Sunday, August 7, 2022

US Refineries in the 40’s

 

Back in June, Dave Parker posted a document to the Steam Era Freight Car list that listed the petroleum refineries as of 1948.  As Dave stated in his post, he thought it might be helpful to fellow steam era modellers.  I found it helpful, but thought there could be a better reference for my 1944 modelling era.  The title of Dave’s Report was Information Circular 7483, Petroleum Refineries, including Cracking Plants in the United States, January 1, 1948.  The US government publishes all sorts of helpful information on the industries it regulates or have impacts on our economy and national security.  You just need to know what to look for, and Dave’s post put me on track to solve what to me had been a mystery of the origins of the loads arriving at Port Chicago in November 1944.  http://northbaylines.blogspot.com/2012/09/interchanges-2-port-chicago.html

 

An internet search led me to locate several versions of the circular from the ‘20s and later.  Information restrictions during WWII apparently restricted or halted publication during the war years, but I did find the 1941 and 1947 versions that bracket my time of interest.  Thanks to my Library of Congress reader card, I was able to download each report in its entirety at one shot, rather than the page by page method I had to employ before I got the card.  Once I had the reports, I transcribed the refinery information into an Excel spreadsheet.  I simplified my data into single columns for crude and cracking capacity for each year yielding 4 data columns rather than 12.  If an operating plant had capacity shut down or under construction, only the operating capacity is shown.  Similarly only shut down capacity is shown if there was construction at a shut down plant.  The capacities are shown as follows: operating in black, shutdown in red, and under construction in grey.  In another project, I’ve been transcribing the April 1944 Official List of Open and Prepaid Stations.  I’ve added which railroads served the cities where the refineries are located.  I omitted steamship and barge carriers, as the coastwise shipping was shutdown during the war and I didn’t have an interchange with a water carrier.  The list of railroads and the abbreviations used is included as a spreadsheet in the Excel file.  That sheet also has the 1944 Railway Accounting Codes that were required as header information on each company’s waybills.  As a Coast Lines Santa Fe modeler, I am sensitive to the fact the Santa Fe had four distinct operating companies with different Code Numbers in my operating era: Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe, AT&SF, 22; Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Coast Lines, ATCL, 30; Gulf Colorado & Santa Fe, GC&SF, 315; and Panhandle & Santa Fe, P&SF, 617.

 

The four refineries supported by my layout are listed below:

PLANT

CITY

ST

41 CRUDE CAP

47 Crude Capy

TYPE

41 CRACKED CAPY

47 Crack Capy

Tidewater Associated Oil Co

Avon

CA

43600

60900

Comp

8000

11100

Shell Oil Co Inc

Martinez

CA

26500

45000

Comp

6200

8050

Union Oil of California

Oleum

CA

30000

60000

Comp

3500

6500

Standard Oil Co of California

Richmond

CA

100000

125000

Comp

11500

25100

 

That is a small example of the data contained in the 656 entries in the spreadsheet.  You can also filter by railroad.  For instance the Atlantic Coast Line served three cities with refineries:

Mexican Petroleum Corp of Georgia

Savannah

GA

 

Standard Oil Co of New Jersey

Charleston

SC

 

The Texas Co

Norfolk

VA

 

 

That doesn’t necessarily mean that ACL served the refinery, though, as C&O, N&W, NS, PRR, SAL, Sou, and VgnRy also served Norfolk and only one or two of those roads would have directly served the plant. 

 

I’ve placed a copy of the Excel file my 1940s US refineries folder on Google Drive at https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1gG7PrXx2Zr8kjw-HWmYeLieVgY0pxdGX?usp=sharing

 along with a PDF listing of the refineries sorted by City and State.  The files are ©2022 John C Barry.  You may download for your personal use, but for commercial use, contact me at NorthBayLines@att.net.

 

John Barry,

Lovettsville, VA

7 August 2022

 

 

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

The Rapido Single Sheathed USRA Box Car

 Revised

Following up on their beautiful double sheathed, 40 ton USRA offering, Rapido has just announced their version of the single sheathed 50 ton USRA box car.  By my modelling era of 1944, nearly 2000 of the original 25000 cars had been rebuilt or wrecked, leaving 22201 cars in service in their original configuration.  Of these, the Pennsylvania RR rostered nearly half with 9765 of their X26 class, Milwaukee retained 3857 of their original 4000 cars, and New York Central had 1967.  A complete list of cars extracted from the October 1944 ORER follows.

