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Mixing tank cars in consist?

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Mixing tank cars in consist?
Posted by kasskaboose on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 1:49 PM

*SLIGHT CHANGE FROM ORIGINAL POST*

Can you have a consist of LPG (33,000 gallon) tank cars with 23,000 gallon tank cars?  I ask b/c I model the 1980s and not sure if acceptable to have both hauled in a consist.  If so, how many buffer cars between them if the tank cars are loaded?  Five? Three?

My grain elevator could use both types of tank cars.  The LPG as fuel and the 23,000 for chemicals or lard.  I've seen pics of both types of cars at an elevator.

Thanks!

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Posted by BRAKIE on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 7:37 PM

Yes,you can place tank cars of any size together.. The rule was these cars had to be kept 6 cars from a occupied locomotive,passenger car or caboose.

Larry

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Posted by BATMAN on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 8:54 PM

kasskaboose
My grain elevator could use both types of tank cars.  The LPG as fuel and the 23,000 for chemicals or lard.  I've seen pics of both types of cars at an elevator.

I have seen that as well, I still get grief everytime I post this pic though. I just say it was a car with a defect pulled out of a train now waiting repair.Laugh

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Posted by mvlandsw on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 9:08 PM

Although the size of the cars does not matter certain chemicals are not allowed to be next to each other because of their dangerous reactions if they were to mix in a derailment.

Railroad rulebooks have tables that show allowed car placement for road trains and switching moves.

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Posted by NHTX on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 1:46 AM

    As stated, it's what is inside the tank cars, not the gallonage that dictates their placement in a train.  By the 1980s, there had been enough disastrous occurences involving tank cars that shippers were becoming loathe to splash (no pun intended) their names all over the cars that carried their unsavory products.  Cars were rapidly resorting to the lessor's generic color scheme, with the lessee identified somewhere on the tank in two inch high lettering of the same color as the rest.  Try to measure some thing 2" high in HO and be able to positively decipher it at normal layout viewing distance!

     In the 1980s, most railroad employee's timetables included a chart for the entraining of hazardous (placarded) cars.  The same information can be found on-line at https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/49/174.85   One restriction that does not appear on the placarded car placement chart was the requirement for empty tank cars measuring less than 35 feet in length to be in the rear 20 cars of the train.  This one appeared in the Southern Pacific timetables of the 1980s along with other equipment restrictions such as those for Penn Central and Conrail gondolas in the 598000-598999 series as well as bulkhead flatcars, pipe on 89 foot flatcars, and  more.  If at all possible try to get a ETT for the road that interests you because it will answer more questions than you will think to ask.  Also, remember, tank cars usually carried the same cargo their entire service lives because many cargoes would render the car unfit for other products, especially those for human consumption.  The cost of cleaning the car when switching from one cargo to another could be quite prohibitive and not all cars were lined to carry anything you could pour into them.  Spotting tank cars at a grain elevator is quite common if the co-op also deals in liquid fertilizers.  Keep your tank cars plain with the lessee's name in 2" HO scale letters and defy anyone to prove you wrong!

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Posted by caldreamer on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 8:07 AM

The placement of the shorty tank catrs and other cars are dictated by trailing tonnage and car length in the railroads car placement rules not because they are tank cars or long flat cars.  Shrt car next to an 89 foot car can cause stringlining.

    caldreamer

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Posted by kasskaboose on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 7:58 PM

I bet it also looks odd.  I might just run tank cars in different consists than the tank cars for veg oil.  It makes sense to keep them separated w/ the buffer cars in front and some in back.

Much appreciate the help.

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Posted by cv_acr on Thursday, July 2, 2020 9:02 AM

kasskaboose

I bet it also looks odd.  I might just run tank cars in different consists than the tank cars for veg oil.  It makes sense to keep them separated w/ the buffer cars in front and some in back.

There's no particular reason to do that.

Individual tank cars, like individual box cars and other types of cars, will simply be handled in whatever train(s) move them to their destination. The same train could have every single type of tank car in it, if the geography the train runs through serves such a variety of industries.

Yes it is common to see larger blocks of propane tank cars together in some areas, and associated with other cars of petroleum products, especially around refining areas, because all those products are produced in the same facilities. But once things get farther away from the source for delivery to smaller distribution facilities, it'll just be a few cars here and there, and the same train can definitely have hazardous and non-hazardous, food-grade and chemical, gas and liquid, etc. tanks mixed in.

