Topics

Blackstone Models UTLX tank cars


Dennis Storzek
 

Just a heads-up...

Paging through the October 2009 issue of RMC, in an article about the California State Belt Railroad ideler cars, several of which were built from tankcar frames, is a builder's photo of the frame, trucks, and tank saddles for a ULT class X tankcar. This is the frame that will be needed to convert the narrow gauge "narrow frame" (why do the call them that?" tnakcar to standard gauge. It also does a good job of showing the visible parts of the Cardwell draft gear (the springs) that UTL was fond of using.

Dennis


Ned Carey <nedspam@...>
 

GUYZ,
peach creek models makes several 5' wheelbase trucks if that helps.
Fred Freitas

Fred,

Specifically what are you refering too? A google search didn't come up with anything for peach creek models. I am familiar with Peach Creek Shops in Laurel Md. However they were not familiar with any 5' wheelbase trucks.

Thanks,

Ned


David Sieber
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "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?

Respectfully,
Dave Sieber
Reno NV


Jack Burgess
 

Jim admitted:
I have had HO versions of both the frameless and narrow frame
versions since
the mid '90s. And like too many of my purchases, neither one is
finished but
both have been started. I even have Wabash Custom decals for the frameless
car.
That makes me feel better! I bought six of the frameless PSC kits after
Richard's article came out, got them started, but got hung up on modifying
the Eastern Car Works (?) trucks by replacing the single coil springs with a
pair of springs. I finally finished them last year and all six are in
service on the layout. (A majority of tank cars on the prototype YVRR were
6,000 gallon UTLX Van Dykes.)

Jack Burgess
www.yosemitevalleyrr.com


Jim & Lisa Hayes <jimandlisa97225@...>
 

Dennis S. wrote
-----
Case in point, 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.
------
I have had HO versions of both the frameless and narrow frame versions since
the mid '90s. And like too many of my purchases, neither one is finished but
both have been started. I even have Wabash Custom decals for the frameless
car.

Jim Hayes
Portland Oregon
www.sunshinekits.com


Ned Carey <nedspam@...>
 

I know this list is not much interested in RTR but my original premise still holds... a standard gauge RTR version of the car would outsell the HOn3 one given the same quality level, etc.. even if Blackstone isn't the one to do it. - Charlie Vlk
How about blackstone partners with someone else who is in primarily in HO to help defray the cost of tooling and spread sales over both HOn3 and HO. Perhaps Intermountain, similar to what they do with Tichy kits.

By the way I have one of the PSC kit for these, and also Richard's fine article to build it with. Maybe that should be next on my to build list.

Ned Carey


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Dennis S. wrote:
I'd also give building a new center sill for a class X car a shot, starting with a frameless model, since the wide frame added to the narrow gauge conversions looks like more trouble than it's worth. If anyone goes this route, before casting covetous eyes on other tankcar kit underframes, be aware that the class X cars predate the general adoption of 12" cannel for center sills, and the prototype used 15" channels. This is the car MDC tried to model years ago, but somehow managed to double the depth of this already hevier than normal sill.
Yup. I always assumed MDC made the frame so darn big so they could weight the car thereby. There was certainly no molding need for so big a part.

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


Charlie Vlk
 

Dennis is correct.... and I agree with him about manufacturers "sticking to their knitting"..... I am a great believer that a company should figure out what they are good at and not try to be everthing to everyone.

I was not aware of the Precision Scale plastic kit for either car, in spite of my exposure to Des Plaines Hobbies.
I might have had my N Scale googles on if there were such kits in the store; however, I think I would have seen them if they had been in stock in the last few years. Precision Scale is somewhat under-represented in the retail shops?

I am not sure what the size of the Narrow Gauge market is / will be. The current lack of readily available track components (although I hear this is going to be rectified soon) certainly rules out any explosive growth to parallel the On30 one or even G Gauge in this RTR heavy world.

I know this list is not much interested in RTR but my original premise still holds... a standard gauge RTR version of the car would outsell the HOn3 one given the same quality level, etc.. even if Blackstone isn't the one to do it.

Charlie Vlk


Dennis Storzek
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Charlie Vlk" <cvlk@...> wrote:

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. Anyone looked into how many paint schemes/roadnames the
prototype would be good for??
Charlie Vlk

One, Union Tank Line.

