ex-SP Tank cars at Pearl Harbor

North American Narrow Gauge; West of the Rockies (including Canada; Mexico).
Brian Norden
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Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:40 pm

ex-SP Tank cars at Pearl Harbor

Post by Brian Norden » Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:44 pm

This might be a question for Jeff Livingston.

The US Navy bought narrow-gauge tank cars from the SP and cars that ran on the NCNG and placed these in service at Pearl Harbor. What service were these cars in at PH? Oil, diesel, gasoline or what?

I recently came across information that dates the sale by the SP to the Navy as being on 8-25-42.
Brian Norden

Jeff Livingston
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Re: ex-SP Tank cars at Pearl Harbor

Post by Jeff Livingston » Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:37 am

Brian,

After a lengthy reply the dog (computer) ate my homework. I'll try again later. In the meantime, what is the source document and is there the possibility of obtaining a copy? This is great news.

Jeff Livingston

Brian Norden
Posts: 292
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:40 pm

Re: ex-SP Tank cars at Pearl Harbor

Post by Brian Norden » Fri Jun 15, 2012 7:56 pm

Jeff,

I'll look forward to your eventual reply. I have had the same kind of thing happen to me and it is most frustrating.

Southern Pacific car record book covering ng cars after 1930. Formerly in the collection of the late Dick Datin. Expect this to have a permanent home within a few weeks.
Brian Norden

Jeff Livingston
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Re: ex-SP Tank cars at Pearl Harbor

Post by Jeff Livingston » Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:20 pm

After a couple of adult beverages and a deep breath I'll try this again. Prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor and the surrounding military bases and civilian areas the Navy Yard appears to have had aqequate equipment for their assigned duties. Not so the Army who immediately placed requsitions for ammunition boxcars, kitchen cars, bunk cars, supply cars etc. in support of the 41st Coast Artillery (Railroad). Within weeks these orders were cancelled in favor of tank cars and two diesel locomotives. This information regarding the Army requirements is from John Bennett who is a local researcher wirh the Coast Defense Study Group. The Army did eventually recieved tank cars and other equipment including at least two 40 foot standard gauge 8 inch ammunition boxcars on 3 foot trucks. What the Navy requested is as yet unknown as there are no local records. We have previously posted photos taken by Bill Blewett in the OR&L yard of mainland equipment sent to the Navy but in Bill's words once they entered Pearl Harbor they "disappeared". It was fine to take photos in the OR&L yard but doing so at Pearl could get you shot. Jerry Day provided us a list of D&RGW equipment sent to the Navy but there is no mention of tank cars. We also know of ex-F&CC boxcars sent to the Navy Supply Center and have a F&CC wheel set in the Hawaiian Railway Society (HRS) Yard. Eventually a number of large consignments of of new NG equipment reached Hawaii starting in late 1943 and really picking up in 1944. Many of these military boxcars, flat cars and gondolas were leased by the OR&L. As to tank cars, until Brian's discovery we were unaware of any old mainland cars being sent to the Navy. This is new and exciting news. We have a number of photos showing Army tank cars on the OR&L but none of Navy tank cars that I can recall. The Army tank cars, like the oil company tank cars ran on OR&L owned railroad cars. The oil companies and the Army owned only the tanks. OR&L records indicate there were sixteen Navy tank cars that were not a part of the general car pool that were in use on the main line, but this was ca. 1944. HRS has two examples. So to now try and answer the question of how these tank cars were used, especially the early cars sent from the mainland. I do not believe these tank cars woudl be used for fuel or diesel oil. Pearl Harbor had and has a huge underground fuel system to supply the shops and specialized fueling piers to refuel ships. Tank cars would be impractical. They may have been used to move avgas to Marine Corps Air Base Ewa and later to Kunia but I'm guessing. I don't know when the pipelines to these air bases were built. Most likely these Pearl Harbor tank cars moved waste or contaminated oil removed from ships undergoing repair. They were also likely used to carry dirty bilge water following wheelerizing ship bilges. In what has become our local battle cry "MORE RESEARCH".

