shell and Union Oil at Martinez that were interchanged to and from the Santa Fe at Port Chicago.  

From the list of cars, I tried to track what they looked like for modelling purposes as my layout is set in December 44 and includes that interchange.  The saga of tracking down NEOX 238 is documented here with photos courtesy of Richard Hendrickson.  https://northbaylines.blogspot.com/2013/05/sources.html

I was gratified that BLI released the EBAX cars, as Ethyl motor fuel compound was in high demand at those refineries as well as the Standard Oil adjacent to my Richmond yard.  


John Barry
 
ATSF North Bay Lines 
Golden Gates & Fast Freights 
Lovettsville, VA


707-490-9696 






On Sunday, July 17, 2022 at 05:34:09 PM EDT, Bruce Smith <smithbf@...> wrote:


Clarence,

I would disagree with you on this. Since "modern day" (for this list is 1959), we'll only talk about this and backwards. Tanks cars in petroleum service ranged from 6,000 to 12,000 gallons, with a few exceptions, with the most common sizes depending on the fleet (8K for SHPX, and 10 K for UTLX). The largest owners were the 3 leasing fleets, SHPX, UTLX, and GATX and those fleets were anything but uniform. The reason for that is pretty obvious if you think about it and that relates to the traffic. Bothe pre-WWII and post WWII, the basic traffic was from refineries to distributers and the distributers had different needs with respect to amount. Thus, the loadout at the refinery typically shows multiple different types of cars. There also wouldn't be long strings on tank cars out on the railroad with a couple of exceptions. One would be the local, serving the refinery. Both delivery of empty cars tod and pick of loaded cars from the refinery would be a string of different cars, as these cars would be split up at the local yard for their destinations. The other example might be a train like the PRR TRS symbols. Standing for "tank, reefer, stock", these trains were designed to expedite empties to get them off the railroad. Having all sorts of empties would mean a variety of cars. When we think about WWII, which is about the only time long strings of tank cars moved over major railroads for any distance, these were whatever car could be grabbed and so they were classic "dog's breakfast" of tank cars. 

Bottom line? For the purposes of this list, trains of tank cars should resemble trains of boxcars, with a stairstep effect (albeit perhaps more subtle) due to the variety of cars in service.

Regards,
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Clarence Zink <clarence.zink@...>
Sent: Sunday, July 17, 2022 2:58 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: [EXT] Re: [RealSTMFC] UTLX Class X Tank Car Build
 
CAUTION: Email Originated Outside of Auburn.
Jim -

I believe strings of "mostly the same" tank cars has been an industry practice for a long time.  I'm particularly fond of Sinclair tank cars and company history, and as vividly as 55 years of memory will allow, remember standing on the platform in Rock Springs, Wyoming in 1965 - 68, waiting for our summer camp group to arrive,  seeing long strings of identical tankers blasting by on the outer tracks.  The Sinclair refinery was +/- 150 miles to the east, at Sinclair, Wyo.

The really CRAZY part of that is that in trains going west, those long strings of tank cars passing the Rock Springs station in the afternoons were pulled by giant UP diesels with a hole in the middle!!  You could see right through them!!  It took 40 years for me to figure out those giant UP diesels, usually 3 in a row, were DD35's.  DD40's didn't exist in '65, '66, or '67, but I might have seen them in 1968.

Anyway, whenever I've seen long strings of tank cars, present day or past, they are "mostly the same", maybe with different road markings, but generally the same construction type.  If you're constantly shipping 100's of thousands of gallons of the same petroleum products to the same destination, why not use all of the same cars?  And stored cars seem to be "mostly the same" on the tracks where I've seen them stored.

I've enjoyed this discussion immensely, and got a lot of info out of it.

Thanks everyone!!

CRZ


Tim O'Connor
 


I dunno, Bruce. As in most things, I think it 'depends' on what is being modeled. Large numbers
of 8,000 gallon and lesser numbers of 10,000 gallon tank cars ARA III/ICC103 were predominant
for petroleum transport (the predominant tank car cargo) for several decades.

Tim O'Connor

On 7/17/2022 5:34 PM, Bruce Smith wrote:


Bottom line? For the purposes of this list, trains of tank cars should resemble trains of boxcars, with a stairstep effect (albeit perhaps more subtle) due to the variety of cars in service.

