Topics

chlorine cannister flats (was Virginia Chemical Tank Cars)

Tim O'Connor
 


I have numerous photos of these cannister flat cars, and they are always loaded with
their cannisters. The precise style of cannisters does vary - perhaps related to the
commodity, or time period? They all have 15 cannisters in my photos.

Was ACF the builder of all these cars?

Tim O'


On 2/19/2020 2:45 PM, James E Kubanick wrote:
When I lived out East during the 1980's there was a small water treatment plant in Lansdale PA that still received these cars. I believe that the cars were returned with empty canisters aboard. I never saw a car without them, but practices may vary - especially during our timeframe.

Jim Kubanick

On Tuesday, February 18, 2020, 8:24:24 PM EST, Schleigh Mike via Groups.Io <mike_schleigh@...> wrote:


One of these canister cars was the basis of a scratchbuilding article in Model Railroader way back in the early 1950s.  The article was republished in a 'reprint' collection called "Build Your Own Model Cars and Locos."  I still have my tattered copy from some some 60 years back.  Neat stuff even now!  The model was largely brass, called a "chlorine car," carried 14 canisters, and was lettered for Penna. Salt Mfg. (PSMX 1011).  This car is listed in my copy of the January 1946 ORER.

Bob's Photo has sold a couple different images of this type of car.

Regards from Grove City, Penna. where winter is creeping back----Mike Schleigh


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

mopacfirst
 

Here's one.  Shipper would have been Frontier Chemical, which at the time was a division of Vulcan Materials, now Oxy (Occidental Chemicals).

This car is unmarked, but that's not necessarily indicating whether or not it was on lease.  I'd say it was certainly possible that the cars could have moved empty sometimes, but more than likely a loaded car went to a customer with full containers and returned with empty containers from the last shipment.

Ron Merrick

Allen Cain
 

Here are some pictures of the Chlorine canister cars along with one of the MTS model.  Note that in some you are seeing the top of the canister with the connection point and it some the domed bottom.

Allen Cain

Ed Hawkins
 

On Feb 19, 2020, at 4:02 PM, Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:

I have numerous photos of these cannister flat cars, and they are always loaded with
their cannisters. The precise style of cannisters does vary - perhaps related to the
commodity, or time period? They all have 15 cannisters in my photos.

Tim,
ACF wasn’t the only builder of cars of this type that were primarily used for chlorine containers. ACF records document the company built approximately 350 "Multi-Unit Tank Cars" from 1924 to 1958 comprised of 87 orders having lot numbers assigned. Roughly half of the cars were built before 1940 with the largest pre-1940 order being 16 cars.

Ten of these cars were built “for stock” for the U.S.A. Chief of Engineers. I don’t know the disposition of these lot 2370 cars built in July 1941. 

Six ACF builder photos of these cars are on the Barriger Flickr web site with 3/4-views & “B” end views of 3 of the earliest cars - lot 10, MALX 365; lot 188, VSX 204; lot 401, GWEX 4?? (angled view hides car number). 

List of ACF M-U tank cars by reporting marks to include the quantity of cars, number of orders, and range of build dates:
ACCX - 10 cars, 4 lots 1926-1935
ACF - 10 cars, 1 lot, built 1941 (U.S.A. Chief of Engineers)
BAKX - 2 cars, 2 lots 1931-1932
BCX - 7 cars, 3 lots 1926-1931
CACX (or possibly PPGX) - 21 cars, 2 lots 1936-1937
CALX - 3 cars, 3 lots 1927-1934
CILX (Canada) - 2 cars, 2 lots 1932, 1945
DAX - 23 cars, 11 lots 1928-1946
DUPX - 15 cars, 3 lots 1926-1933
GCX - 26 cars, 1 lot, built 1948
GWEX - 8 cars, 2 lots 1927-1928
HOKX - 8 cars, 2 lots 1925-1926
MALX - 10 cars, 1 lot, built 1925
MONX - 7 cars, 3 lots 1932-1936
PSMX - 32 cars, 12 lots 1924-1948
SHPX - 101 cars, 16 lots 1937-1948 (lessees - Westvaco, DuPont, Diamond Chemical, likely others)
SPX - 44 cars, 11 lots 1927-1948
TELX - 1 car, 1 lot, built 1930
TENX - 4 cars, 1 lot, built 1949 (for sulphur dioxide containers)
VSX - 15 cars, 5 lots 1924-1929
WCX - 1 car, 1 lot, built 1930? (unsure about this order)

