Tank car
Overview
 
A tank car is a type of railroad (UIC
International Union of Railways
The UIC , or International Union of Railways, is an international rail transport industry body.- Brief history :The railways of Europe originated as separate concerns. There were many border changes after World War I and the Treaty of Versailles. Colonial railways were the responsibility of the...

: railway) rolling stock
Rolling stock
Rolling stock comprises all the vehicles that move on a railway. It usually includes both powered and unpowered vehicles, for example locomotives, railroad cars, coaches and wagons...

 designed to transport liquid
Liquid
Liquid is one of the three classical states of matter . Like a gas, a liquid is able to flow and take the shape of a container. Some liquids resist compression, while others can be compressed. Unlike a gas, a liquid does not disperse to fill every space of a container, and maintains a fairly...

 and gaseous commodities
Commodity
In economics, a commodity is the generic term for any marketable item produced to satisfy wants or needs. Economic commodities comprise goods and services....

.
  • 1865: Flats
    Flatcar
    A flatcar is a piece of railroad or railway rolling stock that consists of an open, flat deck on four or six wheels or a pair of trucks or bogies . The deck of the car can be wood or steel, and the sides of the deck can include pockets for stakes or tie-down points to secure loads...

     with banded wooden tanks mounted on top are employed for the first time to transport crude oil from the fields of Pennsylvania during the Pennsylvanian oil rush
    Pennsylvanian oil rush
    The Pennsylvanian oil rush was a "boom" in petroleum production which occurred in northwestern Pennsylvania from 1859 to about 1870. It was the first oil boom in the United States....

    .
  • 1869: Wrought iron tanks (with an approximate capacity of 3500 US gal or 13.2 m³ per car) replace wooden tanks.
  • 1888: Tank car manufacturers sell units directly to the oil companies, with capacities ranging from 6000 to-.
  • 1903: Tank car companies develop construction safety standards.
Encyclopedia
A tank car is a type of railroad (UIC
International Union of Railways
The UIC , or International Union of Railways, is an international rail transport industry body.- Brief history :The railways of Europe originated as separate concerns. There were many border changes after World War I and the Treaty of Versailles. Colonial railways were the responsibility of the...

: railway) rolling stock
Rolling stock
Rolling stock comprises all the vehicles that move on a railway. It usually includes both powered and unpowered vehicles, for example locomotives, railroad cars, coaches and wagons...

 designed to transport liquid
Liquid
Liquid is one of the three classical states of matter . Like a gas, a liquid is able to flow and take the shape of a container. Some liquids resist compression, while others can be compressed. Unlike a gas, a liquid does not disperse to fill every space of a container, and maintains a fairly...

 and gaseous commodities
Commodity
In economics, a commodity is the generic term for any marketable item produced to satisfy wants or needs. Economic commodities comprise goods and services....

.

Timeline

  • 1865: Flats
    Flatcar
    A flatcar is a piece of railroad or railway rolling stock that consists of an open, flat deck on four or six wheels or a pair of trucks or bogies . The deck of the car can be wood or steel, and the sides of the deck can include pockets for stakes or tie-down points to secure loads...

     with banded wooden tanks mounted on top are employed for the first time to transport crude oil from the fields of Pennsylvania during the Pennsylvanian oil rush
    Pennsylvanian oil rush
    The Pennsylvanian oil rush was a "boom" in petroleum production which occurred in northwestern Pennsylvania from 1859 to about 1870. It was the first oil boom in the United States....

    .
  • 1869: Wrought iron tanks (with an approximate capacity of 3500 US gal or 13.2 m³ per car) replace wooden tanks.
  • 1888: Tank car manufacturers sell units directly to the oil companies, with capacities ranging from 6000 to-.
  • 1903: Tank car companies develop construction safety standards. More than 10,000 tank cars are in operation.
  • 1915: A classification system is developed by the tank car industry to ensure the correct match of product being shipped to car type. Some 50,000 tank cars are in use.
  • 1920: Welding replaces riveting in tank car construction, enhancing the safety of cars.
  • 1930: 140,000 tank cars transport some 103 commodities.
  • 1940s: Virtually every tank car is engaged in oil transport in support of the war effort
    World War II
    World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

    .
  • 1950: Pipelines and tank trucks begin to compete for liquid transport business.
  • 1963: The Union Tank Car Company (UTLX) introduces the "Whale Belly" tank car.