Jeff Livingston

Brian Norden
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Re: ex-SP Tank cars at Pearl Harbor

Post by Brian Norden » Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:24 pm

Jeff,

Thanks for the reply.

I'll see about scanning the images in the Bader Book and posting them -- I know Bob and the named source of the images. I am away from the weekend, but the photos show the cars letter something like "U.S. NAVY FUEL DEPOT PEARL HARBOR."

I think that besides the eight (or so) SP tank cars (they had been noted as being "gasoline" tank cars on the SP) - there may have been some others from the "Golden State." (NCNG or PC) Research required.
Brian Norden

Jeff Livingston
Posts: 107
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:08 am

Re: ex-SP Tank cars at Pearl Harbor

Post by Jeff Livingston » Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:00 pm

We have one partial photo by Bill Blewett in the HRS collection which Bill identifies as an ex-NCNG, USN tank car.
BB108 USN Tank Car ex-NCNG resized.jpg
Beyond this we have nothing. Would love to see that photo.

Jeff

Brian Norden
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Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:40 pm

Re: ex-SP Tank cars at Pearl Harbor

Post by Brian Norden » Sun Jun 17, 2012 4:29 pm

For your comments and the note on the photo, the car in your photo seems to be one of the cars used by Standard Oil of Calif. on the Nevada Central out of Battle Mountain and then relocated to the NCNG when the NC quite.

Here is a scan of the portion of a page in the Bader Book.
tankcars.jpg
Brian Norden

GregMaxwell
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Re: ex-SP Tank cars at Pearl Harbor

Post by GregMaxwell » Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:30 pm

Jeff Livingston wrote:We have one partial photo by Bill Blewett in the HRS collection which Bill identifies as an ex-NCNG, USN tank car.
The attachment BB108 USN Tank Car ex-NCNG resized.jpg is no longer available
Beyond this we have nothing. Would love to see that photo.

Jeff
This car would be either SOCO X-104 or 105, the two cars that ran on the Nevada Central. At least one of the N-C-O built tank cars,A-6 to
A-9, later SOCO X-104, 105, 106 and 107 was in service for Standard Oil on the ORy&LCo. This is detail from a picture Herman Darr gave me some years ago showing SOCO 568, one of the ex-N-C-O cars.
Attachments
soco 568.jpg

Brian Norden
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Re: ex-SP Tank cars at Pearl Harbor

Post by Brian Norden » Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:27 pm

Jeff:
SP tank cars sold to the U.S. Navy 8-25-42
SP to Navy.jpg
SP to Navy.jpg (21.58 KiB) Viewed 5811 times
Brian Norden

Jeff Livingston
Posts: 107
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:08 am

Re: ex-SP Tank cars at Pearl Harbor

Post by Jeff Livingston » Sun Jun 17, 2012 11:32 pm

Gentlemen,

One word, WOW! When I transferred to ComSubPac here at Pearl in 1990 I began my research of the military railoads. It's been a struggle since there was so little local information. Every command is required to submit a command history annually which is archived at the Washington Navy Yard. The offoce of the Naval Historian never heard of the "District Rail Transportation Coordinator", a Supply Corps function at Pearl during the war, until I asked about it. Needless to say they had no information. If it wern't for Bill Blewett we wouldn't have any photos of the mainland cars shipped to Hawaii in Hawaii. This is simply GREAT information and we deeply appreciate your assistance. Now, the only "Navy Fuel Depot" I'm aware of is Red Hill which is underground and connected by pipeline directly to Pearl Harbor. I'll have to check this out more and report back. How do I get in touch with Mr. Darr? I'd like to add these photos to the HRS collection under the photographer's name and Herman Darr Collection.

Thanks again,

Jeff Livingston

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