AC&F Insulated tank cars

Bill Welch


It is hard to quibble with you if we are talking strictly about actual numbers of prototypes but I will give it a shot. It occurs to me that IM has done a steel milk reefer that has limited numbers and was regionally limited, yet I am sure those who model the territories these cars ran in have appreciated having it. I admit however I don't know if this car turned out to be good business decision.

I don't think I would have suggested this prototype if IM did not already have the underframe. As to different dome sizes, dome platforms, etc, I continue to not understand why American manufacturer's cannot exploit the technologies available that allow options. Photoetch would take care of the different platforms. Different sized domes could be designed to fit into one tank cavity with the necessary dome details a part of the dome molding it seems to me.

Admittedly, I am impressed and influenced by the manufacturers like "Dragon" that issue various versions of the "standard" M4-M4A1 Sherman tank by mixing and matching parts sprues. I do realize the is a world-wide demand for this kind of product but it does seems like some of their thinking could be adapted to products with a more limited audience.

Of course I still also do not understand why this mixing and matching is not used to create a broader range of options for offset twin hoppers.

I plead guilty to "not getting it." (I also plead guilty to thinking it is okay for manufacturers to put bogus paint schemes on the products to recoup their investment.)

Bill Welch

--- In STMFC@..., Ed Hawkins <hawk0621@...> wrote:

On Jul 11, 2010, at 2:01 PM, lnbill wrote:

Recently someone sent me the results on the bidding for one of
Sunshine's AC&F insulated tank car kits. Note I said kit, as in
unbuilt. The price was well over $200. (I built two of these, wonder
what they would bring?)

I should add that every time I see the IM folks at one of the
prototype meets I remind them all they need to do is cut a tool for
this insulated tank and they would have a whole new model with many
colourful (eye-candy) schemes.
An insulated tank could certainly be made for installation on the
existing IM Type 27 underframe. The last thing I want to do is throw
cold water on the idea, but it should be pointed out these cars weren't
real "common" with only about 300 Type 27 insulated 8,000-gallon or
10,000-gallon cars built on the same size underframe offered by
InterMountain (36'-2 3/8" over end sills and 25'-8 1/4" truck centers).
Of the 300 total cars, 84 were 8,000-gallon and 216 were 10,000-gallon,
and most were built in very small groups. When considering other
parameters such as dome sizes that varied considerably, jacket design,
and different types of dome platforms, identifying an insulated tank
with common dimensions and characteristics that would be accurate for
multiple paint/lettering schemes is one that yields limited results.

My search for the most common insulated tanks for use on the IM
underframe came up with 81 single-compartment 10,000-gallon cars
including CDLX 1104-1106 and 78 SHPX cars numbered 13116-13193. The
most common arrangement for an 8,000-gallon insulated tank with
dimensions fitting the IM underframe applied to 30 single-compartment
SHPX cars numbered in series 4004-4034 and one Monsanto car. All other
choices were significantly fewer in number.

Do you think this is enough to convince IM to tool 8K and/or 10K gallon
insulated tanks? Of course, there are other cars that might be
considered "close enough" by some to justify expanding the list.
Ed Hawkins

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