Helium Tank Car Question


North Model Railroad Supplies <nmrs@...>
 

A while back there was some discussion about the USNX/ATMX 30 tube helium tank cars built by GATC and ACF.

Does anyone know what the diameter of the tanks were on these cars, please?

Cheers

Dave North

 


Steve SANDIFER
 

18" diameter tanks arranged on 19" centers.

 

__________________________________________________

J. Stephen Sandifer

Minister Emeritus, Southwest Central Church of Christ

Webmaster, Santa Fe Railway Historical and Modeling Society

 

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Thursday, February 5, 2015 9:16 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Helium Tank Car Question

 

 

A while back there was some discussion about the USNX/ATMX 30 tube helium tank cars built by GATC and ACF.

Does anyone know what the diameter of the tanks were on these cars, please?

Cheers

Dave North

 


Bruce Smith
 

18" ID or OD?

Regards
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL

From: STMFC@... [STMFC@...]
Sent: Thursday, February 05, 2015 10:09 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Helium Tank Car Question

18" diameter tanks arranged on 19" centers.

__________________________________________________

J. Stephen Sandifer

Minister Emeritus, Southwest Central Church of Christ

Webmaster, Santa Fe Railway Historical and Modeling Society

 

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Thursday, February 5, 2015 9:16 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Helium Tank Car Question

 

 

A while back there was some discussion about the USNX/ATMX 30 tube helium tank cars built by GATC and ACF.

Does anyone know what the diameter of the tanks were on these cars, please?

Cheers

Dave North

 




Richard Brennan <brennan8@...>
 

At 07:15 AM 2/5/2015, 'North Model Railroad Supplies' nmrs@... [STMFC] wrote:
A while back there was some discussion about the USNX/ATMX 30 tube helium tank cars built by GATC and ACF.
Does anyone know what the diameter of the tanks were on these cars, please?
The drawing on page 12 of Jay Miller's excellent Helium car clinic handout;
"A Portfolio of Helium Tank Cars 1926 - 1962"
seems to show a tube diameter of 18.5in for USNX 1054.

I'm not sure if it is safe to extrapolate this to other cars...

--------------------
Richard Brennan - San Leandro CA
--------------------


Steve SANDIFER
 

I measured the car here in Houston. I have numerous photos and measurements if you need them.

 

__________________________________________________

J. Stephen Sandifer

Minister Emeritus, Southwest Central Church of Christ

Webmaster, Santa Fe Railway Historical and Modeling Society

 

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Thursday, February 5, 2015 10:11 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Helium Tank Car Question

 

 

18" ID or OD?

 

Regards

Bruce Smith

Auburn, AL


From: STMFC@... [STMFC@...]
Sent: Thursday, February 05, 2015 10:09 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Helium Tank Car Question

18" diameter tanks arranged on 19" centers.

__________________________________________________

J. Stephen Sandifer

Minister Emeritus, Southwest Central Church of Christ

Webmaster, Santa Fe Railway Historical and Modeling Society

 

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Thursday, February 5, 2015 9:16 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Helium Tank Car Question

 

 

A while back there was some discussion about the USNX/ATMX 30 tube helium tank cars built by GATC and ACF.

Does anyone know what the diameter of the tanks were on these cars, please?

Cheers

Dave North

 

 


Steve SANDIFER
 

OD. I imagine they are very thick wall tanks.

 

__________________________________________________

J. Stephen Sandifer

Minister Emeritus, Southwest Central Church of Christ

Webmaster, Santa Fe Railway Historical and Modeling Society

 

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Thursday, February 5, 2015 10:11 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Helium Tank Car Question

 

 

18" ID or OD?

 

Regards

Bruce Smith

Auburn, AL


From: STMFC@... [STMFC@...]
Sent: Thursday, February 05, 2015 10:09 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Helium Tank Car Question

18" diameter tanks arranged on 19" centers.