Regards,
Ed Hawkins

Tim O'Connor
 


Nice pictures!! I answered my own question about ACF building these. I forgot I had
photos of CC&F (Canadian Car & Foundry) and GATC (General American) cannister flats.
But most of them appear to be ACF cars.

Tim O'Connor




On 2/19/2020 6:36 PM, Allen Cain wrote:
Here are some pictures of the Chlorine canister cars along with one of the MTS model.  Note that in some you are seeing the top of the canister with the connection point and it some the domed bottom.

Allen Cain

Attachments:



--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

Tim O'Connor
 


Thanks for that roster Ed!

The attached photo may be one of those mysterious USA cars. From the Gerstley duplicates.

Tim O'Connor


On 2/21/2020 1:33 PM, Ed Hawkins wrote:
On Feb 19, 2020, at 4:02 PM, Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:

I have numerous photos of these cannister flat cars, and they are always loaded with
their cannisters. The precise style of cannisters does vary - perhaps related to the
commodity, or time period? They all have 15 cannisters in my photos.

Tim,
ACF wasn’t the only builder of cars of this type that were primarily used for chlorine containers. ACF records document the company built approximately 350 "Multi-Unit Tank Cars" from 1924 to 1958 comprised of 87 orders having lot numbers assigned. Roughly half of the cars were built before 1940 with the largest pre-1940 order being 16 cars.

Ten of these cars were built “for stock” for the U.S.A. Chief of Engineers. I don’t know the disposition of these lot 2370 cars built in July 1941. 

Six ACF builder photos of these cars are on the Barriger Flickr web site with 3/4-views & “B” end views of 3 of the earliest cars - lot 10, MALX 365; lot 188, VSX 204; lot 401, GWEX 4?? (angled view hides car number). 

List of ACF M-U tank cars by reporting marks to include the quantity of cars, number of orders, and range of build dates:
ACCX - 10 cars, 4 lots 1926-1935
ACF - 10 cars, 1 lot, built 1941 (U.S.A. Chief of Engineers)
BAKX - 2 cars, 2 lots 1931-1932
BCX - 7 cars, 3 lots 1926-1931
CACX (or possibly PPGX) - 21 cars, 2 lots 1936-1937
CALX - 3 cars, 3 lots 1927-1934
CILX (Canada) - 2 cars, 2 lots 1932, 1945
DAX - 23 cars, 11 lots 1928-1946
DUPX - 15 cars, 3 lots 1926-1933
GCX - 26 cars, 1 lot, built 1948
GWEX - 8 cars, 2 lots 1927-1928
HOKX - 8 cars, 2 lots 1925-1926
MALX - 10 cars, 1 lot, built 1925
MONX - 7 cars, 3 lots 1932-1936
PSMX - 32 cars, 12 lots 1924-1948
SHPX - 101 cars, 16 lots 1937-1948 (lessees - Westvaco, DuPont, Diamond Chemical, likely others)
SPX - 44 cars, 11 lots 1927-1948
TELX - 1 car, 1 lot, built 1930
TENX - 4 cars, 1 lot, built 1949 (for sulphur dioxide containers)
VSX - 15 cars, 5 lots 1924-1929
WCX - 1 car, 1 lot, built 1930? (unsure about this order)

Regards,
Ed Hawkins


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

Garth Groff and Sally Sanford
 

Tim and Ed,

Two possibilities for the USAX cars:

Many large bases had their own water treatment facilities, which would have used chlorine. They used chlorine for more than just officers' swimming pools.

