USRA Tank Car design was Tichy tank car

Steve and Barb Hile
 

It seems a little bit of déjà vu all over again.  Perhaps it is time for a reminder of some of the details of the USRA tank car design.
 
First of all, there was not a single design, but a family of 3 different capacity cars with options for tank construction.  There were four figures published in a variety of sources, including the 1919 Car Builder's Dictionary (can be found on line in the Hathi Trust scans)  One figure details the underframe which would be common for all capacity tanks.  The second says that it shows 7000, 8000 and 10000 gallon cars common features, so there is no tank ID shown.  It lists the truck center dimension as 24'9" and the over striker dimension as 35'9-1/2".  The cylindrical length of the tank is shown as 31'11" (exclusive of the heads.)  The oil dome ID is 52" and the corresponding acid dome ID is 44.
 
The third figure shows that the standard would allow either a 5 radial course upper tank or a three course longitudinal tank.  The Tank ID for 7000 gallons would be 73" while 8000 gallons it would be 77-3/4".  The heads would have the standard 10 foot radius of 1/2" plate, while the tank side sheets were 3/8" thick.
 
The final figure provides the same radial or longitudinal (four course) options with the head and side sheet thickness the same as the smaller tanks.  The tank ID is 86-3/4" and the dome ID is still 52" (probably to reduce variety and promote standardization of parts.  This is the plan that Tichy chose, with the four longitudinal courses.  I have not compared the model dimensions to these plans, but I would imagine that they are pretty close.
 
It has been a common notion amongst serious modelers that there were no actual prototype cars built to these drawings.  However, as I was researching the UTLX book in the last few years, this photo came to light.  http://images.indianahistory.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/P0129/id/1557/rec/14  We did include this photo in the book, even though it probably never became a UTLX car.
 
FTX was the reporting marks of Federal Tank Line, a quasi governmental company set up to find uses for tank cars that had been built for the WWI war effort under USRA control.  It did not appear that these 10000 gallon cars lasted very long in Lincoln Oil service.  When their fleet was purchased by UTLX it consisted of only thirty five 8000 ACF built cars.  In 1925, FTX lists 422 ten thousand gallon tank cars, numbered 10001 - 10422.  It is possible that some or all of them match FTX 10073 in the photo.
 
At least, this puts all the known to me information into a single point.  I hope that it helps.
 
Steve Hile 
 
 

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