I'm going to disagree with Charlie here. Model railroad manufacturers tend to establish themselves in a niche, then continue to market to that niche. Doing ONE kit that is aimed at a different market risks having a "one trick pony" that no one knows about, so doesn't sell. Don't be surprised if the suggestion to do a standard gauge version is met with stony silence. If they do it, what will they follow it with? I don't think a standard gauge version of Rio Grande 3000 series boxcar is going to sell very well.

Case in point, 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.

And apparently Jon Cagle of SC&F makes a resin kit for this car, although I don't see them on his web site.

No the best I'm hoping for is that the narrow gauge version is well detailed, with robust walkways and steps that won't fall off, and nice paint and lettering. I'm perfectly capable of changing the trucks myself, and perfectly willing to use the stock number from a narrow gauge car especially if they do some cars in the pre 1947 numbers, since they were taken at random from the standard gauge series.

I'd also give building a new center sill for a class X car a shot, starting with a frameless model, since the wide frame added to the narrow gauge conversions looks like more trouble than it's worth. If anyone goes this route, before casting covetous eyes on other tankcar kit underframes, be aware that the class X cars predate the general adoption of 12" cannel for center sills, and the prototype used 15" channels. This is the car MDC tried to model years ago, but somehow managed to double the depth of this already hevier than normal sill.

Dennis


Charlie Vlk
 

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. Anyone looked into how many paint schemes/roadnames the
prototype would be good for??
Charlie Vlk


steve l <stevelucas3@...>
 

Here's a photo of a Type V, UTLX 55136, on the Central Vermont Ry. rip tracks in St Albans, VT circa 1943.

http://www.images.technomuses.ca/index.php?en/stories/central_vermont/b/page/1/popupimage/CN005406

Obviously, the photographer didn't appreciate how useful this photo might be to modellers of STMFC's 66 years of so later. If that time machine is ever invented, someone should thank him---and maybe tell him to take a few more photos of that Type V? ;)

Steve Lucas.

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, mlauber4@... wrote:

Hi, I just returned from the Narrow Gauge Convention and Blackstone had flyers picturing the tank cars, both frame type and frameless. With almost 1900 registered I would assume that they ran out of them, which explains why you didn't see any mention of the tank cars. If you look on the Soundtraxx website you will see them listed and pictured.

Merlyn Lauber

-------------- Original message from "cn528" <jscagle@...>: --------------

Good Morning Gang:

I just returned from the Narrow Gauge Convention where Blackstone Models were exhibiting and there was no mention, nor any info on an upcoming UTLX Tank car. That is not to say they aren't working on one, but i have a feeling they keep things very quiet. If you consider what they are doing I would expect them to do the UTLX tanks, it's just a matter of time.

In the meantime, if you want a 6050 gallon tank car, you can acquire a Standard Tank Car version of one from SC&F, ( me ). See how i just smoothly put that shameless plug in there!! I will upload a pic in the next day or so.

jon

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Rob Kirkham" <rdkirkham@> 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.

It would be neat to have this car available in standard guage HO!

Rob Kirkham



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


steve l <stevelucas3@...>
 

Dennis--


Thanks for posting these drawings. They print nicely on legal-size papaer using landscape format.

Steve Lucas.

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

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

Dennis Storzek wrote:
It occurs to me that any copyrights have run out on this 103 year
old book...
Not only that, but if copyrighted it was under the rather
primitive law prior to 1912, so DEFINITELY no worries. <g>

Done. Drawings from the 1906 Car Builder's Dictionary are in the Files area here:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/STMFC/files/UTL%20Tankcar%20Drawings/

And the two builders photos published in the same source will be added to the album with the later photos of the 6,000 gal. X car here:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/STMFC/photos/album/2142098359/pic/list

Dennis


Robert kirkham
 

So far I have not had a response to my e-mail. I'm heading off to work this morning. If no one else sends the links to the drawings and photos to Blackstone today, I'll pass them on this evening and see if that awakens an interest. If one of you gets to it before me, please drop me a line so I don't duplicate your effort.