Regards,
Bruce Smith


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


Steve and Barb Hile
 

At least the first car in this sequence is a UTLX X-3 10000 gallon tank, like the coming Rapido model.

 

Steve Hile

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Tim O'Connor
Sent: Sunday, July 17, 2022 5:29 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] UTLX Class X Tank Car Build

 


I dunno, Bruce. As in most things, I think it 'depends' on what is being modeled. Large numbers
of 8,000 gallon and lesser numbers of 10,000 gallon tank cars ARA III/ICC103 were predominant
for petroleum transport (the predominant tank car cargo) for several decades.

Tim O'Connor

On 7/17/2022 5:34 PM, Bruce Smith wrote:



Bottom line? For the purposes of this list, trains of tank cars should resemble trains of boxcars, with a stairstep effect (albeit perhaps more subtle) due to the variety of cars in service.



Regards,

Bruce Smith

 


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


Dave Parker
 

On Sun, Jul 17, 2022 at 03:28 PM, Tim O'Connor wrote:
Large numbers
of 8,000 gallon and lesser numbers of 10,000 gallon tank cars ARA III/ICC103 were predominant
for petroleum transport (the predominant tank car cargo) for several decades.
It would be helpful to know which "several decades" this generalization is being applied to, as well as its basis.  Thanks to Steve's book, we know exactly how many class V, X and X-3 cars UTLX acquired between 1901 and 1937.  The 10,000-gal  cars outnumbered the 8000s by about 4.5 to 1.  Even the 6000/6500-gal cars outnumbered the 8000s by about 2.5 to 1, with the latter only accounting for 12% of the total.
 
Given the overall size of the UTLX fleet (35,000+ cars from 1930 to 1945), I am curious to know which other fleets were sufficiently dominated by 8000-gal cars to effect the shift to a dominance of that size.  And where the supporting data can be found.

--
Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA


Tim O'Connor
 


It's really beside the point Dave. The argument was made that tank cars should resemble the
"stair step" of box cars while MOST tank cars for DECADES were plain old single dome 8k
and 10k (I don't care which) and the solid trains of them bore little resemblance to the great
variety of box cars. The SP tank car fleet (in the thousands) was mostly 12,500 gallon cars
but in their context they pretty much looked very similar to one another.

Forest for the trees, fellas.


On 7/18/2022 12:58 AM, Dave Parker via groups.io wrote:

On Sun, Jul 17, 2022 at 03:28 PM, Tim O'Connor wrote:
Large numbers
of 8,000 gallon and lesser numbers of 10,000 gallon tank cars ARA III/ICC103 were predominant
for petroleum transport (the predominant tank car cargo) for several decades.
It would be helpful to know which "several decades" this generalization is being applied to, as well as its basis.  Thanks to Steve's book, we know exactly how many class V, X and X-3 cars UTLX acquired between 1901 and 1937.  The 10,000-gal  cars outnumbered the 8000s by about 4.5 to 1.  Even the 6000/6500-gal cars outnumbered the 8000s by about 2.5 to 1, with the latter only accounting for 12% of the total.
 
Given the overall size of the UTLX fleet (35,000+ cars from 1930 to 1945), I am curious to know which other fleets were sufficiently dominated by 8000-gal cars to effect the shift to a dominance of that size.  And where the supporting data can be found.

--
Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA

--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


Nelson Moyer
 

I thought oil trains ran primarily during WWII due to the danger to tankers from U-boats. Blocks of like cars, yes, but unit trains after the war?

 

Nelson Moyer

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Tim O'Connor
Sent: Monday, July 18, 2022 9:31 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] UTLX Class X Tank Car Build

 


It's really beside the point Dave. The argument was made that tank cars should resemble the
"stair step" of box cars while MOST tank cars for DECADES were plain old single dome 8k
and 10k (I don't care which) and the solid trains of them bore little resemblance to the great
variety of box cars. The SP tank car fleet (in the thousands) was mostly 12,500 gallon cars
but in their context they pretty much looked very similar to one another.

Forest for the trees, fellas.