 

Mark

Start

End

Oct 44  # of cars

AA

90000

90199

198

AB&C

27000

27199

190

B&O

186999

187499

463

C&O

600

1505

51

CC&O

8000

8299

289

CNJ

20000

20499

482

CNW

143700

145698

980

D&H

17001

17500

463

MEC

36001

36300

297

MILW

700000

703999

3857

N&W

120000

120799

778

NYC

160000

160999

5

NYC

277000

277999

979

NYC

282000

282999

983

NYC

TOTAL

1967

PRR

37100

39865

2731

PRR

44001

46725

2693

PRR

83397

83572

173

PRR

86798

869000

100

PRR

90504

90513

10

PRR

93901

93925

25

PRR

97805

97948

141

PRR

511396

511430

35

PRR

512065

512069

5

PRR

518217

518949

723

PRR

530076

530080

5

PRR

531194

531198

5

PRR

540001

540798

785

PRR

549202

549282

81

PRR

564270

566090

1795

PRR

596001

596450

442

PRR

598438

598453

16

PRR

TOTAL

9765

RDG

5001

5999

678

RF&P

981

1140

144

RF&P

2451

2800

339

SP

26360

27359

970

WM

26300

26599

290

Grand Total

22201

 

Now to the applicability of the Rapido models to my era. 

 

The D&H, PRR, CNW, MILW, MEC, SP, CNJ, C&O. NYC, RDG, & RF&P cars are usable as depicted for a 1944 modeler.  The AA artwork is in the 90000 series, but the listed car numbers are in the 346500 series. I can’t quite make out the reweigh date in the online rendering.  The B&O model are lettered in the 90000 series and would need to be renumbered for 1944.  Are those actually the AA numbers?  N&W renumbered their cars into the 40000 series after 1945 so I would have to back date them into the 120000 series. 

 

I can justify several of the Pennsy cars along with a couple from SP, MILW and NYC.  Singletons from the usable list can replace Accurail and Tichy cars currently in my fleet.  Time to call my dealer!

 

John Barry

Lovettsville, VA

15 June 2021


Update: Thanks to Jim Gates eagle eyes, I removed the PRR 83589 X25 series I misread as X26 and updated the totals in the text and table.


JCB

 

Saturday, July 18, 2020

The Fe-U and the 1944 Railroad Map


I’ve had this map in my collection for several years, long enough that I’ve forgotten exactly where I found it.  For the longest time, I wasn’t sure when it was published, until I discovered a small notation, “6-44,”in the lower right corner, separated from the legend where you normally find the date.  Well, that made my day, but at 24”x36” with lots of fine print, not terribly useful to these aging eyes.  So back into the stash it went.  I came across it again while I was scanning some newly acquired photographs using my new Epson flatbed scanner.  Hmm, I wondered if I could use a digital magnifying glass?  After all, I do have a pair of pretty large flat screen monitors for my desktop.  My first thought was to find a large format scanner, as this had worked well in California with several maps and blueprints that I had borrowed.  A discussion with one of the local print shops that USED to have such a scanner led to the suggestion that I scan and stitch together in Photoshop as that I was what he would have to do.

I had a direction.  I scanned overlapping sections of the map at 1200 DPI and ended up with seven 3-400 MB files.  There things sat for several weeks as my copy of Photoshop was on a broken 13 year old laptop and I couldn’t find the original CD.  I do have PS Elements 15 on my current machine, but I hadn’t found a way to use Elements to stitch photos together.  Then on Wednesday, I viewed Ted Culotta’s Lightroom clinic.  I was impressed with the ease of reassembling the multiple screen shots that he demonstrated.  I resolved to resurrect my copy of PS CS2.  Before that happened though, Michael Gross posted that he had found the perspective crop hidden away in a dialog box on his copy of PSE15, the same version that I have installed.  That inspired me to see if I could find and use it as I had before my 2007 laptop was damaged.  A quick experiment with a photo I have of an Fe-U yielded these results:




ATSF 66299 Fe-U single sheathed auto box car straightened

The Bx-35 was converted from the Fe-U by sealing the aux door and extending the car lining inside it.  I’m in need of a pair of these for my 1944 layout and this was a natural to try the technique on as it could help with a future scratch building project.

Then I thought, if that’s there, what about the stitching tool?  Well, it sorta is.  I discovered the “panorama” tool in the Guided mode.  It can and does (sometimes) combine images that have overlap.  My first attempt using all seven of my large files flopped.  Hmm, lets start smaller and combine only two.  That did work, and so did two of the combinations of three but not two of the combined files with each other.  That’s when I discovered the file size limit in PS Elements, 30,000x30,000 pixels and I needed something like 55x25 thousand to assemble my files as is.  Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing, and I’d scanned at too high a resolution to successfully reintegrate the separate images with the software I had.  But, I was able to downsize the files to 900 DPI resolution and combine the four files of the northern portion as well as the three of the southern into two transcontinental maps.  Better than seven, but still not what I was hoping for.  Starting with the northern map, I expanded the canvass and manually imported the three downsized files and manually aligned them.  I didn’t do a perfect job as I discovered that my scans each had some minor distortions.  But I managed to make it mostly work.  At some point, post covid, I will rescan the entire map on a large format scanner and eliminate the minor discontinuities.  But until then, this version will allow me to zoom in and out while tracing routings across the US and Canada.



1944 Rail Map issued by the Santa Fe Railway

I hope you find this useful as well.  You can download a higher resolution copy at Google Docs 44 Rail Map.  Even reduced and saved as a JPG, its still a very large file at 87MB.  Enjoy and stay safe!

John Barry
Lovettsville, VA
18 July 2020