Blackstone Models UTLX tank cars


Robert kirkham
 

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


Jack Burgess
 

Rob 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 gauge.
These were
converted UTLX cars, and while I'm uncertain, I think Blackstone is doing
both frameless and framed versions. While narrow gauge 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 gauge frames, or work
with a resin manufacturer to do a standard gauge frame or frames.

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

Rob Kirkham
As has been mentioned before one this list, the D&RGW Gramps frameless UTLX
tanks cars were built as standard gauge cars and the D&RGW only changed out
the trucks to convert them. So, these "narrow gauge" cars could easily be
reconverted to standard gauge. However, the challenge is that the cars
should have 5' wheelbase cast "Bettendorf-type" trucks which are difficult
to find. Richard Hendrickson described one approach to this problem in his
article on using the Precision Scale kits in an article in RMC many years
ago...

Jack Burgess
www.yosemitevalleyrr.com


Robert kirkham
 

Hmm - I didn't realise it was just the trucks that changed! That makes these even more viable for standard guage - trucks remaining an issue. I wonder if their (Blackstone's) trucks can be converted by replacing the bolster.... between the frames? They look fairly nice on the web - but I have not seen one out of the box. <http://www.blackstonemodels.com/access/>

Rob Kirkham

--------------------------------------------------
From: "Jack Burgess" <jack@yosemitevalleyrr.com>
Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 3:18 PM
To: <STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Blackstone Models UTLX tank cars

Rob 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 gauge.
These were
converted UTLX cars, and while I'm uncertain, I think Blackstone is doing
both frameless and framed versions. While narrow gauge 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 gauge frames, or work
with a resin manufacturer to do a standard gauge frame or frames.

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

Rob Kirkham
As has been mentioned before one this list, the D&RGW Gramps frameless UTLX
tanks cars were built as standard gauge cars and the D&RGW only changed out
the trucks to convert them. So, these "narrow gauge" cars could easily be
reconverted to standard gauge. However, the challenge is that the cars
should have 5' wheelbase cast "Bettendorf-type" trucks which are difficult
to find. Richard Hendrickson described one approach to this problem in his
article on using the Precision Scale kits in an article in RMC many years
ago...

Jack Burgess
www.yosemitevalleyrr.com



------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links




Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Rob Kirkham 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.
Rob, it's well known that the frameless cars only had trucks changed for narrow-gauge use. I don't know for sure but would doubt that Rio Grande built new frames for the underframed cars either, but someone more knowledgeable than me will have to answer for sure. Richard Hendrickson is out of the country so don't be holding your breath for him to chime in.
We just need to apply the right trucks. <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


Eric Hansmann
 

--- Anthony Thompson wrote:

Rob, it's well known that the frameless cars only had trucks
changed for narrow-gauge use. I don't know for sure but would doubt
that Rio Grande built new frames for the underframed cars either, but
someone more knowledgeable than me will have to answer for sure.
Richard Hendrickson is out of the country so don't be holding your
breath for him to chime in.
We just need to apply the right trucks. <g>
==========================


Did these tank cars start service with arch bar trucks?

When were the trucks upgraded? And to what? Andrews first, then an AAR cast sideframe version?

Did these cars always have trucks with a five-foot wheelbase?

There are several pre-Depression era modelers who would enjoy an easy conversion to add a distinctive tank car to the fleet.

Eric



Eric Hansmann
Chagrin Falls, Ohio


Robert kirkham
 

None of the photos I have access that show something other than arch bar trucks are in-service shots. Sorry, can't help with any suggestions.

Rob Kirkham

--------------------------------------------------
From: "Eric" <eric@hansmanns.org>
Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 3:57 PM
To: <STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Blackstone Models UTLX tank cars
Did these tank cars start service with arch bar trucks?

When were the trucks upgraded? And to what? Andrews first, then an AAR cast sideframe version?

Did these cars always have trucks with a five-foot wheelbase?

There are several pre-Depression era modelers who would enjoy an easy conversion to add a distinctive tank car to the fleet.

