Re: Union Tank Car Co. UTLX 17441 a "squat"

Steve and Barb Hile

There is a section in the UTLX book on dome platforms and ladders that Dave and I discussed a lot before completing it.  It appears that, prior to 1930, UTLX tank cars provided just a single dome platform on the side of the tank that would be on the left, as viewed from the B end of the car (that is, the same side as the KC brake cylinder and reservoir.)
Beginning with the cars built in 1930 and continuing with cars built from then on, UTLX designs called for a ladder and dome platform on both sides of the tank.  The style of ladder changed about the same time.  As Tony says, for more details, see the book.
This gives me a chance to comment on Lester's build of UTLX 17441.  He is a craftsman and did a beautiful job in completing the kit.  Unfortunately, the instructions provided apparently do not make clear that the end platforms changed with these cars that were built in 1936 and 37.  Two thousand 6500 gallon and 800 eight thousand gallon X-3 tank cars were built on a common underframe.  This resulted in the "squat" appearance of the 8000 gallon cars, numbered 17000 - 17799.  These cars did NOT have the full board platform on the car ends stretching from the end sill to the bolster.  Rather, there were two boards for an end sill running board and the normal side sill running board for the length of the car, leaving an opening down to the trucks between the end running boards and the bolster.  There are several surviving examples of these cars, including at Mid Continent and IRM and there are drawings and photos in the book and some photos that I posted years ago on the old Steam Era Freight Cars website.
So, if you still have one of these older Sunshine kits for a "Squat" 8000 gallon car consult some photos or the book to complete the underframe.  Maybe we can convince Frank to redo these cars under the RCW banner.
Steve Hile

From: [] On Behalf Of Dave Parker via Groups.Io
Sent: Thursday, February 06, 2020 11:38 AM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Union Tank Car Co. UTLX 17441 a “squat”

On Thu, Feb 6, 2020 at 08:47 AM, Dennis Storzek wrote:
Don, it's era dependent. The ARA safety appliance drawing dated 1917, presented in the 1922 CBC, only shows one dome platform. I've always just assumed at some point the requirement was increased to one on each side, but never bothered to track down the date.
Having looked through a lot of ICC regs from 1927 through 1955,  I have yet to find any indication that the second platform was required during the period covered by this group.  So, that's an assumption that I would not make absent additional evidence. 

As to why some cars were fitted with the second platform, while others were not, I cannot find any rhyme or reason to it.  But there certainly were a great many cars with just one, something not reflected on any RTR models that I have seen.  With kits, it's an easy fix of course.
Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA

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