Rob Kirkham


Dennis Storzek
 

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

Dennis Storzek wrote:
It occurs to me that any copyrights have run out on this 103 year
old book...
Not only that, but if copyrighted it was under the rather
primitive law prior to 1912, so DEFINITELY no worries. <g>

Done. Drawings from the 1906 Car Builder's Dictionary are in the Files area here:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/STMFC/files/UTL%20Tankcar%20Drawings/

And the two builders photos published in the same source will be added to the album with the later photos of the 6,000 gal. X car here:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/STMFC/photos/album/2142098359/pic/list

Dennis


Jon Miller <atsf@...>
 

It should be obvious that this is not the original center sill; it should also be obvious that if Blackstone is tooling this frame, there is not much hope for standard gauging the model.<
I would think that the sales would be much better if the model could also be used for standard gauge. They could even sell it that way by changing the trucks. Maybe on the one they would need two frames.

Jon Miller
AT&SF
For me time has stopped in 1941
Digitrax, Chief/Zephyr systems, JMRI user
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Dennis Storzek wrote:
It occurs to me that any copyrights have run out on this 103 year old book...
Not only that, but if copyrighted it was under the rather primitive law prior to 1912, so DEFINITELY no worries. <g>

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


Dennis Storzek
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Cyril and Lynn Durrenberger <durrecj@...> wrote:

Try this:
http://www.utlx.com/pdf/TankCarHistory.pdf

Cyril Durrenberger
Cool. About the twelfth page in is a good photo of the Van Dyke castings... but the side bearing extensions aren't shaped the same as those in the drawings in the 1906 CBD. It occurs to me that any copyrights have run out on this 103 year old book... It's late, but tomorrow I'll scan the drawings and post them to the files section, and then everyone will have them, and Rob can direct Blackstone there to see if they have any interest.

Dennis


Cyril Durrenberger
 

--- On Tue, 9/22/09, soolinehistory <destorzek@mchsi.com> wrote:

From: soolinehistory <destorzek@mchsi.com>
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Blackstone Models UTLX tank cars
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Date: Tuesday, September 22, 2009, 9:51 PM






 





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

The class X cars that UTL converted for narrow gauge use did indeed have new frames fabricated.. .


I had a bit more time to search for pix on the internet. Here is an X car converted to narrow gauge:



http://drgw. free.fr/DRGW/ Freight/Tankcar/ CRRM-02-003_ en.htm



It should be obvious that this is not the original center sill; it should also be obvious that if Blackstone is tooling this frame, there is not much hope for standard gauging the model. If one should want to scratchbuild the frame, Drawings appeared in the 1906 Car Builder's Dictionary, which was reprinted by Gregg years ago.



Dr. Hendrickson has in the past stated that the brake equipment on the class 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...


Here is a photo of one of the narrow gauge V cars, now on the Georgetown Loop:



http://drgw. free.fr/DRGW/ Freight/Tankcar/ GL-02-017_ en.htm



Drawings and a photo of a 10,000 gal. Van Dyke car also appear in the 1906 CBD. It is apparent that the graceful ogee curve on the ends of the side bearing castings has been truncated to move the side bearings inward from their 5'-0" standard gauge centers to clear the NG sideframes. If the Blackstone cars are styrene, I suppose it won't be too difficult to put these back. Sure whish I could find my pix of this casting.



Dennis




























[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Dennis Storzek
 

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

The class X cars that UTL converted for narrow gauge use did indeed have new frames fabricated...

I had a bit more time to search for pix on the internet. Here is an X car converted to narrow gauge:

http://drgw.free.fr/DRGW/Freight/Tankcar/CRRM-02-003_en.htm

It should be obvious that this is not the original center sill; it should also be obvious that if Blackstone is tooling this frame, there is not much hope for standard gauging the model. If one should want to scratchbuild the frame, Drawings appeared in the 1906 Car Builder's Dictionary, which was reprinted by Gregg years ago.


Dr. Hendrickson has in the past stated that the brake equipment on the class 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...

Here is a photo of one of the narrow gauge V cars, now on the Georgetown Loop:

http://drgw.free.fr/DRGW/Freight/Tankcar/GL-02-017_en.htm

Drawings and a photo of a 10,000 gal. Van Dyke car also appear in the 1906 CBD. It is apparent that the graceful ogee curve on the ends of the side bearing castings has been truncated to move the side bearings inward from their 5'-0" standard gauge centers to clear the NG sideframes. If the Blackstone cars are styrene, I suppose it won't be too difficult to put these back. Sure whish I could find my pix of this casting.

Dennis


Robert kirkham
 

Very helpful photos Dennis and Steve - Thanks a lot for the info,

Rob Kirkham