Re: Blackstone Models UTLX tank cars

David Sieber

--- In, "soolinehistory" <destorzek@...> wrote:

. . . How many here are aware that Precision Scale Company has made this same kit in both narrow gauge AND standard gauge for about the last dozen or so years. They are currently in stock at Walthers now; Freight Car Kit -- UTLX Frameless Tank Car Plastic Kit, #585-10611 with plastic details, less trucks for $22.50, #585-10612 w/Brass Details, Less Trucks for $24.50. How many have ever seen one? I haven't . . . Dennis
Unfortunately, those are UTL class V frameless tank cars, when what we could really use in standard guage are the slightly more modern class X frame tank cars. On Precision Scale's website, only those two frameless tank cars in HO (and equivalent frameless HOn3 kits) are shown as currently available - but the "representative photo" for all is a class X tank car with steel frame. In a Classic Freight Car photo book, there's a 1969 photo of UTLX 57801 last shopped by Union Tank Car Co in 11-55; I also have a 1969 Jim Sands photo of UTLX 58041 and 58008. These are in-service photos in normal freight interchange, all with AB brakes and AAR cast steel trucks. There's also your photo of UTLX 11204 lettered for Procor Limited, with AB brakes and archbar trucks, reweighed 10-41. Clearly, some class X cars had extraordinary longevity in the Union Tank Car fleet.

I strongly agree with Charlie Vlk, that "Blackstone would be smart to tool a standard gauge cast steel sideframe truck and offer their car to the general HO market. My guess is that the car would outsell the narrow gauge version." As you note, Blackstone is a successful HOn3 niche firm that might be hesitant to do a one-time-only standard guage car; however, as has been suggested, perhaps in partnership with an established HO standard guage freight car manufacturer?

Dave Sieber
Reno NV

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