Re: UTLX frameless tank car - how long in revenue service?

Jack Burgess

Drew send the question at the bottom directly to me but I thought that others might want to add their experience in building these cars.






Attached is a photo looking down at one of the tank cars that I kept but I don’t recall how I did the handrails. I suspect that there were six separate pieces for each car…two long pieces on the sides and two pieces to make up each end handrails. Joints could be hidden in the handrail stanchions. An alternative would be four pieces…the two long pieces and two end pieces (rather than having a joint in the middle of the ends).


I would start with the “bump out”, bending the brass wire over something like a ½”-diameter tube. Then you need bend the wire for very large curve for the ends. I suspect that I bent that portion of the handrail over the end of the model at the center of the tank since it follows the curve of the end of the car. The bends going around the corners look like there were bend around a 1/16” diameter tube.


If I were building more than one of these cars today I would use calipers to measure the distance from the long handrail on one side to the one on the other side. I would draw two lines on a piece of thin plywood that distance apart. Then I would drill vertical holes for two pieces of 1/16” diameter tube so that the holes were “tangent” to the lines. (I.e., draw another line at right angles to the two pencil line and then drill the holes so that they are on the inside to the right angles and the holes touch both lines.) I would then bend a piece of brass wire around the center of the end of the tank. Putting that wire in my “jig” would let me bend the corners exactly where needed. That would work for the end without the brake staff. For the other end, bend the bump out first and then add the large diameter curve and then bend the wire around the vertical tubes.


Sorry that I don’t remember exactly what I did when I built them but that was 12 years ago!


If something doesn’t make sense, email me directly and I can give you a sketch…


Jack Burgess


From: Drew [mailto:phillydrewcifer@...]
Sent: Monday, December 21, 2020 1:27 PM
To: jack@...
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] UTLX frameless tank car - how long in revenue service?



   I have two of these Precision Scale kits which are about 65% complete and have been that way for the better part of a decade and half. My stumbling block is the handrails - I just can't get the bend for the "bump out" around the brake ratchet correct. Have you any suggestions or tips on how I can bend the handrails so I can move these cars over the finish line?

Drew Marshall in slushy South Philly, PA

Modeling the pre-Depression years.

Sent from TypeApp

On Dec 21, 2020, at 15:36, Jack Burgess <jack@...> wrote:

I built six of these cars from Richard’s article since they were used on the YV to ship Bunker C to be transferred to logging tank cars which were then hauled up the incline to provide fuel for the Shay locomotives and donkey engines. The only hard part was kit-bashing the trucks. After I finished them I realized that I had too many on the layout and sold three of them on eBay including this one.


Jack Burgess


From: [] On Behalf Of Steve and Barb Hile
Sent: Monday, December 21, 2020 12:23 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] UTLX frameless tank car - how long in revenue service?


There are a few standard gauge V cars mixed in with the narrow gauge cars in the 55xxxx series with internal heating coils, but the main remaining series of cars were in the 14300 and 15999 series.


In the January 1954 ORER, there are 211 cars listed in that range, most of which have 50 ton capacity trucks, but 4 are still listed with 30 ton capacity (the old arch bar trucks, maybe?)


In the 1955 tank car tariff, there are still 6500 gallon tank cars listed in the range between 14052 and 14519.  There were no numbers in the 15xxx range in the 1955 tariff.


So, I can keep one of Richard’s PSC kitbashes in my long term schedule.


Steve Hile

Join to automatically receive all group messages.