Usage

Many variants exist due to the wide variety of liquid
Liquid
Liquid is one of the three classical states of matter . Like a gas, a liquid is able to flow and take the shape of a container. Some liquids resist compression, while others can be compressed. Unlike a gas, a liquid does not disperse to fill every space of a container, and maintains a fairly...

s and gases transported. Tank cars can be pressurized or non-pressurized, insulated
Thermal insulation
Thermal insulation is the reduction of the effects of the various processes of heat transfer between objects in thermal contact or in range of radiative influence. Heat transfer is the transfer of thermal energy between objects of differing temperature...

 or non-insulated, and designed for single or multiple commodities. Non-pressurized cars have various fittings on the top and may have fittings on the bottom. Some of the top fittings are covered by a protective housing. Pressurized cars have a pressure plate, with all fittings, and a cylindrical protective housing at the top. Loading and unloading are done through the protective housing.

Tank cars are specialized pieces of equipment. As an example, the interior of the car may be lined with a material, such as glass
Glass
Glass is an amorphous solid material. Glasses are typically brittle and optically transparent.The most familiar type of glass, used for centuries in windows and drinking vessels, is soda-lime glass, composed of about 75% silica plus Na2O, CaO, and several minor additives...

, or other specialized coatings to isolate the tank contents from the tank shell. Care is taken to ensure that tank contents are compatible with tank construction.

As a result of this specialization, tank cars have generally been "one-way" cars. Other cars, like boxcar
Boxcar
A boxcar is a railroad car that is enclosed and generally used to carry general freight. The boxcar, while not the simplest freight car design, is probably the most versatile, since it can carry most loads...

s, can easily be reloaded with other goods for the return trip. Combinations of the two types were attempted, such as boxcars with fluid tanks slung beneath the floors. While the car could certainly carry a load both directions, the limited tank size made this unsuccessful.

A large percentage of tank cars are owned by companies serviced by railroads instead of the railroads themselves. This can be verified by examining the reporting mark
Reporting mark
A reporting mark is a two-, three-, or four-letter alphabetic code used to identify owners or lessees of rolling stock and other equipment used on the North American railroad network. The marks are stenciled on each piece of equipment, along with a one-to-six-digit number, which together uniquely...

s on the cars. These marks invariably end in X, meaning that the owner is not a common carrier
Common carrier
A common carrier in common-law countries is a person or company that transports goods or people for any person or company and that is responsible for any possible loss of the goods during transport...

.

Within the rail industry, tank cars are grouped by their type and not by the cargo carried. Food service tank cars may be lined with stainless steel
Stainless steel
In metallurgy, stainless steel, also known as inox steel or inox from French "inoxydable", is defined as a steel alloy with a minimum of 10.5 or 11% chromium content by mass....

, glass, or plastic. Tank cars carrying dangerous goods
Dangerous goods
Dangerous goods are solids, liquids, or gases that can harm people, other living organisms, property, or the environment. They are often subject to chemical regulations. "HazMat teams" are personnel specially trained to handle dangerous goods...

 are generally made of different types of steel, depending on the intended cargo and operating pressure. They may also be lined with rubber or coated with specialized coatings for tank protection or product purity purpose. The tank heads are also stronger to prevent ruptures during accidents. The whale belly type is giving way to higher capacity, yet standard-width cars.

All tank cars undergo periodic inspection for damage and corrosion. Pressure relief valves are inspected at every loading. Pressurized cars are pressure-tested regularly to insure the integrity of the tank.

All tank cars operating throughout North America today feature "double shelf" AAR type "F" couplers
Tightlock coupling
Tightlock coupling or titelok coupler is an Association of American Railroads tooth and toothbrush automatic coupler of which there are two types:...

 that prevent disengaging in event of an accident or derailment. This all but eliminates the chance of couplers puncturing adjacent tank cars.

Insulated cars (which may also incorporate heating or refrigeration systems) are used when the contents must be kept at a certain temperature. For example, the Linde tank car depicted below carries liquefied argon
Argon
Argon is a chemical element represented by the symbol Ar. Argon has atomic number 18 and is the third element in group 18 of the periodic table . Argon is the third most common gas in the Earth's atmosphere, at 0.93%, making it more common than carbon dioxide...

. Cars designed for multiple commodities are constructed of two or more tanks (compartments). Each compartment must have separate fittings. The lower capacity and added complexity of multicompartment cars means that they make up a small percentage of the tank car inventory.

Outside of North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

, tank cars are also known as tank wagons or tanker wagons.

Milk cars

A milk car is a specialized type of tank car designed to carry raw milk
Milk
Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many...

 between farms, creameries
Creamery
In a dairy, the creamery is the location of cream processing. Cream is separated from whole milk; pasteurization is done to the skimmed milk and cream separately. Whole milk for sale has had some cream returned to the skimmed milk....

, and processing plants.

Milk is now commonly chilled before loading, and transported in a glass-lined tank car. Such tank cars are often placard
Placard
A placard is a notice installed in a public place, like a small card, sign, or plaque. It can be attached to or hung from a vehicle or building to indicate information about the vehicle operator or contents of a vehicle or building.- Buildings :...

ed 'Food service use only'.