__________________________________________________

J. Stephen Sandifer

Minister Emeritus, Southwest Central Church of Christ

Webmaster, Santa Fe Railway Historical and Modeling Society

 

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Thursday, February 5, 2015 9:16 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Helium Tank Car Question

 

 

A while back there was some discussion about the USNX/ATMX 30 tube helium tank cars built by GATC and ACF.

Does anyone know what the diameter of the tanks were on these cars, please?

Cheers

Dave North

 

 


Jack Mullen
 

The 1943 cyc has a photo of USNX 1006, one of the GATX 28-tube cars, and also lists the OD as 18.5 in.  I think I recall reading elsewhere that the wall thickness was 3/4". I can't find confirmation of that figure, or recall the source. At least it's in the plausible range considering either weight or hoop stress.  So yeah, heavy pipe, but not unusually so.

The 18.5" diameter  is perhaps a bit odd, since standard NPS 18" pipe sizes have an 18.0" OD.  

Steve, did your measurements show 18" or 18.5" OD? What car was it?

Jack Mullen


Steve SANDIFER
 

The Houston RR Museum has one of the 1954 versions. I measured centerline to centerline of 2 tanks, much easier than trying to measure the diameter of one. It was 19." I then estimated the space between the tanks at 1". 

 

__________________________________________________

J. Stephen Sandifer

Minister Emeritus, Southwest Central Church of Christ

Webmaster, Santa Fe Railway Historical and Modeling Society

 

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Thursday, February 5, 2015 5:12 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Helium Tank Car Question

 

 

The 1943 cyc has a photo of USNX 1006, one of the GATX 28-tube cars, and also lists the OD as 18.5 in.  I think I recall reading elsewhere that the wall thickness was 3/4". I can't find confirmation of that figure, or recall the source. At least it's in the plausible range considering either weight or hoop stress.  So yeah, heavy pipe, but not unusually so.

 

The 18.5" diameter  is perhaps a bit odd, since standard NPS 18" pipe sizes have an 18.0" OD.  

 

Steve, did your measurements show 18" or 18.5" OD? What car was it?

 

Jack Mullen

 


North Model Railroad Supplies <nmrs@...>
 

Guys,

Thank you all for your responses.

It is greatly appreciated.

Stephen, I’ve emailed you direct so you’ll have my email address.

 

After reading Tony’s three posts on his blog I was motivated to build one of these myself.

Again thanks to everyone for their input.

Cheers

Dave North

 


Jack Mullen
 

Thanks for the clarification, Steve. 

Were you able to get photos showing how the tanks are supported?  In some photos it appears there are horizontal members running crosswise between the side vertical posts and passing between the layers of tanks, but I haven't been able to see details.

My interest is mostly technical curiousity, although I have toyed with the idea of scratchbuilding one in O scale, even though I can't justify one appearing in my area of interest (C&NW, northern IL/ southern WI). Somebody please tell me I'm crazy. Surely I have better ways to spend my modeling time?

Jack Mullen


John Barry
 

Just when you thought you were safe.

Does your serviced area have a Linde distributer?  If so, you could justifiy a He tank to occasionally replenish their stock which would be used for HeliArc welding of stainless steel and aluminum.  
 
John Barry

ATSF North Bay Lines
Golden Gates & Fast Freights

707-490-9696

PO Box 44736
Washington, DC 20026-4736


From: "jack.f.mullen@... [STMFC]"
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Friday, February 6, 2015 6:10 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Helium Tank Car Question

 
Thanks for the clarification, Steve. 

Were you able to get photos showing how the tanks are supported?  In some photos it appears there are horizontal members running crosswise between the side vertical posts and passing between the layers of tanks, but I haven't been able to see details.

My interest is mostly technical curiousity, although I have toyed with the idea of scratchbuilding one in O scale, even though I can't justify one appearing in my area of interest (C&NW, northern IL/ southern WI). Somebody please tell me I'm crazy. Surely I have better ways to spend my modeling time?

Jack Mullen



Jack Mullen
 

John Barry wrote:

Just when you thought you were safe.

