SUPX 20xx

Rob Kirkham <rdkirkham@...>

Working through some photos taken in the CPR yard in Vancouver BC in 1938, I located a nifty (to me) 3 tank, three dome car. I had recently reviewed John Riddell's article in September 1995 Mainline Modeler "ACF Tank Cars", and was able to quickly find a match to my car on page 47 - a nice clear broadside view. There is a second car reproduced in Imperial Oil paint and lettering - both related companies. The cars were apparently built by Canadian Car and Foundry in August 1920 The number series apparently contained 25 cars, although I am not clear whether all of the cars were this 3 and 3 design. I've uploaded a grainy scan of the photo at STMFPH <> under the name "CGTX & Other cars 1938".

In the photo I was reviewing, the tank now appears to be the same as others in the shot - all dark and dirty. I assume that the paint is black. The photo in MM shows the SUPX car in a lighter coloured paint with white lettering (builder's photo?), while the IOX car was dark (black I believe) with white lettering.

The photos appear to show these cars with truss rods - which seems quite an antiquated design by that date. There are no end views. The photo I have in the yard does not allow one to see much of the underframe area. So a question: Is there a way to determine if these are 4 truss rod cars or 2 or 6 or ......?

A helpful observation - no dome platforms on the side shown in the yard photo I've posted! One side only.

From the photos published in MM, am I correct concluding these were equipped with the split K brake (I forget the letter designation given to these brakes)?

Unlikely questions: has anyone seen a drawing for these cars? has anyone seen end or top views of these cars?

My Jan. 1953 ORER contains no dimensions. Ian Cranstone's Canadian Freight Cars web page indicated the SUPX reporting marks were in use to 1951. It does not have any dimensions for the cars either. Using the photo of SUPX 2028 in MM, I assumed the wheels were 33" diameter. Using my calipers (and a calculator), I measured off and calculated the following dimensions:

side sill length: 39' 8.25"
tank length (all three the same): straight section: 94";
from curved end to curved end: 106"
tank diameter: 77.39"
dome diameter: 48"
dome height: straight section from top of tank to mid point of rivet seem: 15.6"
dome height: straight section from top of tank to top of dome: 20.37"

Nothing's perfect when you go at it this way, but a couple of questions:
1) are these figures surprising, or reasonable approximations (I admit I was very happy with the dome diameter. Should I be?)
2) given wear and other factors, how far out could my assumption the wheels were 33" in diameter be?

I'm hoping to model one of these cars some time, so trying to fill in as many gaps as possible.

Rob Kirkham

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