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Nostalgia & History > Lox Equipment Company, Livermore CA


Date: 08/01/13 10:37
Lox Equipment Company, Livermore CA
Author: chrisbutts

Probably a shot in the dark, but since this is somewhat related to the WP, perhaps someone might know. Is anyone familiar with Lox in Livermore? They were a company who specialized in cryogenic equipment. The question is if anyone knows if they actually built tank cars in Livermore, or received tank shells built by other manufacturers and Lox add the cryogenic stuff to the car in Livermore? I could have sworn I've seen pics of WP trains on Altamont with unpainted tank cars in consist.

I have some pictures of Liquid Air 6-axle tank cars (IAPX) and one of them shows both a "built 2-68" and "tested 2-68 by Lox at Livermore CA" date, which is interesting.



Date: 08/02/13 00:00
Re: Lox Equipment Company, Livermore CA
Author: PlymouthJLA

chrisbutts Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Probably a shot in the dark, but since this is
> somewhat related to the WP, perhaps someone might
> know. Is anyone familiar with Lox in Livermore?
> They were a company who specialized in cryogenic
> equipment. The question is if anyone knows if
> they actually built tank cars in Livermore, or
> received tank shells built by other manufacturers
> and Lox add the cryogenic stuff to the car in
> Livermore? I could have sworn I've seen pics of
> WP trains on Altamont with unpainted tank cars in
> consist.
>
> I have some pictures of Liquid Air 6-axle tank
> cars (IAPX) and one of them shows both a "built
> 2-68" and "tested 2-68 by Lox at Livermore CA"
> date, which is interesting.

Well you happen to be in luck, as my father worked at LOX Equipment in Livermore around 1975.

LOX Equipment manufactured tanks for both railcars and truck transports at Livermore, and also at another facility around Delphi, Indiana. The inner tank vessel was made of stainless steel and the outside vessel was carbon steel, all fabricated on site from sheet stock. There was a fixed end of the tank where the inner and outer vessels were welded together, and the other end had flexible finger like things that allowed the inner vessel to expand inside the outer vessel (this was part of the patent that LOX had). Underneath they had a set of coils, as well as pumps in underhung cabinets which were powered by Volkswagen engines. He did say he remembers the tank cars were not painted after being fully assembled in Livermore.

If you have pictures of the cars, or the LOX facility, I'd be very curious to see them.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/02/13 11:01 by PlymouthJLA.



Date: 08/02/13 17:06
Re: Lox Equipment Company, Livermore CA
Author: OldSpike

Readers might find my addition to this 'thread' of some interest: In 1960 I was attending school at the U of A
in Tucson, Arizona. A classmate of mine had a part time job of unloading cryogenic tank cars of liquid oxygen
delivered to a private siding in South Tucson at a company that supplied compressed gasses in the familiar high-
pressure cylinders. He invited me to see how the transfer from a LOX car into the high pressure cylinders was done.

What I found most interesting was that the cryogenic tank was mounted in what I remember was a 40-foot box car!
The tank occupied most of the interior of the car and the fittings for unloading the LOX were at floor level &
could be accessed when the side doors of the car were opened. Because there was no means to keep the LOX cold during transit other than the insulation of the tank, there was a small vent pipe that was venting the small amount of gas through the roof that was 'boiling' off at all times.

My friend explained to me that the transfer of the liquid oxygen into the high pressure cylinders was done by first drawing the LOX from the tank through a heat exchanger to convert the liquid oxygen back into a gas which was then fed into an electric-driven multi-stage pump which pressurized a manifold that ran along the back wall of an open-air shed. The manifold was fitted with a series of valved pig-tail taps with fittings that mated with the threaded fitting on the gas cylinders.

During the transfer process my friend's job was to connect empty cylinders to he pig-tails and open the valves on the manifold and the cylinder and wait for the cylinders to fill to the pressure of the manifold, which I believe was 2000 to 2200 psi!

As an aside, remember the date was 1960. I do not know if small cryogenic tanks were in use at that time since
all I saw were conventional high-pressure cylinders being filled. Besides, I have a healthy respect for high-pressure gas and the manifold with pig-tail connections, all of which have the potential for spectacular failure which could be bad for my well-being! I was happy to witness the process once and leave the rest to my memory.



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