Topics

GATX fleet breakdown?


nyc3001 .
 
Edited

Now that Tangent has released the plain black GATX version of the Type 17, the possibility of building a credible fleet of many types of GA tank cars is near to realization. Does anyone have a fleet breakdown of the various types of GA tanks in the early 1950s?

-Phil


Brian Carlson
 

The GATX cars released all have k brakes. 

Brian J. Carlson 

On Oct 1, 2020, at 2:50 PM, nyc3001 . <nyc3001@...> wrote:

Now that Tangent has released the plain black GATX version of the Type 17, the possibility of building a credible fleet of many types of GA tank cars is becoming possible. Does anyone have a fleet breakdown of the various types of GA tanks in the early 1950s?

-Phil


Schuyler Larrabee
 

Yes, I’d like to see this too, though extending back into the mid-40s would be of greater interest.

 

Schuyler

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of nyc3001 .
Sent: Thursday, October 01, 2020 2:51 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] GATX fleet breakdown?

 

Now that Tangent has released the plain black GATX version of the Type 17, the possibility of building a credible fleet of many types of GA tank cars is becoming possible. Does anyone have a fleet breakdown of the various types of GA tanks in the early 1950s?

-Phil


Schuyler Larrabee
 

Except the first, which is a 1955 and later scheme.

 

Schuyler

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Carlson via groups.io
Sent: Thursday, October 01, 2020 2:58 PM
To: main@realstmfc.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] GATX fleet breakdown?

 

The GATX cars released all have k brakes. 

Brian J. Carlson 



On Oct 1, 2020, at 2:50 PM, nyc3001 . <nyc3001@...> wrote:

Now that Tangent has released the plain black GATX version of the Type 17, the possibility of building a credible fleet of many types of GA tank cars is becoming possible. Does anyone have a fleet breakdown of the various types of GA tanks in the early 1950s?

-Phil


Bruce Smith
 

Phil,

Um, how does the advent of a single car type in the vastness of the General American fleet make it possible to build “a credible fleet of many types of GA tank cars”? I mean, it’s great that we now have the GATC Type 17, but even in the late1930s, it's a minority car. I guess if you got lucky enough to get some GATC Type 30 cars from Sunshine for the brief time they were available, that would help a lot, but for the rest of us, we got nothing…

Regards,
Bruce
Bruce Smith
Auburn AL

On Oct 1, 2020, at 1:50 PM, nyc3001 . <nyc3001@...> wrote:

Now that Tangent has released the plain black GATX version of the Type 17, the possibility of building a credible fleet of many types of GA tank cars is becoming possible. Does anyone have a fleet breakdown of the various types of GA tanks in the early 1950s?

-Phil


Tony Thompson
 

Bruce Smith wrote:

Um, how does the advent of a single car type in the vastness of the General American fleet make it possible to build “a credible fleet of many types of GA tank cars”? I mean, it’s great that we now have the GATC Type 17, but even in the late1930s, it's a minority car. I guess if you got lucky enough to get some GATC Type 30 cars from Sunshine for the brief time they were available, that would help a lot, but for the rest of us, we got nothing…

  Well said, Mr. Smith.

Tony Thompson




nyc3001 .
 

Bruce,

I was unaware that this was a minority car. It just appeared to me that because of the varied types of STC cars from SC&F and GATC cars from Tangent that a variegated fleet could be composed. For my modeling locale (Buffalo area), it just so happens that most of the tanks that Tangent has released are needed based on photographic evidence and freight consists, but I realize that the majority of modelers may not be modeling areas near electrochemical facilities. At any rate, I do not know much about the fleet breakdown of GATX cars, which is why I asked.

-Phil


Dave Parker
 

I'm with Bruce on this.  In addition to the (good luck!) Sunshine Type 30s, there are no models for the many 1920s cars with longitudinal course.  We see them in photos, we know they existed, but.....

I have never seen anything that would readily yield a systematic breakdown of the GATX fleet (I am assuming that what is meant by GA here).  There may be some clues in the various tariffs, but I think they will be on the ambiguous side.  Between 1930 and 1935, the GATX fleet almost doubled, and then increased by another ~50% by 1945.  They swallowed up  smaller, struggling leasing companies during the depression, and purchase-lease back arrangements occurred as well.  Thus, the ~38,000 cars owned by GA in 1945 were likely something of a dog's breakfast, not easily sorted out.

This is in stark contrast to the UTLX fleet which, as Steve Hile's book tells us, is quite well documented throughout the steam era.
--
Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA


nyc3001 .
 