On 7/18/2022 12:58 AM, Dave Parker via groups.io wrote:

On Sun, Jul 17, 2022 at 03:28 PM, Tim O'Connor wrote:

Large numbers
of 8,000 gallon and lesser numbers of 10,000 gallon tank cars ARA III/ICC103 were predominant
for petroleum transport (the predominant tank car cargo) for several decades.

It would be helpful to know which "several decades" this generalization is being applied to, as well as its basis.  Thanks to Steve's book, we know exactly how many class V, X and X-3 cars UTLX acquired between 1901 and 1937.  The 10,000-gal  cars outnumbered the 8000s by about 4.5 to 1.  Even the 6000/6500-gal cars outnumbered the 8000s by about 2.5 to 1, with the latter only accounting for 12% of the total.
 
Given the overall size of the UTLX fleet (35,000+ cars from 1930 to 1945), I am curious to know which other fleets were sufficiently dominated by 8000-gal cars to effect the shift to a dominance of that size.  And where the supporting data can be found.

--
Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


Tim O'Connor
 


Early in the war solid trainloads of CRUDE oil plus large blocks had to be moved to
east coast refineries (spread from Chesapeake Bay up to North Jersey) by rail until a huge
new pipeline "Big Inch" I think was completed in 1941 or 1942... It was practical because
large numbers of unemployed tank cars already existed.

When oil was first discovered in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana there were NO pipelines.
Tens of thousands of tank cars - plain old single dome 10k 8k 12k - were needed to move the
crude and the finished products.

As pipelines were built out, tank cars were eventually in excess supply for petroleum products
for many years. Many of the available cars we have in HO scale represent cars built in small
numbers - I mean, there must be 15 models of acid tank cars, but how many have you seen in
photos?

So of course I hope the Rapido X-3 is a success, because that's one car everyone needs! :-)


On 7/18/2022 10:35 AM, Nelson Moyer wrote:

I thought oil trains ran primarily during WWII due to the danger to tankers from U-boats.

Blocks of like cars, yes, but unit trains after the war?

Nelson Moyer

--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


Bruce Smith
 

Tim,

 

You are mistaken in a couple of  important ways.

 

First, prior to WWII, crude was mostly handled by coastal tankers, not by rail, when shipping to the refineries in the north east.

 

Second, to the refined eye, there are clear differences between 8K and 10K (as well as 6K and 12K) tank cars. Additionally, there are multiple builders of tank cars and multiple models of tank cars from the same builder. As a consequence, while more subtle than with boxcars (which I said) there is a CLEAR variability between tank cars and they are not all the same.

 

Regards,

Bruce

Bruce Smith

 

 

From: <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...>
Reply-To: "main@RealSTMFC.groups.io" <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Date: Monday, July 18, 2022 at 9:51 AM
To: "main@RealSTMFC.groups.io" <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: [EXT] Re: [RealSTMFC] UTLX Class X Tank Car Build

 

CAUTION: Email Originated Outside of Auburn.


Early in the war solid trainloads of CRUDE oil plus large blocks had to be moved to
east coast refineries (spread from Chesapeake Bay up to North Jersey) by rail until a huge
new pipeline "Big Inch" I think was completed in 1941 or 1942... It was practical because
large numbers of unemployed tank cars already existed.

When oil was first discovered in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana there were NO pipelines.
Tens of thousands of tank cars - plain old single dome 10k 8k 12k - were needed to move the
crude and the finished products.

As pipelines were built out, tank cars were eventually in excess supply for petroleum products
for many years. Many of the available cars we have in HO scale represent cars built in small
numbers - I mean, there must be 15 models of acid tank cars, but how many have you seen in
photos?

So of course I hope the Rapido X-3 is a success, because that's one car everyone needs! :-)


On 7/18/2022 10:35 AM, Nelson Moyer wrote:

I thought oil trains ran primarily during WWII due to the danger to tankers from U-boats.

Blocks of like cars, yes, but unit trains after the war?

Nelson Moyer

--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


Bruce Smith
 

Nelson,


Correct.

 

In addition, post WWII, tank car traffic was almost exclusively in refined products and therefore would be from the refinery to the distributor. Large blocks of cars might leave the refinery, but then would be broken up over the next few yards as cars were separated for individual delivery (or small blocks, if the consignee was large enough). Likewise, larger blocks of empty cars might be accumulated in feeder yards, that were then delivered by the railroad to the refinery, but these are really the exception and not the rule.

