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Freight Car Friday - CGTX 64064

By December 7, 2012

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CGTX 64064 is a large capacity tank car loaded with liquified petroleum gas (LPG.) Similar cars have been produced in HO and N scale by Walthers.

orange stripe
Photographed in 2008, the orange stripe on this tank car was a result of a derailment nearly 30 years earlier.
2012 Ryan C Kunkle, licensed to About.com, Inc.

The large orange stripe around the car is from a short-lived Canadian regulation enacted in 1980. To aid emergency response crews, the law required all pressurized cars carrying, or potentially carrying, hazardous materials to be plainly visible by having a large orange stripe around the entire car.

Since the regulation was to cover all cars operating in Canada, many American cars which frequently crossed the border would also be repainted.

The regulation was short-lived however. In fact, it ended long before most of the cars in that service could be repainted. Although they were certainly easier to spot, the stripe was no guarantee the car was loaded, nor did it show with what it may be loaded. And in a derailment, fire would often burn over the markings quickly anyway.

Manifest sheets and placards on the cars were still the most reliable way to identify potential problems. Still, decades later you will occasionally find one of these striped tanks riding the rails in North America.

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