Re: Rapido announces HO Scale UTLX 10,000 gallon X-3 tankcar

Andy Laurent

Rapido Trains is excited to announce its newest ready-to-run freight car – the Union Tank Car 10,000 gallon X-3 tank car.

Modelers interested in accuracy know that most boxcars are painted red and most tank cars are black. That’s just the way it is – and was. When discussing tank cars from the 1920s through the 1970s, there can be no more important car than the Union Tank Car (UTLX) X-3 design. And yes, they were almost all black!

The X-3 cars were built in various capacities and configurations, including 6,500 gallon, 8,000 gallon and 12,000 gallon tanks. They were also built with single, double and triple domes. However, none of these variants were more numerous than the basic 10,000 gallon, single-dome version. From the 1920s onwards Union Tank Car (UTLX) fielded the largest fleet of tank cars in North America, and the 10,000 gallon X-3 accounted for nearly 13,000 of them!


The basic X-3 was used to haul fuel oil, gasoline, vegetable oils – essentially any liquid that did not require special handling features. These cars went EVERYWHERE!

Rapido’s model has been developed with the help of noted UTLX tank car expert Steve Hile. We are offering two distinct versions, the K-brake equipped cars, good before 1953, and the AB-brake equipped cars good from the 1940s onwards. In addition to brake equipment, our models will feature correct handbrake and coupler cut bar arrangements which differed depending on the brake equipment installed. Either Andrews or “Bettendorf” cast steel trucks will be fitted, depending on the era.

Other features of Rapido’s model include:

  • Designed from original blueprints
  • Correct tank bolster pads
  • Correct 54” diameter dome
  • Correct UTLX-style warning placard holders
  • Full underbody detailing with two distinct brake systems offered
  • Correct end platforms
  • Correct coupler cut bars and hand brake mountings
  • Semi-scale couplers and coupler boxes
  • Free-rolling turned metal wheels
  • Accurate paint and lettering
  • Multiple road numbers available per scheme.

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