Topics

CONOCO Proto 2000 8K Gallon Type 21 Riveted Tank Car Questions

Ken Adams
 

I picked up a slightly damaged (handrail busted) Proto 2000 8K Gallon Type 21 Riveted Tank Car at my Local Hobby Shop (open by appointment and you must wear a mask) from the used shelf. The paint scheme is a silver CONOCO.  First, is this a foobie as a CONOCO car and if not what years would the silver paint scheme cover? 

I am interested in adding this as at least one ACF Type 21 uninsulated car to my growing line of tank cars to be shuttled around the small yard of my early 1950's Port Costa, California layout. I acquired several of the insulated Type 21 CDLX cars as unsold from the NMRA 2011 National Convention a few years back. 

I have done a search on this groups pages to see if there is any relevant information. I have been trying to open the Train Life copy of the February 1998 Rail Model Journal for Richard Hendrickson's article on Type 21's but after 60 minutes only 3 pages of that article have appeared. One page that did downloaded indicated that CONOCO tank cars would be used mostly in the Colorado, Texas and eastern high plains states. If so a CONOCO car might not be appropriate sitting in a California Bay Area yard for any period of time. None of the research thus far has really answered my questions.

I understand there is also an article on replacing the easily broken handrails with metal rails in another RMJ article.  I do have hypodermic needle tube on hand. Unfortunately my recent experience with PSC cast brass handrails has not been very good (difficult to drill out rail holes) but I have several Tichy tank car detailing sets with stanchions on hand to try next. 

As I have to replace the handrails, repainting is not out of the question to another black painted leasing/operating company scheme. 
--
Ken Adams
Still in splendid Shelter In Place solitude, about half way up Walnut Creek

Garth Groff and Sally Sanford
 

Ken,

You are correct. AFAIK, CONOCO did not have operations in California. I have Richard's February 1998 article before me. He says "In the 1940s and '50s, most Conoco cars were painted aluminum with black underframes, bottom sheets and lettering," and " . . . Continental Oil Company's Conoco was a mountain and plains states brand."

I would go with SHPX as your best bet for a repaint. GATX and UTLX did have some 8K Type 21 tanks acquired second-hand, but they must have been rare. Richard's article shows one of each. You might also consider SCCX, Shell on the West Coast. 

Hope this is of help.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff  🦆

On Fri, Jun 26, 2020 at 2:38 PM Ken Adams <smadanek44g@...> wrote:
I picked up a slightly damaged (handrail busted) Proto 2000 8K Gallon Type 21 Riveted Tank Car at my Local Hobby Shop (open by appointment and you must wear a mask) from the used shelf. The paint scheme is a silver CONOCO.  First, is this a foobie as a CONOCO car and if not what years would the silver paint scheme cover? 

I am interested in adding this as at least one ACF Type 21 uninsulated car to my growing line of tank cars to be shuttled around the small yard of my early 1950's Port Costa, California layout. I acquired several of the insulated Type 21 CDLX cars as unsold from the NMRA 2011 National Convention a few years back. 

I have done a search on this groups pages to see if there is any relevant information. I have been trying to open the Train Life copy of the February 1998 Rail Model Journal for Richard Hendrickson's article on Type 21's but after 60 minutes only 3 pages of that article have appeared. One page that did downloaded indicated that CONOCO tank cars would be used mostly in the Colorado, Texas and eastern high plains states. If so a CONOCO car might not be appropriate sitting in a California Bay Area yard for any period of time. None of the research thus far has really answered my questions.

I understand there is also an article on replacing the easily broken handrails with metal rails in another RMJ article.  I do have hypodermic needle tube on hand. Unfortunately my recent experience with PSC cast brass handrails has not been very good (difficult to drill out rail holes) but I have several Tichy tank car detailing sets with stanchions on hand to try next. 

As I have to replace the handrails, repainting is not out of the question to another black painted leasing/operating company scheme. 
--
Ken Adams
Still in splendid Shelter In Place solitude, about half way up Walnut Creek

Dave Parker
 

Hi Ken:

Not sure why you are having so much trouble downloading from the Train Life site.  I had the entire issue after about 1 minute.