Even though we weren't supposed to have poison gas the US was still making chemical weapons up until 1969 "just in case". Chlorine was a component of some of these weapons, and maybe others I've never heard of.

Love the photo. I wonder what those rich people living up on the distant hills thought about the view in Taylor Yard's direction. Well, the railroad was there first.
 
Yours Aye,

Garth Groff  🦆


On Fri, Feb 21, 2020 at 1:52 PM Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:

Thanks for that roster Ed!

The attached photo may be one of those mysterious USA cars. From the Gerstley duplicates.

Tim O'Connor


On 2/21/2020 1:33 PM, Ed Hawkins wrote:

On Feb 19, 2020, at 4:02 PM, Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:

I have numerous photos of these cannister flat cars, and they are always loaded with
their cannisters. The precise style of cannisters does vary - perhaps related to the
commodity, or time period? They all have 15 cannisters in my photos.

Tim,
ACF wasn’t the only builder of cars of this type that were primarily used for chlorine containers. ACF records document the company built approximately 350 "Multi-Unit Tank Cars" from 1924 to 1958 comprised of 87 orders having lot numbers assigned. Roughly half of the cars were built before 1940 with the largest pre-1940 order being 16 cars.

Ten of these cars were built “for stock” for the U.S.A. Chief of Engineers. I don’t know the disposition of these lot 2370 cars built in July 1941. 

Six ACF builder photos of these cars are on the Barriger Flickr web site with 3/4-views & “B” end views of 3 of the earliest cars - lot 10, MALX 365; lot 188, VSX 204; lot 401, GWEX 4?? (angled view hides car number). 

List of ACF M-U tank cars by reporting marks to include the quantity of cars, number of orders, and range of build dates:
ACCX - 10 cars, 4 lots 1926-1935
ACF - 10 cars, 1 lot, built 1941 (U.S.A. Chief of Engineers)
BAKX - 2 cars, 2 lots 1931-1932
BCX - 7 cars, 3 lots 1926-1931
CACX (or possibly PPGX) - 21 cars, 2 lots 1936-1937
CALX - 3 cars, 3 lots 1927-1934
CILX (Canada) - 2 cars, 2 lots 1932, 1945
DAX - 23 cars, 11 lots 1928-1946
DUPX - 15 cars, 3 lots 1926-1933
GCX - 26 cars, 1 lot, built 1948
GWEX - 8 cars, 2 lots 1927-1928
HOKX - 8 cars, 2 lots 1925-1926
MALX - 10 cars, 1 lot, built 1925
MONX - 7 cars, 3 lots 1932-1936
PSMX - 32 cars, 12 lots 1924-1948
SHPX - 101 cars, 16 lots 1937-1948 (lessees - Westvaco, DuPont, Diamond Chemical, likely others)
SPX - 44 cars, 11 lots 1927-1948
TELX - 1 car, 1 lot, built 1930
TENX - 4 cars, 1 lot, built 1949 (for sulphur dioxide containers)
VSX - 15 cars, 5 lots 1924-1929
WCX - 1 car, 1 lot, built 1930? (unsure about this order)

Regards,
Ed Hawkins


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

Attachments:

Tim O'Connor
 

Garth

I don't think the real estate around Taylor or the Bullring-Cornfield yards was
especially dear. I see many modest single family homes - at least in the STMFC era.

I don't think chemical weapons (other than LSD) were being made in California. :-)



On 2/21/2020 3:47 PM, Garth Groff and Sally Sanford wrote:
Tim and Ed,

Two possibilities for the USAX cars:

Many large bases had their own water treatment facilities, which would have used chlorine. They used chlorine for more than just officers' swimming pools.

Even though we weren't supposed to have poison gas the US was still making chemical weapons up until 1969 "just in case". Chlorine was a component of some of these weapons, and maybe others I've never heard of.

Love the photo. I wonder what those rich people living up on the distant hills thought about the view in Taylor Yard's direction. Well, the railroad was there first.
 
Yours Aye,

Garth Groff  🦆


On Fri, Feb 21, 2020 at 1:52 PM Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:

Thanks for that roster Ed!

