Re: Ancient Tank Cars & Impatient Modelers


Shawn B. asks:
What needs to be done for the dome? Without pictures in
front of me, I'll guess it needs to be somewhat larger,
maybe 60", and have an edge or "lip" around the top...
I imagine the next step would be
to fabricate the correct safety valves and associated
You are thinking of a tank like an ICC 104, Shawn, not the pressure tank
of the ICC 105 type which the Athearn was apparently aimed at. In these
high-pressure tanks, there is no expansion dome as such. The part that
sticks up is, as Richard mentioned, really a valve casing, with controls
inside for loading and unloading operations. The Athearn version of this is
at least double the correct size (yet another sign that they just blew up a
6000-gal. or some other smaller size prototype to fit their 40-ft.
Probably the simplest fix is to replace the Athearn part with something
around half or less of its size. Frank Hodina made patterns for these some
years ago, and I've converted a few Athearns this way. But serious problems
remain. The Athearn tank has a riveted-car bottom sheet; it is the
equivalent of about an 11,000 gallon jacketed tank, a peculiar size with
few if any prototypes; and the platform and railing are as grossly out of
scale as is the valve casing. At the very least, I'd sand off the bottom
sheet rivets and scratch a new platform and railing. The size remains an

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2942 Linden Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail,
Publishers of books on railroads and on Western history

Join to automatically receive all group messages.