Here's the excerpt that should be of most interest to you:



Since you seem keenly interested in tank cars, I would strongly recommend "The Gas Station in America" by Jakle and Sculle.  Some great stuff in there about oil company history, and the entire supply chain going back to the beginning.  In it, there are three maps (1926, 1940, 1990) showing the presence of Conoco retail outlets across the country.  Zero in CA, OR, or NV.  Conoco was the Rocky Mountain area "baby standard" after the 1911 breakup of Standard Oil.  Although its territory expanded over the years, it did not include CA .

Last, I actually prefer the plastic handrails on the P2000 Type 21a.  They flex enough without breaking, and rebound right back into shape if you squeeze one (gently).  I did break one, but simply glued a butt joint to repair it (they are styrene).  Tangent, which is the state of the art with plastic tank cars, uses plastic hand-rails, not brass, presumably because the brass gets bent and is a PITA to re-straighten.

With best regards.
--
Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA

Richard Townsend
 

The scheme is not a foobie.  According to Richard Hendrickson from some time ago, the aluminum with black billboard is good for the early 1950s. But a Conoco tank car seems unlikely to be seen in Port Costa as Conoco was not marketing there. OTOH, maybe Conoco picked up some special additives or other supplies from California.

Richard Townsend
Lincoln City, OR


-----Original Message-----
From: Ken Adams <smadanek44g@...>
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Jun 26, 2020 11:38 am
Subject: [RealSTMFC] CONOCO Proto 2000 8K Gallon Type 21 Riveted Tank Car Questions

I picked up a slightly damaged (handrail busted) Proto 2000 8K Gallon Type 21 Riveted Tank Car at my Local Hobby Shop (open by appointment and you must wear a mask) from the used shelf. The paint scheme is a silver CONOCO.  First, is this a foobie as a CONOCO car and if not what years would the silver paint scheme cover? 

I am interested in adding this as at least one ACF Type 21 uninsulated car to my growing line of tank cars to be shuttled around the small yard of my early 1950's Port Costa, California layout. I acquired several of the insulated Type 21 CDLX cars as unsold from the NMRA 2011 National Convention a few years back. 

I have done a search on this groups pages to see if there is any relevant information. I have been trying to open the Train Life copy of the February 1998 Rail Model Journal for Richard Hendrickson's article on Type 21's but after 60 minutes only 3 pages of that article have appeared. One page that did downloaded indicated that CONOCO tank cars would be used mostly in the Colorado, Texas and eastern high plains states. If so a CONOCO car might not be appropriate sitting in a California Bay Area yard for any period of time. None of the research thus far has really answered my questions.

I understand there is also an article on replacing the easily broken handrails with metal rails in another RMJ article.  I do have hypodermic needle tube on hand. Unfortunately my recent experience with PSC cast brass handrails has not been very good (difficult to drill out rail holes) but I have several Tichy tank car detailing sets with stanchions on hand to try next. 

As I have to replace the handrails, repainting is not out of the question to another black painted leasing/operating company scheme. 
--
Ken Adams
Still in splendid Shelter In Place solitude, about half way up Walnut Creek

Dave Parker
 

Ken:

In addition to Shell, take a good look at Unocal and Flying A (Associated).  Tony Thompson has an excellent blog piece on the latter.

If you want any help identifying ACF Type 21s within those fleets, give me a shout-out off-group.
--
Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA

Ken Adams
 

Thanks to all who responded so quickly. My suspicion that the car was not geographically appropriate is confirmed.  As the handrails are broken so I have no problem removing them and repainting a nice dull tank car black. Picking an appropriate owner/lessee will be a while before I get to this as it will be about #49 in my project queue. I have read Tony Thompson's article on Flying A recently.  I am leaning towards Associated as they owned the Rodeo refinery in the period I model. Shell owned the Martinez refinery in that period but I have them pretty well covered with a collection of UTLX cars.