Does your serviced area have a Linde distributer? 

Well , I do model a couple different eras to a limited extent, so an MHAX car going to an industrial customer  wouldn't be entirely out of the question, but if I were going to build a helium car, I'd want it to be a USNX car c.1942-3, my steam era focal point. And the Navy just didn't have an L-T-A facility in the upper midwest. Aircraft carriers on Lake Michigan, yes. Blimps at NAS Glenview, no.  Probably a good thing for me.  I struggle to stay focused on what I really need to model, and not lose myself chasing all the other things that interest me.

Thanks,

Jack Mullen




Tony Thompson
 

Jack Mullen wrote:

 

 Well , I do model a couple different eras to a limited extent, so an MHAX car going to an industrial customer  wouldn't be entirely out of the question, but if I were going to build a helium car, I'd want it to be a USNX car c.1942-3, my steam era focal point. And the Navy just didn't have an L-T-A facility in the upper midwest. Aircraft carriers on Lake Michigan, yes. Blimps at NAS Glenview, no.  


    But Jack, the Navy delivered to all kinds of businesses which used helium. Sure, it was their baby on account of the blimps, but the industrial and manufacturing and research users still needed helium. It was delivered in USNX cars.

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, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history





Jack Mullen
 

Tony,

I take your point, and thanks for confirming that "civilian" helium did move in USNX cars, but I suspect that in my area and era, it would be a rare event indeed. Better that I focus my efforts on the typical, rather than the rare or ephemeral. 

Jack Mullen


Tony Thompson
 

Jack Mullen wrote:

I take your point, and thanks for confirming that "civilian" helium did move in USNX cars, but I suspect that in my area and era, it would be a rare event indeed. Better that I focus my efforts on the typical, rather than the rare or ephemeral. 


        No desire to encourage you to model the rare, just wanted to make sure the traffic story was clear.

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, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history





Steve SANDIFER
 

Of course the tanks are secured at both ends as they are attached to major serious bulkheads at teach end.

The two vertical structural members in the middle have a steel strap that goes across the car between each layer of tubes. It is not enormous, maybe 3/8" thick and 4" wide. Between tubes inside there are cradles attached to that between the tubes. I don't know how much weight they support, of if they just keep the tubes from bouncing. Send me a personal email and I will attach photos of that for you.



__________________________________________________

J. Stephen Sandifer, steve.sandifer@...

Minister Emeritus, Southwest Central Church of Christ

Webmaster, Santa Fe Railway Historical and Modeling Society



From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Friday, February 6, 2015 5:11 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Helium Tank Car Question





Thanks for the clarification, Steve.



Were you able to get photos showing how the tanks are supported? In some photos it appears there are horizontal members running crosswise between the side vertical posts and passing between the layers of tanks, but I haven't been able to see details.



My interest is mostly technical curiousity, although I have toyed with the idea of scratchbuilding one in O scale, even though I can't justify one appearing in my area of interest (C&NW, northern IL/ southern WI). Somebody please tell me I'm crazy. Surely I have better ways to spend my modeling time?



Jack Mullen





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


Nick Gully
 

After reading this very informative thread, I ran across a picture of three of these tank cars helping get a satellite into orbit tonight. Speaks volumes about how well they were built. (And for steam related content, a great deal will be generated when this rocket takes off!)


SpaceX on Twitter

 

Best Regards,
  Nick


Bruce Smith
 

Nick,

These cars continued to be built over many years.  Those pictured are probably 1960s vintage.

Regards
Bruce Smith
Auburn, Al

From: STMFC@... [STMFC@...]
Sent: Sunday, February 08, 2015 1:29 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Re: Helium Tank Car Question



After reading this very informative thread, I ran across a picture of three of these tank cars helping get a satellite into orbit tonight. Speaks volumes about how well they were built. (And for steam related content, a great deal will be generated when this rocket takes off!)


SpaceX on Twitter

 

Best Regards,
  Nick