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Tank car distances

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  • Member since
    February 2008
  • 1,470 posts
Tank car distances
Posted by kasskaboose on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 8:50 AM

Is it odd to have tank cars on a Virginia layout from the the west coast and vice versa?  I'm modeling the 1980s and not sure of the leasing agreements or what's realistic.  I don't want to have too many from the west unless it's totally fine.

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  • From: Canada, eh?
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Posted by doctorwayne on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 3:07 PM

If somebody orders an HO scale tank car full of...I dunno...cod liver oil, perhaps, then a car full of it should show up on your layout.  It might be going to a modelled destination on your layout, or merely passing through to a nearby business that's not on your layout.  Either way, there's a reason for it to appear on your layout.  The car could just as easily be a carload of tequila from Mexico, or a tank car full of maple syrup from Canada.

If you needed a carload of Liquiflux, one of these would likely show up...

...or perhaps some of this...

...a carload of it would show up.

Wayne

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  • From: Potomac Yard
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Posted by NittanyLion on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 4:05 PM

What do you mean by "west coast?"  Most tank cars are owned by leasing fleets and private operators, like UTLX, GATX, ADM, or Exxon-Mobil.  They then have huge, national ranges where there's not a lot of regionality in their appearance. 

Railroad owned ones are different because there's so very few of them. 

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Posted by BRAKIE on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 7:33 PM

UTLX GATX and other privately owned tank cars travels coast to coast.. In all of my 65 years of rail fanning and 9 1/2 years of braking I never saw a railroad owned tank car other then those in MOW service.

Larry

Conductor.

Summerset Ry.


"Make Safety Your First Thought.. Not  Your Last" 

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Posted by dknelson on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 11:57 AM

The list of commodities that are carried (or were) in tanks cars is enormously long and varied, ranging from food (human or not, and I'd include "inedible tallows" in that category) to various oils and petroleum by products to food-related to chemicals, both benign and extremely hazardous.  There might be reasons why tanks cars carrying, say, ethanol or sulfur might not be seen in your local area depending on what industries and businesses there are.  

Studying local industries past and present is always a good first step in figuring out who would have received, or shipped, what stuff.  Are there refineries?  Paper mills?  Ship yards?  Even a day of railfanning can give you a solid notion of what is shipped now and with a few exceptions, would also have been shipped back in your era.  A camera with a fast shutter speed setting is a useful tool because often I have to look at the screen and expand the image to read what the car is carrying (assuming it says, either directly in English or on his hazmat placard).

As others have stated with so few railroad owned tanks cars, particularly in the modern era, tank cars are among the LEAST regionalized in terms of origin and they have no "home" or home road.  

Dave Nelson

 

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Posted by kasskaboose on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 7:56 PM

Thanks everyone!  What outstanding help.  Enjoy the holiday.

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