 

Regards,

Bruce Smith

Auburn, AL

 

From: <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Nelson Moyer <npmoyer@...>
Reply-To: "main@RealSTMFC.groups.io" <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Date: Monday, July 18, 2022 at 9:36 AM
To: "main@RealSTMFC.groups.io" <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: [EXT] Re: [RealSTMFC] UTLX Class X Tank Car Build

 

CAUTION: Email Originated Outside of Auburn.

I thought oil trains ran primarily during WWII due to the danger to tankers from U-boats. Blocks of like cars, yes, but unit trains after the war?

 

Nelson Moyer

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Tim O'Connor
Sent: Monday, July 18, 2022 9:31 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] UTLX Class X Tank Car Build

 


It's really beside the point Dave. The argument was made that tank cars should resemble the
"stair step" of box cars while MOST tank cars for DECADES were plain old single dome 8k
and 10k (I don't care which) and the solid trains of them bore little resemblance to the great
variety of box cars. The SP tank car fleet (in the thousands) was mostly 12,500 gallon cars
but in their context they pretty much looked very similar to one another.

Forest for the trees, fellas.


On 7/18/2022 12:58 AM, Dave Parker via groups.io wrote:

On Sun, Jul 17, 2022 at 03:28 PM, Tim O'Connor wrote:

Large numbers
of 8,000 gallon and lesser numbers of 10,000 gallon tank cars ARA III/ICC103 were predominant
for petroleum transport (the predominant tank car cargo) for several decades.

It would be helpful to know which "several decades" this generalization is being applied to, as well as its basis.  Thanks to Steve's book, we know exactly how many class V, X and X-3 cars UTLX acquired between 1901 and 1937.  The 10,000-gal  cars outnumbered the 8000s by about 4.5 to 1.  Even the 6000/6500-gal cars outnumbered the 8000s by about 2.5 to 1, with the latter only accounting for 12% of the total.
 
Given the overall size of the UTLX fleet (35,000+ cars from 1930 to 1945), I am curious to know which other fleets were sufficiently dominated by 8000-gal cars to effect the shift to a dominance of that size.  And where the supporting data can be found.

--
Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


Dave Parker
 

A few things:

The "Big Inch" pipeline was completed in July of 1943, and at least some historians credit it with being a significant factor in victory on the European front. There was also a "Little Big Inch" pipeline completed three months later that extended from the Gulf refineries to Philly-NJ and carried four refined products.  My understanding is that, because of the U-boat threat, the goals was to originate all petroleum shipments to Europe in the Northeast (from Philly to Portland, ME, I believe).

Second, I think crude-oil pipelines have been around longer than some folks think  The first ones, albeit primitive, date to the 1860s and 70s.  This map, from the 1925 Atlas of Traffic Maps (LaSalle Extension University, Chicago) shows a pretty extensive network from production fields to refineries.



IIRC, this pipeline network was considerably more extensive by ~1940, but should be viewed in the context of the 1925 utilization of petroleum-based energy (still dwarfed by coal by a factor of ~4).

I suspect there were several general patterns of petroleum transport outside of the WWII years.  With my New England bias, I tend to think of a dominant one as being oilfields to Gulf refineries via pipeline to coastal terminals (tank farms) by boat to distributors by rail.  Patterns in the interior of the country would have differed I suppose, but I know very little about that region.

Last, another reason to emphasize coastwise transportation of refined products is the significant quantity of fuel oil that went to the bunkering facilities found in every port, large and small, for the refueling of ships. 
--
Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA


Tim O'Connor
 

Bruce

LOL. WHERE did I say crude was shipped by rail to the east coast, EXCEPT in WWII ?

Most of the refineries were then, and are now, in the three states I mentioned. Most crude oil
movements by rail were short hauls, maybe a few hundred miles, but often much less.

"to the refined eye" .... "more subtle" ... Oh, brother.



On 7/18/2022 11:34 AM, Bruce Smith wrote:

Tim,

 

You are mistaken in a couple of  important ways.