Edited

Dave,

If I'm not mistaken, David Lehlbach has identified the possibility of modeling at least some of the 1920s longitudinal-course cars by mating an Intermountain tank with a Tangent Type 17 underframe. I have not tried this and should probably look at more photos to ascertain the details of the longitudinal-course cars.

-Phil


Dave Parker
 

Phil, that may be possible, but I haven't tried it either.  My comments pertained to RTRs and out-of-the-box kits.

Even with the Tangent 1917 design cars, I don't have a good sense of how many of them existed relative to things like the UTLX class X and X-3 designs.  There are some clues in the Railway Age annual tabulations of car orders, but even those require guesswork as to exactly what was built for each buyer.  We do know that the 1917 design did not last long, something on the order of 3-4 years before it was superseded by the longitudinal-course cars.
--
Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA


Brian Carlson
 

First is not GATX. It’s CGTX. The poster was asking about GATX. 

The Type 17’s would be in the tariff but I haven’t tried to figure out fleets. To me it’s a rabbit-hole that would never end and if you’ve seen my clinics you know I’m a data guy. 

Brian J. Carlson 

On Oct 1, 2020, at 3:05 PM, Schuyler Larrabee via groups.io <schuyler.larrabee@...> wrote:



Except the first, which is a 1955 and later scheme.

 

Schuyler

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Carlson via groups.io
Sent: Thursday, October 01, 2020 2:58 PM
To: main@realstmfc.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] GATX fleet breakdown?

 

The GATX cars released all have k brakes. 

Brian J. Carlson 



On Oct 1, 2020, at 2:50 PM, nyc3001 . <nyc3001@...> wrote:

Now that Tangent has released the plain black GATX version of the Type 17, the possibility of building a credible fleet of many types of GA tank cars is becoming possible. Does anyone have a fleet breakdown of the various types of GA tanks in the early 1950s?

-Phil


Bruce Smith
 

Phil,

On a practical level, the cars modeled by Tangent are a 1917 design so they are technologically outdated by WWII, and that is also reflected in the radial course design. The later GATC (and folks, it is General (formerly German) American Tank car Corporation) that BUILT the cars, some of which ran under GATX reporting marks) longitudinal course cars (aka type 30 and others) are modernized cars that replaced or supplemented the type 17 cars beginning in 1930.

I too have yet to see a fleet breakdown of the GATX fleet. “somebody” needs to write a book! ;)

Now, if you’re talking about the entire tank car fleet, every addition helps with variety and the GATC type 17 is no exception. The two BIG holes in a steam era tank car fleet are a plastic GATC type 30 and plastic UTL X-3. Both have been done in resin, but neither are readily available or easy to assemble. With resin offerings from SCF, Resin Freight Cars, Speedwitch, etc… mixed into the fleet, you can have a nicely varied group of cars to break up the AC&F type 21s (P2K/Walthers) and type 27s (Intermountain). Just don’t show up with any (or maybe more than one) Tichy (lovely car that it is) or Red Caboose tank car. 

Regards,
Bruce

On Oct 1, 2020, at 2:20 PM, nyc3001 . <nyc3001@...> wrote:

Bruce,

I was unaware that this was a minority car. It just appeared to me that because of the varied types of STC cars from SC&F and GATC cars from Tangent that a variegated fleet could be composed. For my modeling locale (Buffalo area), it just so happens that most of the tanks that Tangent has released are needed based on photographic evidence and freight consists, but I realize that the majority of modelers may not be modeling areas near electrochemical facilities. At any rate, I do not know much about the fleet breakdown of GATX cars, which is why I asked.

-Phil


nyc3001 .
 

Thanks guys. It appears that the GATX fleet was much more varied than I initially thought. Reexamination of the various solid blocks of GATX tank cars in many consists is probably in order.

-Phil


Eric Hansmann
 

FYI, Tangent has released two tank sizes of these GATX type 17 prototypes; 8,000 and 10,000 gallon versions. 

Eric Hansmann
Murfreesboro, TN

On Oct 1, 2020, at 1:50 PM, nyc3001 . <nyc3001@...> wrote:

Now that Tangent has released the plain black GATX version of the Type 17, the possibility of building a credible fleet of many types of GA tank cars is becoming possible. Does anyone have a fleet breakdown of the various types of GA tanks in the early 1950s?

