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Tank cars - A missing link???

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    September 2003
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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 1:19 AM

Piper106a
For LP gas / propane cars, did the designs really jump from the 10000 to 11000 gallon cars with underframes to 33000 gallon cars without underframes in a single step???

It looks as if they did, but initially as a step on the way to the larger cars.  The key to the large increase is the 'whale belly' construction; note the detail difference between the four-axle versions (e.g.NCTX 33000 series, early 1963) and the original 8-axle car (94' UTLX 83699, particularly in the internal staying arrangements for the wide portion.)

Of course there were other cars that were by no means as stunningly capacious, but stop you in your tracks certain you're looking at some product of not very clever Photoshopping -- NHTX 26000x, for example.  This is "only" 25,700 nominal gallons and 188600# load (could this be BTX?) but is 76'7" long (!) with the trucks under the extreme ends of the car (!!).

Meanwhile I can still remember the blue and white duPont tetraethyl lead tank cars at the Bayway refinery.  Those might have been the smallest tanks in interchange service... assuredly not the lightest.

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