--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Tim O'Connor wrote: I think the car most likely to be seen on the prototype while least likely to be seen on a model layout remains the UTLX X-3 tank car ... There are at least a half dozen models of MILW rib side 40' box cars in HO scale...
--- and Mike Brock wrote: ... a "significant" frt car is one that appeared in relatively large numbers on American RRs ... Hence, the obvious AAR Alternate Standard 2 bay offset side hopper car. Hint: C&O had about 20,000 and they roamed all over states from Illinois to Virginia, north to Michigan. Two were even filmed crossing Sherman Hill [gasp!]. I mean, even Santa Fe had them , NP, NKP, P&WV, Clinchfield, WLE, and Erie ...
I suggest that the UTLX X-3 tank car would fit perfectly into ExactRail's Signature Series, next to their MILW ribsides. Plus, with judicious choice of capacity vs. underframe, ExactRail could utilize the already tooled underframe and detail sprues with X-4 and X-5 insulated or pressurized tanks, expanding potential marketability with additional paint schemes; some of those had lessee billboard lettering, and IIRC, a few were even somewhat colorful (or am I confusing UTLX tanks with GATX tankers, another common design that's woefully missing from the plastic injection market?). Anyone for an email campaign to express our interest?
I still think the AAR Alternate Standard 2-bay offset-side hopper should be a good candidate for several manufacturers, notwithstanding the flood over the years of AAR Standard hoppers from a long string of plastic model railroad firms. While it's likely true that some buyers of inexpensive 6ft-viewing-distance hoppers may neither know nor care about the differences between AAR Standard and Alternate Standard hoppers, those of us who buy Kadee and similar hoppers do care and appreciate those differences. I think this is a particularly good candidate for Kadee, especially since I'd like NP hoppers on National B-1 trucks, which Kadee fortuitously just issued in HGC. Of course, C&O modelers need fleets of Alternate Standard hoppers, and are doubtless even more disappointed that Accurail just tooled yet another AAR Standard 2-pocket offset hopper.
Not holding my breath, Dave Sieber, Reno NV