-Phil


Tangent Scale Models
 

Eric Hansmann said:

"FYI, Tangent has released two tank sizes of these GATX type 17 prototypes; 8,000 and 10,000 gallon versions".

Actually Eric, we have released three.  Aside from the two non-insulated tank body versions you mention, we have also released an insulated tank body version:
Info here: https://www.tangentscalemodels.com/general-american-8000-gallon-1917-design-insulated-radial-course-tank-car/
Sold out cars here: https://www.tangentscalemodels.com/product-category/sold-out/sold-out-general-american-1917-design-8000-gallon-insulated-tank-car/

Thank you,

David Lehlbach
Tangent Scale Models


Tangent Scale Models
 

Bruce,

Um, how do you attribute the GATC 1917-Design to being "a minority car?"  I am curious, do you have any numbers to back that statement up? 

Best wishes,

David Lehlbach
Tangent Scale Models


Bruce Smith
 

Hi David,

I don’t have any hard numbers. My statement was based on 3 things. First, lots of conversation with Richard Hendrickson about appropriate tank cars, where he pretty unequivocally said that the GATC type 30 was the most important fleet need for General American for my era (1944) and obviously subsequent to that. Second, that the type 17 design was obsolete by the 1930s, although examples certainly can be found much later. Third, casual (and I stress that this is casual) observation of photos of WWII era tank car trains shows a few type 17 cars, with a good number of type 30 cars. I tend not to rely on individual car photos because cars can be misrepresented in frequency due to their “oddness”. 

As was noted on the list, hard numbers are generally not available, unless you have been able to find some, in which case, please share! :) 

I was wondering what the production numbers of each series were. Do you happen to know that? To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if the production of the type 17 exceeded the type 30-like cars, but the question would be, 20-30 years after they were built, what numbers remained?

And, of course, I have oversimplified, because with all of the acquisitions, as well as construction changes at GATC, cars in the GATX pool are really a “dog’s breakfast of styles, probably with no one car reaching 50% of the fleet.

Regards

Bruce


Bruce F. Smith            

Auburn, AL

"Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield."




On Oct 1, 2020, at 9:58 PM, Tangent Scale Models via groups.io <tangentscalemodels@...> wrote:

Bruce,

Um, how do you attribute the GATC 1917-Design to being "a minority car?"  I am curious, do you have any numbers to back that statement up? 

Best wishes,

David Lehlbach
Tangent Scale Models


Dave Parker
 

Well, I do have some numbers that may or may not shed any light on the question of the abundance of GA 1917 design cars.

First, a reminder that the 1917 design represented the advent of MCB/ARA Class III cars  built by GA.  The "double rivet" Class III cars became the required standard on May 1, 1917.

Second, a distinction needs to be made between cars built by GATC, and the subset built for use by the GATX leasing arm (at least initially). 

Railway Age published annual tabulations of car orders (not deliveries) at this time, and I have teased out the numbers for GATC-built tank cars as follows:

1917  284
1918  2499   (555 went to GATC)
1919  869
1920  5386  2104 of these "not reported in detail" i.e, buyer not identified
1921  41

Total  9079   (for comparison, there were ca. 7000 and 19,000 UTLX Class X and X-3 cars built, respectively)

Exactly how many of these conformed to the 1917 design is a matter of speculation (I have already excluded some cars built for UTLX to their X-3 design).  I am tempted to say "all" of the 1918-1919 orders, and some subset of the 1920 orders.  My only clue for 1920 is a lot of 240 8000-gal cars ordered by Sinclair, but never delivered.  I have long assumed this order somehow got canceled due to the changeover to longitudinal courses.  It will prove very difficult to ever pin this down, as these orders are peppered with small lots of 100 cars or less across a great many private companies.

It's also hard to know how many of these cars actually went into the GATX fleet initially.  The 555 cars from 1918 are suggestive, but could also represent a "speculative" build for later sale.  That chunk of 2104 cars without a named buyer in 1920 is also curious/intriguing.

The ORERs and tariffs may shed a little light.  The October, 1919, ORER lists 4540 cars under various GATC reporting marks, all but ~350 as GATX.  The 1919 (August) tariff seems to agree.  My next ORER is from May, 1925, and shows 11,000 cars, suggesting the addition of ~6500 cars.  I would guess most of these were new cars when added to the GATX roster, as the gobbling up of failing leasing companies seems to date to the 1930s. The December, 1930, register gives 12,123 GATX cars.  I am inclined to believe that much of the ~7600-car increase from 1919 to 1930 reflects the longitudinal-course GA cars from the 1920s, but that's just a guess. A 1921 count for GATX could be helpful.

