Corrosion and Rust in Tank Cars – It’s Real

We recently did 100+ tank cars for a large unnamed company that had stored these specific crude cars for 9 months or longer and you will not believe the photos of the corrosion below. Understand these tank cars were all less than 8 years old.

What is amazing is the corrosion in the cars and the rust that had to be scraped off, but what many new people to the rail industry don’t realize is corrosion is a bigger issue than at first glance, if only the cleaning price alone.

The photos show rust and corrosion up to the 4 and the 8 positions in the tanks. A few went even higher. These cars don’t just need a $3500 cleaning, they need blasting, another $1200 and if you blast, typically you must line the cars at a cost of approx. $8000.  Hence, the cost goes from a base clean of $3000 with normal heal, before storage, to approx $12,500 per car if it has been in storage for approx 1 year. That is all it took for these cars to corrode and some of the pits in the steel were large enough to insert your fingers.

If you have more unit trains in storage…. I’m sorry.  You also might ask, well it depends on the crude. Yes and no. All crudes corrode, it’s just to what degree and that’s why you have corrosion engineers on staff. And do you really want to take this chance…. Keep’em clean guys!

Take a look at these photos and know these are after the cars have been cleaned and the rust has been scraped off and these cars have passed a blacklight test. 

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