The attached photo may be one of those mysterious USA cars. From the Gerstley duplicates.

Tim O'Connor


On 2/21/2020 1:33 PM, Ed Hawkins wrote:
On Feb 19, 2020, at 4:02 PM, Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:

I have numerous photos of these cannister flat cars, and they are always loaded with
their cannisters. The precise style of cannisters does vary - perhaps related to the
commodity, or time period? They all have 15 cannisters in my photos.

Tim,
ACF wasn’t the only builder of cars of this type that were primarily used for chlorine containers. ACF records document the company built approximately 350 "Multi-Unit Tank Cars" from 1924 to 1958 comprised of 87 orders having lot numbers assigned. Roughly half of the cars were built before 1940 with the largest pre-1940 order being 16 cars.

Ten of these cars were built “for stock” for the U.S.A. Chief of Engineers. I don’t know the disposition of these lot 2370 cars built in July 1941. 

Six ACF builder photos of these cars are on the Barriger Flickr web site with 3/4-views & “B” end views of 3 of the earliest cars - lot 10, MALX 365; lot 188, VSX 204; lot 401, GWEX 4?? (angled view hides car number). 

List of ACF M-U tank cars by reporting marks to include the quantity of cars, number of orders, and range of build dates:
ACCX - 10 cars, 4 lots 1926-1935
ACF - 10 cars, 1 lot, built 1941 (U.S.A. Chief of Engineers)
BAKX - 2 cars, 2 lots 1931-1932
BCX - 7 cars, 3 lots 1926-1931
CACX (or possibly PPGX) - 21 cars, 2 lots 1936-1937
CALX - 3 cars, 3 lots 1927-1934
CILX (Canada) - 2 cars, 2 lots 1932, 1945
DAX - 23 cars, 11 lots 1928-1946
DUPX - 15 cars, 3 lots 1926-1933
GCX - 26 cars, 1 lot, built 1948
GWEX - 8 cars, 2 lots 1927-1928
HOKX - 8 cars, 2 lots 1925-1926
MALX - 10 cars, 1 lot, built 1925
MONX - 7 cars, 3 lots 1932-1936
PSMX - 32 cars, 12 lots 1924-1948
SHPX - 101 cars, 16 lots 1937-1948 (lessees - Westvaco, DuPont, Diamond Chemical, likely others)
SPX - 44 cars, 11 lots 1927-1948
TELX - 1 car, 1 lot, built 1930
TENX - 4 cars, 1 lot, built 1949 (for sulphur dioxide containers)
VSX - 15 cars, 5 lots 1924-1929
WCX - 1 car, 1 lot, built 1930? (unsure about this order)

Regards,
Ed Hawkins


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

Attachments:


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

Rex Racer
 

For some strange reason I have been collecting information about these cars for awhile now. Here's what I have:

Initial builds by ACF started in the 1920's and production lasted to just before 1950. General American Car Co. and Standard Steel Car Co. also produced similar cars during this same time. Carrying capacities of these cars ranged from 60,000 to 80,000 pounds and had a capacity of fifteen horizontally mounted tanks. These cars were used by Columbia Alkali Gas Co., Hooker Chemical Co., E.L. Dupont and others. Some of these cars lasted until the 1990's. Main purpose was to provide chlorine to water treatment plants but had other uses as well.

SHPX 222 is identified as AAR type FM (flat general service); similar cars have also been denoted as AAR type TMU (tank multiple unit) because these cars really don't function as flat cars for any lading except removable, high pressure gas cylinders. These cars were used to handle acid gases like chlorine for customers without direct rail service or the inability to unload and store a full tank car load. The last large-scale user of this system is Department Of Defense. Many outdated chemical weapons materials traveled their last miles in these unusual tank cars. This car has been imported in brass at least 3 times in the last 30 years and was actually a "dollar model" project in Model Railroader magazine.

