Re: PSC tank car kits

Jim Spencer

John, thank you for the info. The kit contained a History In Brief which noted: “1,700 Vandyke class V 6,500 gallon frameless tank cars were built during the years 1908, 09, 10, 11, & 12. These cars were numbered 14300 through 15900.“ [suggesting that there were 1,600 cars built]
It goes on to say: “By 1953 only a few cars remained in service due to retirement or a law prohibiting KD brake systems in interchange service. Those cars still in service were either converted to AB brake systems or were used in local and MofW service.”
I suspect the narrow gauge kit instructions would have an accounting of the number that were converted for use on the narrow gauge Rio Grande and RGS.

Per your reference to the 5’-2” standard gauge arch bar trucks, another source is Central Valley. Those appear to be the same as you describe. However as you note, they were used on 10,000 gallon cars. 6,500 gallon cars may have used a different, presumably smaller capacity standard gauge truck.

Interestingly, I also have some Central Valley narrow gauge arch bar trucks. The side frame castings are identical to their standard gauge side frames. All they did was use a different bolster and smaller diameter wheels!

On Feb 29, 2020, at 7:13 PM, john.stutz@... wrote:


In the 1906 Car builder's Dictionary (CBD), reprinted circa 1980 by Glenwood and available online, figure 88 (photo) and figures 489-91 (drawings) depict the 10,000 gallon version of the Van Dyke frame-less tank car. . This shows a 5' 2" WB archbar truck with inside hung brakes. the bottom bar is level and the top bar slopes down to the axle box tops. The same drawing with some extra detail appeared in The Railroad Gzaette, Vol XXXV, No 10, p164 & 165, on March 6 1903.

The illustrated truck's side frame is very like the old Central Valley HOn3 truck. Of current offerings, the Tahoe Model Works #211 arch bar truck is probably the closest available match. But note that the Kadee Bettendorf T-section truck is very similar to the version illustrated in the 1906 CBD, figures 1356-60, which was placed on the market circa 1903.

Regarding NG/SG differences, the narrow gauge Van Dyke (Gramps) cars were just obsolescent standard gauge 6500 gallon tank cars. The main differences were substitution of NG trucks with lowered center plate to lower the couplers 8", new NG spaced side bearing pads welded to the bolsters, and slightly rearranged brake rigging to clear the wheels. The White Pass also operated 5 Van Dyes, 3 of the standard small 6500 gallon version and 2 that had 3 compartments. They bought bare tanks, but built their own trucks, and also lowered the running boards about a foot.

John Stutz

On February 20, 2020 at 2:04 PM Jim Spencer <trainmanjs@...> wrote:

I have built a dozen or more of the PSC HOn3 kits and have one of the standard gauge unbuilt kits.  I could see no difference whatsoever between the two. My standard gauge kit came with set of plastic wheels, but no side frames.  The instructions recommend an Athearn truck or a Kadee 500 series truck, which is a cast steel Bettendorf design that came much later than when the cars were built in about 1909. 

I suspect the 1909 cars were  delivered with standard gauge arch bar trucks, possibly later converted to Andrews designs.  But I have no photos, general arrangement drawings, or folio drawings to confirm.  I suspect that screwing on a standard gauge truck will raise the car height to the standard gauge coupler height.  But again, I have no confirming information.


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