Re: Blackstone Models UTLX tank cars

Steve and Barb Hile

I have (pending approval) uploaded builders photos (courtesy of UTLX) of both Class X and V UTLX tank cars of 6500 gallon nominal capacity. You may notice that the Class X car is actually older than the Class V. These are the size and types that were later used in the GRAMPS narrow gauge service. As of 1952, there were a total of 59 still listed in the UTLX listing of tank cars. 25 were the frameless Van Dyke (Class V) cars. The other 34 were Class X cars with the solid underframe. At that time, they were numbered between 88000 and 88177, so it is certainly reasonable that there had been more narrow gauge cars earlier.

Comparing the original Class X cars with the single beam center sill underframe with the surviving cars at Chama or other places, it is clear that some sort of cradle type frame was built for these cars for narrow gauge service, but I am not at all familiar with that service.
I would be very happy to see an HO version of the Class X underframe, but I can't imagine Blackstone wanting to do it.

I don't recall seeing any in-service photos of Class X or Class V cars with Andrews trucks, but there certainly were some that were converted to cast steel "Bettendorf" style trucks as well as AB brakes. There is a Class V car at the National Museum of Transport in St, Louis on archbar trucks and there is a Class X car at Mid Continent in North Freedom, Wisconsin, also on archbar trucks.

I hope this is helpful.

Steve Hile

----- Original Message -----
From: Anthony Thompson
Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 5:36 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Blackstone Models UTLX tank cars

Rob Kirkham wrote:
> I don't think this has been mentioned here so thought I'd bring it
> up: I just became aware of some dealer web pages that mention that
> Blackstone Models is apparently doing the GRAMPS tank cars in narrow
> guage. These were converted UTLX cars, and while I'm uncertain, I
> think Blackstone is doing both frameless and framed versions. While
> narrow guage models would be only partially useful to us (the tanks
> - and you can build your own or use Precision Scale models), I just
> sent them a polite enquiry suggesting they either bring out the same
> model on proper standard guage frames, or work with a resin
> manufacturer to do a standard guage frame or frames.

Rob, it's well known that the frameless cars only had trucks
changed for narrow-gauge use. I don't know for sure but would doubt
that Rio Grande built new frames for the underframed cars either, but
someone more knowledgeable than me will have to answer for sure.
Richard Hendrickson is out of the country so don't be holding your
breath for him to chime in.
We just need to apply the right trucks. <g>

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail,
Publishers of books on railroad history

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