I have absolutely no handle on how many GA 1930 design cars were built, or who bought them.  The GATX fleet did double from 1930 to 1935, but this was a time when lots of used tank cars could be had on the cheap.

I also want to mention  a couple of things about the 1919 Railway Age data.  This was strange year (perhaps due to the war and USRA control) in that about 2/3 of the 29,893 cars ordered for US companies were tanks cars (as per Railway Age; I have not counted them all).  In that particular year, GA got a very small slice of the pie; AC&F and Penn Tank Car received orders for 3686 and 2418 cars, respectively.  This reminds me of two other gaps in our modeling options for "classic" tank cars:  nothing for Penn Tank, and nothing easy for a transitional design of the ACF -- Type 11 frames, but fitted with Class III tanks. 

Last, I'm not sure I agree with Bruce about these 1917 design cars disappearing in large numbers by the war.  These were Class III cars, no different from the UTLX X-3 cars except for the use of radial courses.  They were fully compliant with all needed safety standards (as were a great many Class II cars).   It's hard to quantify, but a significant number of X-3s survived into the 1950s (as per the Hile book), and I'm not sure there is any a priori reason to think the GA cars were different.  From 1935 to 1945, the GATC fleet seems to have grown by about 14,000 cars.  Maybe they were concurrently scrapping cars, but my (very) limited understanding of the war years is that tank cars were in high demand.  It seems likely that a lot of the retirements of these cars occurred post-1950, but I am not sure how one would get a numerical handle on that given available resources.

Hope this helps.
--
Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA


Tony Thompson
 

Dave Parker (in an informative post) wrote:

I have absolutely no handle on how many GA 1930 design cars were built, or who bought them.  The GATX fleet did double from 1930 to 1935, but this was a time when lots of used tank cars could be had on the cheap.

     And when quite a few smaller leasing companies went under, or changed business model, and sold their entire fleets to GATC. Richard Hendrickson tracked a lot of this in the early 1930s ORER issues (unfortunately less frequent because of the Depression), as the old reporting marks showed up there for awhile. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find any record of his findings among his papers and computer files. One of his great talents was a phenomenal memory, but we now pay the price because he didn't need to write a lot of stuff down.

Tony Thompson




Dave Parker
 

Tony:

I don't have all of the 1930s ORERs, but I have enough to be able to sketch out the basics of the GATC fleet growth via acquisition.  Note that many of the mid-1930s ORERs did not have car counts from GATC (and other lines) anyway; this is another instance of when Ian's reprint of the 1936 tariff can really help. So, briefly:

1.  As far back as 1919, you can see GATC scooping up mom-and-pop leasing companies (Adler Tank Line, 6 cars) and refinery fleets (Kanoky Oil, 1 car).  In my 1919 edition, there 11 reporting marks other than GATX listed.  These tended to come and go over time, but I don't think in the aggregate we are looking at more than a few hundred cars in the 1920s.

2.  Things get more interesting between 12/30 and 7/35 with acquisition of the Standard Transit (STCX) and Quaker Tank Line (QTX) fleets, about 3000 cars each.  (Also Swift Tank Lines, but only ~400 cars).  These reporting marks are gone sometime after 1940, but before 1945.

3.  Probably early in 1936, Proctor and Gamble (PGX) was also added -- ~1200 cars.  This reporting mark has disappeared by January, 1940.  About the same time, the Canton Tank Car Co. (CTTX) was also added -- about 780 cars.

4.  Also by early 1936, the merged Pennsylvania-Conley Tank Lines (PTX, CYCX) had purchased the Texaco (TCX) fleet for lease-back, and their total holdings reached ~14,300 cars.  GATC had at least some control of this enterprise dating back to maybe 1928 (?; it's murky), but the separate P-C listing in the 1936 tariff doesn't mention the GATC "parentage".  This becomes explicit by the time of my 1/38 ORER.

5.  Some time between 1940 and 1945, the separate Penn-Conley listing disappears, and all three reporting marks appear under GATC's banner in the ORERs.  [I did not look past 1945].

I think those major acquisitions explain quite a bit (but certainly not all) of the growth of the GATC fleet totals from (very round numbers) 12,000 in 1930, to 25,000 in 1936, to 38,000 in 1945.  Of course there may have been (and probably was) concurrent scrapping of old, and building of new, cars but that will prove difficult to tease out with what we have to work with.

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