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Western Railroad Discussion > Tank car color bands

Date: 07/10/19 18:07
Tank car color bands
Author: winstonhill

Was watching the railcam at Belen, NM, a while ago and noticed a white tank car with a broad rust-brown band centered on the car. I vaguely remember reading where these color bands were supposed to indicate the car's contents, part of a proposed scheme to color code tank cars, but that the scheme never was fully implemented. I may have this all wrong, but can someone sort it out?

Winston Hill

Date: 07/10/19 20:34
Re: Tank car color bands
Author: Hookdragkick

I figured the color bands were just specialized resistant coatings due to spills happening from the tank's manway. I could be wrong too!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/10/19 20:35 by Hookdragkick.

Date: 07/11/19 13:17
Re: Tank car color bands
Author: KY_Railfan

As a retired volunteer fire fighter, I was told that a white car with a red stripe down the middle and red bands on each end carried only one product: hydrocyanic acid. They were called "candystripers". This could have changed, but I know this what used to be.

Date: 07/11/19 15:23
Re: Tank car color bands
Author: delvalrailfan

I've seen white tanks with red stripes down the center carry Hydrochloric Acid and Sodium Hydroxide. I've seen the 40' white tanks with black stripes down the center carry Chlorine and Sodium Hydroxide, whereas the 59' tanks used to carry Crude Oil and some still do, but some are in Chlorine or Toluene service now.

Andrew Pine

Date: 07/11/19 19:34
Re: Tank car color bands
Author: EricSP

From what I have heard a horizontal red stripe down the middle of the car used to be a Canadian requirement for certain tank cars. HCN tank cars are (if any are left) required to be white with a horizontal red stripe along the center and red bands near the ends. Other than those I am not aware of any paint scheme requirements, excluding marking requirements. HF tank cars may have paint scheme requirements.

I have seen cars with a certain color band at the center carrying different commodities and cars without different color bands carrying those same commodities. You will notice cars with a different color band at the center are almost always carrying something corrosive. The band is usually special paint that resists attack from the chemical.

Date: 07/12/19 16:37
Re: Tank car color bands
Author: tomstp

You will see a lot of these tank cars in the Permian Basin in Texas, and other big oil plays.  They contain hydraulic  acid.

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