Liquid Hydrogen tank car

Tank cars of this type are designed to carry cryogenic liquid Hydrogen
Liquid hydrogen
Liquid hydrogen is the liquid state of the element hydrogen. Hydrogen is found naturally in the molecular H2 form.To exist as a liquid, H2 must be pressurized above and cooled below hydrogen's Critical point. However, for hydrogen to be in a full liquid state without boiling off, it needs to be...

 (LH2). North American cars are classified as DOT113, AAR204W, and AAR204XT

Pickle cars

A pickle car was a specialized type of tank car designed to carry pickle
Pickled cucumber
A pickled cucumber is a cucumber that has been pickled in a brine, vinegar, or other solution and left to ferment for a period of time, by either immersing the cucumbers in an acidic solution or through souring by lacto-fermentation.-Gherkin:A gherkin is not only...

s. This car consisted of several wooden or metal vats (typically three or four) and was often roofed. Pickles which are preserved in salt brine were loaded through hatches in the roof.

Tank Containers

A tank container, also know as ISO tank, is a specialized type of container
Intermodal container
An intermodal container is a standardized reusable steel box used for the safe, efficient and secure storage and movement of materials and products within a global containerized intermodal freight transport system...

 designed to carry bulk liquids, such as chemcals, liquid hydrogen
Liquid hydrogen
Liquid hydrogen is the liquid state of the element hydrogen. Hydrogen is found naturally in the molecular H2 form.To exist as a liquid, H2 must be pressurized above and cooled below hydrogen's Critical point. However, for hydrogen to be in a full liquid state without boiling off, it needs to be...

, gases
Industrial gas
Industrial gas is a group of gases that are commercially manufactured and sold for uses in other applications. These gases are mainly used in an industrial processes, such as steelmaking, oil refining, medical applications, fertilizer, semiconductors, etc.,...

 and foodgrade products. Both hazardous and non hazardous products can be shipped in tank containers. A standard tank container is 20 foot (6.05m)long, 8 foot (2.44m) high and 8 foot (2.44m) wide. The tank, which is made from stainless steel, is held within a box-shaped frame with the same shape as an intermodal container. This allows it to be carried on multiple modes of transport like, truck, rail and ship.

Torpedo cars

A torpedo car or bottle car is a type of railroad car used in steel mill
Steel mill
A steel mill or steelworks is an industrial plant for the manufacture of steel.Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon. It is produced in a two-stage process. First, iron ore is reduced or smelted with coke and limestone in a blast furnace, producing molten iron which is either cast into pig iron or...

s to haul molten
Mölten
Mölten is a comune in South Tyrol in the Italian region Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, located about 60 km north of Trento and about 12 km northwest of Bolzano .-Geography:...

 pig iron
Pig iron
Pig iron is the intermediate product of smelting iron ore with a high-carbon fuel such as coke, usually with limestone as a flux. Charcoal and anthracite have also been used as fuel...

 from the blast furnace
Blast furnace
A blast furnace is a type of metallurgical furnace used for smelting to produce industrial metals, generally iron.In a blast furnace, fuel and ore and flux are continuously supplied through the top of the furnace, while air is blown into the bottom of the chamber, so that the chemical reactions...

 to begin the process of primary steelmaking
Steelmaking
Steelmaking is the second step in producing steel from iron ore. In this stage, impurities such as sulfur, phosphorus, and excess carbon are removed from the raw iron, and alloying elements such as manganese, nickel, chromium and vanadium are added to produce the exact steel required.-Older...

.

The thermally-insulated
Thermal insulation
Thermal insulation is the reduction of the effects of the various processes of heat transfer between objects in thermal contact or in range of radiative influence. Heat transfer is the transfer of thermal energy between objects of differing temperature...

 vessel is mounted on trunnion
Trunnion
A trunnion is a cylindrical protrusion used as a mounting and/or pivoting point. In a cannon, the trunnions are two projections cast just forward of the centre of mass of the cannon and fixed to a two-wheeled movable gun carriage...

s, and designed to endure extremely high temperatures, as well as keeping the metal in a molten state over extended periods of time. The vessel can be pivoted along its longitudinal axis to empty the pig iron into a furnace
Furnace
A furnace is a device used for heating. The name derives from Latin fornax, oven.In American English and Canadian English, the term furnace on its own is generally used to describe household heating systems based on a central furnace , and sometimes as a synonym for kiln, a device used in the...

 (such as a basic oxygen furnace) or crucible
Crucible
A crucible is a container used for metal, glass, and pigment production as well as a number of modern laboratory processes, which can withstand temperatures high enough to melt or otherwise alter its contents...

.

Vinegar cars

A vinegar car is a specialized type of tank car designed to transport vinegar
Vinegar
Vinegar is a liquid substance consisting mainly of acetic acid and water, the acetic acid being produced through the fermentation of ethanol by acetic acid bacteria. Commercial vinegar is produced either by fast or slow fermentation processes. Slow methods generally are used with traditional...