Eric



Eric Hansmann
Chagrin Falls, Ohio


Jack Burgess
 

Eric wrote:

Did these tank cars start service with arch bar trucks?
The cars were built around 1912 and yes, they started out with arch bar
trucks. There are photos of the bolster/truck assemblies in Steam Era
Freight Cars Reference Manual Vol 2 (Tank cars) which show the original arch
bar trucks.

When were the trucks upgraded? And to what? Andrews first, then
an AAR cast sideframe version?
Richard may know. Photos of these cars in service seem to be limited since
you tend to see the same photos over and over....

Did these cars always have trucks with a five-foot wheelbase?
That would make sense...although I could be completely wrong, the photos of
the bolsters/trucks appear to show a 5' wheelbase arch bar truck.

Jack Burgess
www.yosemitevalleyrr.com


Steve and Barb Hile
 

I have (pending approval) uploaded builders photos (courtesy of UTLX) of both Class X and V UTLX tank cars of 6500 gallon nominal capacity. You may notice that the Class X car is actually older than the Class V. These are the size and types that were later used in the GRAMPS narrow gauge service. As of 1952, there were a total of 59 still listed in the UTLX listing of tank cars. 25 were the frameless Van Dyke (Class V) cars. The other 34 were Class X cars with the solid underframe. At that time, they were numbered between 88000 and 88177, so it is certainly reasonable that there had been more narrow gauge cars earlier.

Comparing the original Class X cars with the single beam center sill underframe with the surviving cars at Chama or other places, it is clear that some sort of cradle type frame was built for these cars for narrow gauge service, but I am not at all familiar with that service.
I would be very happy to see an HO version of the Class X underframe, but I can't imagine Blackstone wanting to do it.

I don't recall seeing any in-service photos of Class X or Class V cars with Andrews trucks, but there certainly were some that were converted to cast steel "Bettendorf" style trucks as well as AB brakes. There is a Class V car at the National Museum of Transport in St, Louis on archbar trucks and there is a Class X car at Mid Continent in North Freedom, Wisconsin, also on archbar trucks.

I hope this is helpful.

Steve Hile

----- Original Message -----
From: Anthony Thompson
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 5:36 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Blackstone Models UTLX tank cars


Rob Kirkham 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.

Rob, it's well known that the frameless cars only had trucks
changed for narrow-gauge use. I don't know for sure but would doubt
that Rio Grande built new frames for the underframed cars either, but
someone more knowledgeable than me will have to answer for sure.
Richard Hendrickson is out of the country so don't be holding your
breath for him to chime in.
We just need to apply the right trucks. <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


Jon Miller <atsf@...>
 

OK I've been deleting these but I did go to the Blackstone Models site and there is no mention of a tank car either current or future. Information please?

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


Robert kirkham
 

Have a look at these for starters,

Rob Kirkham
<http://www.central-hobbies.com/products/new.html>
<http://soundtraxx-soundbytes.blogspot.com/2009/08/soundbytes-viii-this-past-month-has.html>
<http://www.railcar.com.au/blackstone%20models.htm>

--------------------------------------------------
From: "Jon Miller" <atsf@inow.com>
Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 6:34 PM
To: <STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Blackstone Models UTLX tank cars

OK I've been deleting these but I did go to the Blackstone Models site
and there is no mention of a tank car either current or future. Information
please?

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



------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links




Jon Miller <atsf@...>
 

OK even with links to Blackstone site, no information. One of the links said they are doing it.

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


Robert kirkham
 

Not at all sure what your point is Jon. The original e-mail I sent said: "... I just became aware of some dealer web pages that mention that Blackstone Models is apparently doing ...". All three of the links I sent earlier mention it, with more or less detail. Further, one of the links I sent to you is from Soundtraxxs blog - and since (from what I read on the web - another caveat) they are the owners of Blackstone, it leads one to give a degree of credibility to the announcement.

Beyond that, like every other product announcement its wait and see....

Rob

--------------------------------------------------
From: "Jon Miller" <atsf@inow.com>
Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 8:54 PM
To: <STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Blackstone Models UTLX tank cars

OK even with links to Blackstone site, no information. One of the links
said they are doing it.

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



------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links




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


Frederick Freitas <prrinvt@...>
 

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

--- On Mon, 9/21/09, Jack Burgess <jack@yosemitevalleyrr.com> wrote:


From: Jack Burgess <jack@yosemitevalleyrr.com>
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Blackstone Models UTLX tank cars
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Date: Monday, September 21, 2009, 6:18 PM


 



Rob 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 gauge.
These were
converted UTLX cars, and while I'm uncertain, I think Blackstone is doing
both frameless and framed versions. While narrow gauge 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 gauge frames, or work
with a resin manufacturer to do a standard gauge frame or frames.

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

Rob Kirkham
As has been mentioned before one this list, the D&RGW Gramps frameless UTLX
tanks cars were built as standard gauge cars and the D&RGW only changed out
the trucks to convert them. So, these "narrow gauge" cars could easily be
reconverted to standard gauge. However, the challenge is that the cars
should have 5' wheelbase cast "Bettendorf- type" trucks which are difficult
to find. Richard Hendrickson described one approach to this problem in his
article on using the Precision Scale kits in an article in RMC many years
ago...

Jack Burgess
www.yosemitevalleyr r.com


Dennis Storzek
 

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

Rob, it's well known that the frameless cars only had trucks
changed for narrow-gauge use. I don't know for sure but would doubt
that Rio Grande built new frames for the underframed cars either, but
someone more knowledgeable than me will have to answer for sure.
The class X cars that UTL converted for narrow gauge use did indeed have new frames fabricated. Apparently, the standard center sill with its 20 1/2" wide cover plate didn't allow adequate truck swing of 3' gauge wheel sets with their appx. 32" back-to-back dimension, so new frames were fabricated with the sills outside the truck side frames. The new frames may have made use of the original center sills with new cross members; I'm not enough of a narrow gauge fan to have ever paid attention.

I see that Steve Hile's builders photos have been approved. View them at:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/STMFC/photos/album/458504697/pic/list

Thanks Steve. I also dug out something for Rob; a 6000 gal. UTLX class X car in Canadian service, preserved at the Canadian Railway Historical Society museum in Delson, P.Q. Interestingly, this car still has archbar trucks, although it has been equipped with AB brake. I tried to add my photos to the same album as Steve's, but couldn't for some reason, so they are here:

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

Please note that the outlet has a Fire Department Siamese connection installed by the museum. I'm also not entirely sure the lettering is 100% accurate; museum lettering jobs are always suspect.

Also the photo of the tank car frame and lap seams I posted the other week here:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/STMFC/photos/album/2015799527/pic/list

Is of the 8000 gal. class X car at the Mid-Continent museum.

Dr. Hendrickson has in the past stated that the brake equipment on the clas 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. Some place I have close-up photos of these parts on an 8000 gal car that was never converted (all the NG conversions were 6000 gal cars) but I can't seem to lay my hands on them at the moment. If I find them I'll add them to one of the albums.

Dennis


Merlyn Lauber
 

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@msn.com>: --------------

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


Eric Hansmann
 

--- Jack Burgess wrote:

The cars were built around 1912 and yes, they started out with arch bar trucks. There are photos of the bolster/truck assemblies in Steam Era Freight Cars Reference Manual Vol 2 (Tank cars) which show the original arch bar trucks.
snip<
==================================


Thanks for the details Jack. And thanks to Dennis for the additional detail and images. I searched for Richard Hendrickson's RMC article in the Model Train Mag Index. "Modeling Union Tank Line's 6500 gallon "Van Dyke" tank car" can be found in the December 1995 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman. Time to dig my copy out of storage and reread.

Eric


Eric Hansmann
Chagrin Falls, Ohio
Starting over in a new house:
http://designbuildop.hansmanns.org/


Robert kirkham
 

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

Rob Kirkham


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


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




























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