Another project for the near future as my hermetic solitude continues.
--
Ken Adams
Still in splendid Shelter In Place solitude, about half way up Walnut Creek

Chuck Soule
 

Having worked in California oil production in the 70s and early 80s, and having some familiarity with other parties besides the companies I worked for,  the other respondents have it correct - Conoco did not produce crude or market products in California.  That's not to say an occasional car might have made it west with a specialty load or because it might have been used short term by another oil company to fill a rolling-stock gap.  But it would not be likely to see an Conoco car anywhere in California or Western Washington and Oregon.  I know that Conoco was marketed out of Spokane for far eastern Washington and the Idaho panhandle, but not farther west, and I am uncertain about eastern Oregon.  But for California - very low probability.

Chuck Soule

Tony Thompson
 

Ken Adams wrote:

Shell owned the Martinez refinery in that period but I have them pretty well covered with a collection of UTLX cars.

      In your and my modeling period, Ken, UTLX was pretty substantially in bed with the "baby Standards" such as Standard of California, and to my knowledge had nothing to do with Shell.

Tony Thompson



John Barry
 

Ken,

While I agree that the the CONX car would not have been in California distributing finished product to local dealers, it coiled have been there transporting stock components to either Tidewater-Associated at Avon, Shell at Martinez, or Standard Oil of California at Richmond.  Just because they usually shipped retail product in their own or leased cars, does not mean they received their stock components in cars they controlled.  And during WWII, there was a much wider use of tank cars such that often neither the shipper nor receiver owned or leased the car.  Case in point, at Port Chicago, very close to your modeled location, during the last ten days of November 1944 the following cars were forwarded to the SP from the Santa Fe:

62 TIDWATER  ASSOCIATED OIL CO.
1 COSX
3 EBAX
3 GATX
1 MPCX
1 OELX
1 RPX
1 TIDX
49 UTLX
2 WEOX
34 SHELL OIL CO.
16 GATX
9 PSPX
9 SWLX

Those three EBAX cars, Tetraethyl Lead, (Motor Fuel in the commodity block on the waybill).  If you model a refinery that produced gasoline any time before the mid-70's, you need at least one EBAX car.

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

707-490-9696 

PO Box 44736 
Washington, DC 20026-4736


On Friday, June 26, 2020, 08:39:24 PM EDT, Tony Thompson <tony@...> wrote:


Ken Adams wrote:

Shell owned the Martinez refinery in that period but I have them pretty well covered with a collection of UTLX cars.

      In your and my modeling period, Ken, UTLX was pretty substantially in bed with the "baby Standards" such as Standard of California, and to my knowledge had nothing to do with Shell.

Tony Thompson



Garth Groff and Sally Sanford
 

John,

Interesting list and interchange information. One point: automotive lead (tetraethylead) is extremely heavy. From my observation on the WP in the 1970s, which moved a lot of Ethyl tank cars, is that such cars were rather small. Most of those I photographed were in the 6,000 gallon range. I'm also thinking that these cars probably had some special lining, and a car without this lining would have been permanently contaminated. While I won't say it didn't happen in the 1940s, I would be surprised to discover this chemical was shipped in standard 8K or 10K tank cars.

For those interested, here is a link to a Wikipedia page on the Ethyl Corporation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethyl_Corporation

And here is another page on the chemical itself: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetraethyllead .

Attached is a photo of an Ethyl tank car on the WP circa 1978 at Oroville. Note how small the car is.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff  🦆

On Fri, Jun 26, 2020 at 11:55 PM John Barry <northbaylines@...> wrote:
Ken,

While I agree that the the CONX car would not have been in California distributing finished product to local dealers, it coiled have been there transporting stock components to either Tidewater-Associated at Avon, Shell at Martinez, or Standard Oil of California at Richmond.  Just because they usually shipped retail product in their own or leased cars, does not mean they received their stock components in cars they controlled.  And during WWII, there was a much wider use of tank cars such that often neither the shipper nor receiver owned or leased the car.  Case in point, at Port Chicago, very close to your modeled location, during the last ten days of November 1944 the following cars were forwarded to the SP from the Santa Fe:

62 TIDWATER  ASSOCIATED OIL CO.
1 COSX
3 EBAX
3 GATX
1 MPCX
1 OELX
1 RPX
1 TIDX
49 UTLX
2 WEOX
34 SHELL OIL CO.
16 GATX
9 PSPX
9 SWLX

Those three EBAX cars, Tetraethyl Lead, (Motor Fuel in the commodity block on the waybill).  If you model a refinery that produced gasoline any time before the mid-70's, you need at least one EBAX car.