In addition to the cars listed, I also have photos of the following:

ACCX - 10 cars, 4 lots 1926-1935
ACFX - 401 to 441, 513, 522
ACF - 10 cars, 1 lot, built 1941 (U.S.A. Chief of Engineers)
ATGX 105
BAKX - 2 cars, 2 lots 1931-1932
BCX - 7 cars, 3 lots 1926-1931
CACX (or possibly PPGX) - 21 cars, 2 lots 1936-1937
CALX - 3 cars, 3 lots 1927-1934
CILX (Canada) - 2 cars, 2 lots 1932, 1945 90, 92, and 450
C&NW 10864
DAX - 23 cars, 11 lots 1928-1946 309
DUPX - 15 cars, 3 lots 1926-1933 9010
EGBX 208 (Electro Bleaching Gas Co)
GCX - 26 cars, 1 lot, built 1948
GWEX - 8 cars, 2 lots 1927-1928
HOKX - 8 cars, 2 lots 1925-1926 (Hooker Chemicals), 211-213, 380, 385-387, 389, 391
JCIX 122, 131, 1136, 1137
MA? 365 (Mathieson) - Can't see all of reporting marks
MALX - 10 cars, 1 lot, built 1925
MONX - 7 cars, 3 lots 1932-1936
PPGX 121
PSMX - 32 cars, 12 lots 1924-1948 (Pennsylvania Salt) 1001, 1003, 1005-1033
RTCX 340
SHPX - 101 cars, 16 lots 1937-1948 (lessees - Westvaco, DuPont, Diamond Chemical, likely others)
SPX - 44 cars, 11 lots 1927-1948 (Solvay Process Co.) 854
TELX - 1 car, 1 lot, built 1930
TENX - 4 cars, 1 lot, built 1949 (for sulphur dioxide containers)
USAX 16503 (US Army)
UTLX 80000-80003 - Believed to be former CILX 90-93. Renumbered in 1956

VCSX 212
VSX - 15 cars, 5 lots 1924-1929
WCX - 1 car, 1 lot, built 1930? (unsure about this order)




David Soderblom
 

An interesting aspect of this photo is the rust on both trucks.  Maybe it’s “boxcar red” overspray, but I personally don’t recall seeing rust on freight car trucks because they always have so much oil and black all over them.

David Soderblom
Baltimore MD USA





Allen Cain
 

I suspect that Chlorine is highly corrosive which might explain the rust on the trucks.  Of course, any leakage would be deadly.

Allen Cain

Andy Laurent
 

Besides water treatment, these cars also would have delivered chlorine to paper mills. Attached is a photo of an unidentified chlorine TMU car at the Consolidated Papers mill in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin during the early 1960s. One car is visible in the center, along with 2 rows of chlorine cylinders on "ground racks" behind the Quonset hut. Note the more modern GATX chlorine car to the right. This mill produced magazine-grade papers. Photo by H. Weldon McGee.

Andy L.
Wisconsin

Donald B. Valentine
 

Plans for these cars for 15 canisters from ACF can be found on page #348 of the 
1937 CarBuilders Cyclopedia with a photo on page #349 acompanying photos of
the USN and USA helium cars.

Cordially, Don Valentine

lrkdbn
 

Back in the mid 1970's I used to see this type of car at the old Pennsalt plant in Riverview MI. Most of them
looked like the ones in the 1940 CBD which was my basic resource then (the Kalmbach reprint which cost
an unbelieveable $40.00 then! Major money!!!) but one was different. The center sill was open, like truss rods except made of angle bars, so sort of a built up truss center sill. I seem to recall that IRM has what they describe as an ex NYC flat car built in 1912 by Pullman that has this same construction. My question would be -was the car I saw a conversion from a NYC car or even the same car that is now at IRM? The NYC did serve the chemical industry around Buffalo NY as well as the"downriver" Detroit area.where I saw the car.Any thoughts?
Larry King

dave w
 

Chlorine or otherwise, several posts state they have 'attached' pics- yet I see none?
I'm interested because similar 'chemical' flats rolled across D&RGW zones and some great contributing pics appeared on that group.
Thanks
davew