Re: Blackstone Models UTLX tank cars

Dennis Storzek

--- In, Anthony Thompson <thompson@...> wrote:

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.
The class X cars that UTL converted for narrow gauge use did indeed have new frames fabricated. Apparently, the standard center sill with its 20 1/2" wide cover plate didn't allow adequate truck swing of 3' gauge wheel sets with their appx. 32" back-to-back dimension, so new frames were fabricated with the sills outside the truck side frames. The new frames may have made use of the original center sills with new cross members; I'm not enough of a narrow gauge fan to have ever paid attention.

I see that Steve Hile's builders photos have been approved. View them at:

Thanks Steve. I also dug out something for Rob; a 6000 gal. UTLX class X car in Canadian service, preserved at the Canadian Railway Historical Society museum in Delson, P.Q. Interestingly, this car still has archbar trucks, although it has been equipped with AB brake. I tried to add my photos to the same album as Steve's, but couldn't for some reason, so they are here:

Please note that the outlet has a Fire Department Siamese connection installed by the museum. I'm also not entirely sure the lettering is 100% accurate; museum lettering jobs are always suspect.

Also the photo of the tank car frame and lap seams I posted the other week here:

Is of the 8000 gal. class X car at the Mid-Continent museum.

Dr. Hendrickson has in the past stated that the brake equipment on the clas V cars converted to narrow gauge was modified, but I don't know exactly what modifications were made. I also wonder if the side bearing extensions of the cast end frame-bolster-tank saddle needed modification to clear the narrower spacing of the narrow gauge truck side frames. Some place I have close-up photos of these parts on an 8000 gal car that was never converted (all the NG conversions were 6000 gal cars) but I can't seem to lay my hands on them at the moment. If I find them I'll add them to one of the albums.


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