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

707-490-9696 

PO Box 44736 
Washington, DC 20026-4736


On Friday, June 26, 2020, 08:39:24 PM EDT, Tony Thompson <tony@...> wrote:


Ken Adams wrote:

Shell owned the Martinez refinery in that period but I have them pretty well covered with a collection of UTLX cars.

      In your and my modeling period, Ken, UTLX was pretty substantially in bed with the "baby Standards" such as Standard of California, and to my knowledge had nothing to do with Shell.

Tony Thompson



mopacfirst
 

Going by my own knowledge of the subject, there were two primary producers of tetraethyl lead.  One was Ethyl Corporation and the other was DuPont.  Both used their own dedicated tank cars.

I don't know if increased demand would have ever compelled either to use a general service 6000 gallon tank car, but I would say that was extremely unlikely since as you say, that would have rendered the car unsuitable for other loads.  Bear in mind that refiners and processors of liquid hydrocarbons have always had the ability to maintain a great deal of inventory, including work in process, so they've generally planned for and been able to manage the seasonal swings in demand, at least during the period of this list.

Ron Merrick

John Barry
 

Garth,

The main point about the list was to show the variety of non-owner controlled cars that carried feed stocks to refineries.  I have no insight to the outbound loads at that time as the list is from a detention study done by AAR at the behest of the Office of Defense Transportation for cars inbound to the refineries from the Santa Fe at Port Chicago.  I found the report in the National Archives at San Bruno back in 2012.  

It's interesting in the list that the only inbound Shell car, RPX 3502, was destined to the Associated Refinery originating in Atreco, TX, which was the home of an Atlantic Refining Company (Arco) refinery.  This illustrates the point that at least during WWII, you could see TMs and TMIs from just about any owner nearly anywhere there was a refinery.  Other files in the archives document partial lists of alcohol shipments for loading on Soviet tankers as part of the Lend-Lease program.  Cars came from distileries in Vancouver, BC; Kentucky; and other places as well as the tank storage farm at Gretna, LA to  Dorward or Lawrence in Richmond, CA.  At least a couple of the Gretna shipments looked like unit trains of 8 and 10K gallon cars.

You are correct about the Ethyl cars.  ALL of their cars for antiknock compound were TPIs of 3k or 6k gallons in 1944.  Their few larger cars were either TPIs for metallic sodium or ethyl chloride or TLs for muriatic acid.  Not a Type 21 in the bunch.  But the BLI 6k EBAX car is a great fit for any gasoline refinery.  

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

707-490-9696 

PO Box 44736 
Washington, DC 20026-4736


On Saturday, June 27, 2020, 06:01:38 AM EDT, Garth Groff and Sally Sanford <mallardlodge1000@...> wrote:


John,

Interesting list and interchange information. One point: automotive lead (tetraethylead) is extremely heavy. From my observation on the WP in the 1970s, which moved a lot of Ethyl tank cars, is that such cars were rather small. Most of those I photographed were in the 6,000 gallon range. I'm also thinking that these cars probably had some special lining, and a car without this lining would have been permanently contaminated. While I won't say it didn't happen in the 1940s, I would be surprised to discover this chemical was shipped in standard 8K or 10K tank cars.

For those interested, here is a link to a Wikipedia page on the Ethyl Corporation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethyl_Corporation

And here is another page on the chemical itself: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetraethyllead .

Attached is a photo of an Ethyl tank car on the WP circa 1978 at Oroville. Note how small the car is.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff  🦆

On Fri, Jun 26, 2020 at 11:55 PM John Barry <northbaylines@...> wrote:
Ken,

While I agree that the the CONX car would not have been in California distributing finished product to local dealers, it coiled have been there transporting stock components to either Tidewater-Associated at Avon, Shell at Martinez, or Standard Oil of California at Richmond.  Just because they usually shipped retail product in their own or leased cars, does not mean they received their stock components in cars they controlled.  And during WWII, there was a much wider use of tank cars such that often neither the shipper nor receiver owned or leased the car.  Case in point, at Port Chicago, very close to your modeled location, during the last ten days of November 1944 the following cars were forwarded to the SP from the Santa Fe:

62TIDWATER  ASSOCIATED OIL CO.
1COSX
3EBAX
3GATX
1MPCX
1OELX
1RPX
1TIDX
49UTLX
2WEOX
34SHELL OIL CO.
16GATX
9PSPX
9SWLX

Those three EBAX cars, Tetraethyl Lead, (Motor Fuel in the commodity block on the waybill).  If you model a refinery that produced gasoline any time before the mid-70's, you need at least one EBAX car.

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

707-490-9696 

PO Box 44736 
Washington, DC 20026-4736


On Friday, June 26, 2020, 08:39:24 PM EDT, Tony Thompson <tony@...> wrote:


Ken Adams wrote:

Shell owned the Martinez refinery in that period but I have them pretty well covered with a collection of UTLX cars.

      In your and my modeling period, Ken, UTLX was pretty substantially in bed with the "baby Standards" such as Standard of California, and to my knowledge had nothing to do with Shell.

Tony Thompson



mopacfirst
 

For information, the Atlantic Refining Co. refinery mentioned was acquired by Fina (American Petrofina) past the timeline of this list, and operated under that name for upwards of thirty years.  The Fina company was acquired by Total (pronounced to-TAL) and exists today, greatly expanded.  Atreco was a siding, and the plant's physical location is at the north edge of Port Arthur, bordered on the west by Port Neches.  The railroad serving it was and is the KCS.

Ron Merrick

Rich C
 

Group, Don't want to get too far off topic. I have a burning question though about this Conoco paint scheme. Champ made a decal set. I have not found any evidence of this scheme. Disregard the model's maker.

Thanks,
Rich Christie

Richard Townsend
 

In the billboard scheme, all I have ever seen is black CONOCO on silver and white CONOCO on black. Black on red would be cool if it ever existed. Maybe a holdover from the old UTC days?

Richard Townsend
Lincoln City, OR


-----Original Message-----
From: Rich C via groups.io <rhcdmc@...>
To: main@realstmfc.groups.io
Sent: Sat, Jun 27, 2020 12:31 pm
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] CONOCO Proto 2000 8K Gallon Type 21 Riveted Tank Car Questions

Group, Don't want to get too far off topic. I have a burning question though about this Conoco paint scheme. Champ made a decal set. I have not found any evidence of this scheme. Disregard the model's maker.

Thanks,
Rich Christie

Ken Adams
 

Oops "switched" in my list of Carquinez south shore refineries to be switched by local power from Port Costa in the early 1950's.

The correct locations for the period are:
Shell at Martinez - predominantly  GATX?
Tidewater/Associated at Avon - predominantly UTLX
Union Oil/Phillips 66 at Rodeo - predominantly  ?

Who did Shell use for tank car transportation inbound and outbound? Garth's list indicates GATX and Tidewater UTLX with a mix of others?   Ted Culotta's blog https://prototopics.blogspot.com/2019/12/shell-chemical-tank-cars-colors.html
has some interesting information but it is for Shell chemical tanks not plain old crude/refined oil shipments.  John Barry's 1944 list is very interesting. Would the 1950-54 period which I model have a similar car owner distribution?

Maybe there were just much fewer/none plain old crude/refined oil product shipments by the early 1950's as the vast network of pipelines carried much of the inbound and outbound Carquinez Straits petroleum product traffic.  Every refinery was also directly linked to by pipeline or had it's own oil dock carrying huge volumes of crude and refined product in large tanker vessels. One of the key reasons refineries were located in that area.