There are some restrictions on what can be placed beside each other when it comes to hazardous materials.

Explosives and poison gas should not be placed beside each other.

All hazmat should be separated from engines, cabooses, and other occupied service equipment.

Placarded tank cars should not be next to open cars with loads protruding above the end of the cars which could puncture the tank in a derailment.

Flammable contents should not be next to cars with a flame source, like insulated cars with alcohol or charcoal heaters.

There's no restrictions on non-placarded, non-hazardous tank cars, and they can freely be used as spacers in any of the above situations.

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Posted by cv_acr on Thursday, July 2, 2020 9:05 AM

kasskaboose

Can you have a consist of LPG (33,000 gallon) tank cars with 23,000 gallon tank cars? 

Yes.

kasskaboose
If so, how many buffer cars between them if the tank cars are loaded?  Five? Three?

None.

kasskaboose

My grain elevator could use both types of tank cars.  The LPG as fuel and the 23,000 for chemicals or lard.  I've seen pics of both types of cars at an elevator.

While I'm not sure why a tank of lard would be at a grain/agricultural facility, it's non-hazardous.

The "chemicals" I assume would be something related to liquid fertilizer, and can't see that having a particular restriction.

23K gallon cars are also a common size for handling petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel, and lube oil, if your facility is in fact a large agricultural supply company that serves as a local fuel dealer (propane, gasoline, diesel).

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Posted by ndbprr on Thursday, July 2, 2020 5:44 PM

There used to be a producer of permanently connected tank cars called tank train if I remember correctly.  They were black with orange lettering.  Piping from the bottom of one car went up the end of the car where a hose connected to the top of the next car. Air pressure would then drain the cars when unloaded.

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Posted by York1 on Thursday, July 2, 2020 5:52 PM

GATX has the Tanktrain:

 

 

TankTrain™ System

 

A string of interconnected tank cars with flexible hoses, developed exclusively by GATX’s research and development team, allows for quick loading and unloading of commodities including crude petroleum oil, benzene, light fuel oil and phosphoric acid.

http://www.gatx.com/wps/wcm/connect/GATX/GATX_SITE/Home/Rail+North+America/Products/Equipment+Types/Tank/Acid+and+Specialty/Tank+Train/

York1 John       

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Posted by dehusman on Thursday, July 2, 2020 9:59 PM

kasskaboose
I might just run tank cars in different consists than the tank cars for veg oil.  It makes sense to keep them separated w/ the buffer cars in front and some in back.

No it doesn't.

There is no reason to separate the two types of cars.  Tank cars of vegetable oil can be used as buffer cars for hazmat.  That is the type of car you would intentionally put next to a car of hazmat if you needed to separate the hazmat from something.

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Posted by maxman on Thursday, July 2, 2020 11:37 PM

ndbprr

There used to be a producer of permanently connected tank cars called tank train if I remember correctly.  They were black with orange lettering.  Piping from the bottom of one car went up the end of the car where a hose connected to the top of the next car. Air pressure would then drain the cars when unloaded.

 

That was General American (GATX).  Representative photo here:

https://www.alaskarails.org/fp/TankTrain.html

In model form Model Die Casting (MDC) made a series of cars that could be assembled to represent a string of these cars.  That was many years ago.

I believe that Athearn more recently produced a model(s) that also represented this train.  Of course they were more detailed and more expensive.

 

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Posted by tstage on Friday, July 3, 2020 9:02 AM

I may have missed someone commenting on this but...e.g. in the 30s & 40s, you would rarely if ever see an entire train of tank cars - i.e. unless you could ensure that a proper buffer of "non-volitile" tank cars were maintained between either the locomotive or the caboose and any volitile chemicals?  If so, that would take some planning on the railroads part when delivering any of the buffer tank cars.

Course, I guess they could just run empties (if they had any) to maintain the proper buffer.  However, tank cars back then were usually owned by the supplier company, whose name was plastered on the side of them.  I don't think a railroad would want to pull that many non-revenue cars in any of their trains since they were not making any money on them.

Tom

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Posted by dehusman on Friday, July 3, 2020 11:50 AM

tstage
I may have missed someone commenting on this but...e.g. in the 30s & 40s, you would rarely if ever see an entire train of tank cars

You would in the 1940's when they ran oil trains because of U Boats off the coasts.

Also one has to consider that in the 1930's the cars were different, the commodities were different, the rules were different, the placards were different.

In the 1940's if you had a solid train of placarded tank car you wouldn't need ANY cover.  Just couple into that puppy and take off.

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Posted by tstage on Friday, July 3, 2020 1:24 PM

Thanks, Dave.  It's funny that this query about tank cars has come up when it has.  About 2 weeks ago I pulled out roughly 2/3s of my tank car inventory and have been pulling them and a brass caboose behind a variety of steam & diesel locomotives from the 40s.  Most, if not all the tank cars, are for petroleum-based products.

Tom

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Posted by cv_acr on Monday, July 6, 2020 2:21 PM

tstage

Course, I guess they could just run empties (if they had any) to maintain the proper buffer.

Not necessarily as empty tank cars aren't "clean" and still have hazardous residues or vapours. (Gasoline vapour can be more dangerous than liquid vis a vis explosion risk.)

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Posted by garya on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 12:52 PM

dehusman

 

 
tstage
I may have missed someone commenting on this but...e.g. in the 30s & 40s, you would rarely if ever see an entire train of tank cars

 

You would in the 1940's when they ran oil trains because of U Boats off the coasts.

Also one has to consider that in the 1930's the cars were different, the commodities were different, the rules were different, the placards were different.

In the 1940's if you had a solid train of placarded tank car you wouldn't need ANY cover.  Just couple into that puppy and take off.

 

My favorite railroad, the Frisco, ran oil trains during World War II.  Most crude oil was shipped in tankers from Gulf ports to east coast refineries, but U-boat operations put a stop to that soon after the US entry into the war.  Crude oil from Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Kansas, and Arkansas was all routed in tank cars to the east coast.

Some discussion of placards and buffer cars here.

Gary

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Posted by dehusman on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 4:57 PM

I have a copy of the 1941 PRR General Notice No 225-B, "Regulations for the Transportation of Explosives and other dangerous articles".

In 1941 there were basically 3 placards, which were standardized by the AAR Bureau of Explosives:  Explosives (a 14x11 rectangular placard), Poison Gas (a 14 x10 rectangular placard) and Dangerous (a square diamond 10" on each edge).  The dangerous placard has a "dangerous empty" placard on the flip side.  All of the stuff we have detailed placards for (non flammable gas, flammable gas, flammable, combustible, corrosive, oxidizer, flammable solid) were lumped together and placarded as simply "Dangerous".

Explosives cars must be placed near the middle of a through freight train but not nearer than the 16th car from the engine or 11th car from the caboose.  Explosives in a local train must nearer than the 2nd car from the engine or caboose.  Helpers must be at least 1 car away from a carload of explosives.

Placarded loaded tank cars must not be next to a car with a lighted heater, stove or lantern, or mechanical regrigerator, must not be next to shiftable loads.  In through freights they must not be nearer than the the 6th car from the engine or caboose or in a local train, not nearer than the second car, when train length permits and cars other than loaded tank cars are in the train.

What that is saying is, if there are placarded tank cars and cars other than loaded tank cars in the train, then, 5 cars of cover are required (which can be any non placarded cars) between the engine/caboose and the dangerous tank cars.

If the train is ENTIRELY loaded tank cars then NO cover cars are required.

I also have a copy of the 1961 PRR General Notice 225-E (that means it was revised two other times between 1941 and 1961.

By 1961, they have added three more placards:  Dangerous-Radioactive, Residual Phosphorus, and Flammable poision gas.  Explosives cars must be the 16th ar from the engine or caboose, train length permitting, other wise must be near the middle of the train.  It must not be closer than the 6th car from the engine or caboose.  They can't be next to passenger cars, engines, cabooses, other placarded dangerous cars, shiftable open top loads, mechanical reefers, cars with heaters or wooden underframe cars (except narrow gauge).

Loaded placarded tank cars, except in trains consisting entirely of loaded placarded tank cars, it must not be closer than the 6th car, unless train length does not permit, then it can't be closer than the 2nd car to the engine, caboose or occupied passenger car.  If its in a local train then it must not be closer than the 2nd car from the engine or caboose.  Loaded tank cars placarded Dangerous can't be next to cars placarded explosives, poision gas or flammable poision gas, shiftable open top loads, mechanical reefers, cars with heaters or wooden underframe cars (except narrow gauge).

So those are the rules for handling placarded cars up through the 1960's.  Starting in the 1970's the placards changed again and then again in the 1980's.

Up until the 1970's, a solid train of loaded placarded tank cars, such as a crude oil train, would NOT need ANY cover or buffer cars.

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

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