. The largest such car built was built by Morrison Railway Supply Corporation  in 1968. The car's underframe included all of modern facets of freight car design including roller bearing trucks
Bogie
A bogie is a wheeled wagon or trolley. In mechanics terms, a bogie is a chassis or framework carrying wheels, attached to a vehicle. It can be fixed in place, as on a cargo truck, mounted on a swivel, as on a railway carriage/car or locomotive, or sprung as in the suspension of a caterpillar...

 and cushioning devices built by FreightMaster, while the tank that rode on it, made of Douglas Fir, had a capacity of 17100 US gal (64.7 m³; 14,238.7 imp gal). The car, in what has been called 'the largest wooden tank car ever built', took 18 months to build.

Vinegar is now moved in ordinary tank cars lined with glass, plastic, or alloy steel.


"Whale Belly" cars

In the early 1960s, the Union Tank Car Company
Union Tank Car Company
Union Tank Car Company or UTLX is a railway equipment leasing company headquartered in metro Chicago, Illinois. As the name says, they specialise in tank cars, and covered hopper cars.Founded in 1866 by J. J...

 (UTLX) introduced a series of "whale belly" tank cars which offered increased capacity. These cars carried from 33000 US gal (124.9 m³; 27,478.2 imp gal) in CSOX #31084 to as much as 63000 US gal (238.5 m³; 52,458.5 imp gal) in GATX
General American Transportation Corporation
GATX Corporation is an equipment finance company based in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1898, GATX's primary activities consist of railcar operating leasing in North America and Europe...

 #96500, which had been conceived as a 'rolling experiment' of sorts. The largest tank car ever placed into regular service, UTLX #83699, was rated at 50000 US gal (189.3 m³; 41,633.7 imp gal). It first hit the rails in 1963, remained in service for over twenty years, and is now on display at the Museum of Transportation
Museum of Transportation
The Museum of Transportation of the St. Louis County, Missouri, United States Parks Department is a museum located in the Greater St. Louis area. It was first founded in 1944 by a group of individuals dedicated to preserving the past and has a wide variety of vehicles from American history...

 in Saint Louis, Missouri. This behemoth is 89 feet (27.13 m) in length, weighs 175000 lb (79,378.7 kg) empty, and rides on four two-axle trucks
Bogie
A bogie is a wheeled wagon or trolley. In mechanics terms, a bogie is a chassis or framework carrying wheels, attached to a vehicle. It can be fixed in place, as on a cargo truck, mounted on a swivel, as on a railway carriage/car or locomotive, or sprung as in the suspension of a caterpillar...

 to distribute the additional weight. It was used to transport such diverse substances as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and anhydrous ammonia
Ammonia
Ammonia is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen with the formula . It is a colourless gas with a characteristic pungent odour. Ammonia contributes significantly to the nutritional needs of terrestrial organisms by serving as a precursor to food and fertilizers. Ammonia, either directly or...

.

Safety

Where AAR (Alliance) couplers are fitted, the type "F" coupler
Tightlock coupling
Tightlock coupling or titelok coupler is an Association of American Railroads tooth and toothbrush automatic coupler of which there are two types:...

 is preferred as these are less likely to become separated in a derailment and become a puncture hazard for other tank cars. The type "F" coupler has shelves over and under the coupler that prevent the coupler sliding out of position after a derailment
Derailment
A derailment is an accident on a railway or tramway in which a rail vehicle, or part or all of a train, leaves the tracks on which it is travelling, with consequent damage and in many cases injury and/or death....

.

In addition, some types of tank cars have a second end plate visible from the exterior to further avoid end punctures.

It is also preferable if the taps
Tap (valve)
A tap is a valve controlling release of liquids or gas. In the British Isles and most of the Commonwealth, the word is used for any everyday type of valve, particularly the fittings that control water supply to bathtubs and sinks. In the U.S., the term "tap" is more often used for beer taps,...

 are depressed within the body of the tank so as to present a reduced knock-off hazard during a derailment.

See also

  • Hydrogen economy
    Hydrogen economy
    The hydrogen economy is a proposed system of delivering energy using hydrogen. The term hydrogen economy was coined by John Bockris during a talk he gave in 1970 at General Motors Technical Center....

  • Procor
    Procor
    Procor is a Canadian company producing railway shipping cars. It is Canada's largest private rail car rental fleet that has more than 21,000 conventional and special-purpose tank and freight cars.-External links:* *...

  • Tanker
  • Vacuum flask
    Vacuum flask
    A vacuum flask is an insulating storage vessel which keeps its contents hotter or cooler than its surroundings. Invented by Sir James Dewar in 1892, the vacuum flask consists of two flasks, placed one within the other and joined at the neck...


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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