Every time I visit my LHS Just Trains store in north Concord I have to remember that the storage tanks across Arnold Drive to the north are the start of the vast former Tidewater/Associated refinery complex. A small Avon yard still exists according to Google Earth but all of Avon is off limits due to strict refinery security. Avon was of course also the northern start/terminus of my other detail modeling interest, the SP San Ramon Valley line. 

--
Ken Adams
Still in splendid Shelter In Place solitude, about half way up Walnut Creek

anthony wagner
 

Ron, Look up Atlantic Petrolium Co in Wikipedia. Hq in Philadelphia PA  later became Atlantic-Richfield, still later Arco, and finally part of Sunoco. Part of Arco was sold to BP.  Conoco was Continental Oil and Transportation Co hq Ogden Utah and has a much more complex history. As of 2002 the company merged with Phillips Petroleum to become Conoco-Phillips. Basically Atlantic was eastern US and Conoco western US during the steam era. Tony Wagner

On Saturday, June 27, 2020, 2:16:52 PM CDT, mopacfirst <ron.merrick@...> wrote:


For information, the Atlantic Refining Co. refinery mentioned was acquired by Fina (American Petrofina) past the timeline of this list, and operated under that name for upwards of thirty years.  The Fina company was acquired by Total (pronounced to-TAL) and exists today, greatly expanded.  Atreco was a siding, and the plant's physical location is at the north edge of Port Arthur, bordered on the west by Port Neches.  The railroad serving it was and is the KCS.

Ron Merrick

Dave Parker
 

Just to clarify a bit on some oil company history in the steam era:

Atlantic was one of the 11 "baby standard" spinoffs from the 1911 breakup of Standard Oil.  Its assigned territory was just PA and DE, and it was unique in that it declined its exclusive marketing rights there, thus freeing it up to operate retail outlets just about anywhere. With the addition of some southeast and Gulf Coast infrastructure, Atlantic became a name brand up and down the east coast (and perhaps over into Ohio).  The merger with Ritchfield to create what eventually became Arco occurred in 1965, beyond the scope of this group.

Continental (Conoco) was the Rocky Mountain baby standard, and initially assigned ID, MT, WY, UT, CO, and NM.  Backed by some J P Morgan financing, Conoco gobbled up a number of smaller oil companies, allowing it to aggressively expand its territory across the heartland, and even (briefly, in the 1940s) to the mid-Atlantic states.  In the 1950s, Conoco tried unsuccessfully to expand westward to the Pacific coast.  Thus, for most of our period of interest, Conoco's territory was largely comprised of its original six-state area, plus AZ and a wide swath of states extending north from TX and east to IL and KY
--
Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA

mopacfirst
 

I know we're getting a bit off topic here, but the Atlantic Refinery at Port Arthur was founded around 1917, more than likely to draw from the Beaumont and East Texas oilfields, and to ship refined product from there to their marketing territory.  We dug up some redwood pipe there in 2007 or so that had probably been installed for the first refinery units, referencing another topic related to steam era freight cars that has been discussed on this list.  I suspect that Arco probably unloaded the refinery due to its age, as evidenced by the fact that Fina built a lot of new units, which used large equipment that came to the site on more modern freight cars.

I once looked to see whether the sidings in front of the plant still had anything like a sign that marked them as Atreco, but I never did see any.

Ron Merrick

Dave Parker
 

At the risk of going way too far down into the weeds:

In 1921, Oildom published a list of all of the operating US refineries.  Atlantic had four, three in PA and (a real rarity) one in GA.

From what I can dredge out of the University of Google, Atlantic's facility in Port Arthur was initially just a crude oil terminal for shipping Spindletop crude to the four refineries.  Refining activity began in 1936, and became more sophisticated during the war and in the 1950s.

To circle back to freight cars, Atlantic probably didn't need any in Port Arthur until the late 1930s at the earliest.  Atlantic Refining (ARX) had a teeny tank-car fleet in the 1930s -- just four cars, but of 12,000-gal capacity.  They must have leased cars for almost all of their rail traffic, but from whom I don't know.  Perhaps UTLX, but Atlantic was a bit of a maverick among the 11 baby standards, so perhaps not.

--
Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA