No. 21: Steam Era Freight Cars – UTLX X-3

This week, I was e-mailing with Frank Hodina–the man behind Resin Car Works (–and I mentioned to him that I photographed a UTLX X-3 tank car at Dennison, Ohio last year.  Frank asked for the photos, and I thought it would be helpful to also post them here.

The UTLX X-3 was Union Tank Car Line’s “standard” tank car.  At it’s height, UTLX operated over 41,000 tank cars.  The X-3 was it’s standard design, although over the years UTLX acquired through mergers and acquisitions tank cars of almost every size and type.  Even the X-3 came in a variety of sizes and with 8,000 gallon or 10,000 gallon capacity.  The X-3 was an uninsulated car and mostly moved petroleum or refined products.

I came across this preserved example at the small railroad museum in Dennison, Ohio.  Dennison used to be a PRR engine-change point, with a large yard, car shops, and large roundhouse.  Most of the PRR facility is gone but the depot remains, and there is a nice museum there with a cool, historic restaurant and a nice model railroad.  More to follow on that later.

While I have the opportunity, Frank has recently released a much-needed X-3 model as part of the RCW line.  You can read about the model and order here:

Here are the photos of the UTLX X-3, which I believe is an 8,000 gallon car.  Here, below, is a general view of the car.


Below. The A end of the car and the coupler pocket.  I don’t recall ever seeing the air hose attachment angled on another car series–very interesting.


Below. The tank car saddle, straps, and unique UTLX placard board.


Below. A view of the two-piece ladder assembly.  Note the ladder on the UTLX X-3 was only on one side of the car, generally the left side.


Below. A view of the AB-schedule brake equipment.  Valve on top, reservoir on bottom.


Below. A view of the brake gear and frame.


Below.  Side view of the left side of the car.


Below. Another view of the saddle and strap, this time on the B end of the car.  Note that the X-3 series had a wood platform on each end of the car; it is still in place on this display.  Also note the conical rivets.


Below.  Here is a closeup view of the B end of the car, particularly the end sill.  This shows the retainer valve attachment and the uncoupling device.


Below.  And finally, the trucks.  These are 50-ton Barber S-2 trucks.  Stenciling ont he side reads “UTC CO 6497”.  I don’t know if that was the number of the original car–I doubt it.  However the trucks read that they were built in Feb 48, and if these are the original trucks then that should get us close to determining the original car series.


I hope you enjoy these photos.  I will post a photo of my UTLX model here shortly.  – John G

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