 

First, prior to WWII, crude was mostly handled by coastal tankers, not by rail, when shipping to the refineries in the north east.

 

Second, to the refined eye, there are clear differences between 8K and 10K (as well as 6K and 12K) tank cars. Additionally, there are multiple builders of tank cars and multiple models of tank cars from the same builder. As a consequence, while more subtle than with boxcars (which I said) there is a CLEAR variability between tank cars and they are not all the same.

 

Regards,

Bruce

Bruce Smith

 

 

From: <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...>
Reply-To: "main@RealSTMFC.groups.io" <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Date: Monday, July 18, 2022 at 9:51 AM
To: "main@RealSTMFC.groups.io" <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: [EXT] Re: [RealSTMFC] UTLX Class X Tank Car Build

 

CAUTION: Email Originated Outside of Auburn.


Early in the war solid trainloads of CRUDE oil plus large blocks had to be moved to
east coast refineries (spread from Chesapeake Bay up to North Jersey) by rail until a huge
new pipeline "Big Inch" I think was completed in 1941 or 1942... It was practical because
large numbers of unemployed tank cars already existed.

When oil was first discovered in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana there were NO pipelines.
Tens of thousands of tank cars - plain old single dome 10k 8k 12k - were needed to move the
crude and the finished products.

As pipelines were built out, tank cars were eventually in excess supply for petroleum products
for many years. Many of the available cars we have in HO scale represent cars built in small
numbers - I mean, there must be 15 models of acid tank cars, but how many have you seen in
photos?

So of course I hope the Rapido X-3 is a success, because that's one car everyone needs! :-)


On 7/18/2022 10:35 AM, Nelson Moyer wrote:

I thought oil trains ran primarily during WWII due to the danger to tankers from U-boats.

Blocks of like cars, yes, but unit trains after the war?

Nelson Moyer

--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


mopacfirst
 

Not to divert from the current discussion, but I can offer a bit more information about the car being tracked in the blog post, or rather its origin.

The point called "Atreco, Texas" is actually the yard serving the refinery that was called at the time "Atlantic Refining".  Its owner at the time was the company that later became Arco, but this particular refinery property later became Fina.  "American Petrofina" was a subsidiary of what was the largest oil company in Belgium, later bought by Total, which was and is the largest oil company in France.  Today the refinery still exists, and in fact is the one some of us wrote about a few years ago concerning the wooden pipe (buried water pipe) from 1918.

The plant is directly north of Port Arthur and directly east of Port Neches, so the mentioned car's routing would have probably been a few miles northwest on the KCS to the most likely ATSF (GC&SF) interchange on the west side of Beaumont, then north and west.  That KCS trackage today carries large numbers of tank and covered hopper cars from the plants located all along it.

Ron Merrick


Clarence Zink
 

So, what are you modeling?  That is what makes the difference.  Local petroleum dealers only took a couple of tank cars at a time. Refineries and tank farms took dozens, if not hundreds, of tank cars at a whack.

Yes, individual oil companies had several different types/classes of tank cars at once, evidently commonly combined in trains.  Photos show that.  Big deal.  Model that!

If you are modeling a downstate Illinois local oil dealer of the '40's, you're only gonna use at most, 4 tank cars, probably fewer.

Or, maybe, as a few folks do, the Green River UP yard.  Blocks of Sinclair and other tank cars moved through there on their way west, north, and south.

Any specific refinery had huge amounts of tank cars, bringing in crude, hauling off gasoline and other fuels.  Many refineries received crude from both pipelines and rail shipments, and put out product in the same ways.

Those folks modeling Sherman Hill, or Tehachapi, certainly had blocks of tank cars traversing the rails.  

Unfortunately, I believe the collective "we" tend to be very myopic in what we model, because "we" have a specific vision in our mind.  Mine is the Rock Springs platform in the mid 1960's watching the DD35's pulling a hundred tank cars west.

Go to the Library of Congress Office of War Information website, and do a search for "Tank car".  You will get 143 photos of tank cars, taken by Gov't hired contract photographers during the WWII era:  https://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/fsa/ .  Or any other large digital collection.  There are hundreds out there waiting to be pillaged for our personal research.

Don't fall down the 'rabbit hole' too far!

CRZ 

And just for something nuts: