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Frameless Tank Car

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  • Frameless Tank Car


    Hi, I thought I would try to turn the Bachmann ON30 tank car to a framless verson. I have started but have run into a couple of ploblems.

    1... I am not sure how to attach the couplers to it.

    2... I need a proto-type picture to finish it off. I still have pretty basic modeling skills so I don't want to have to do a lot of scratch-building. I did a search and looked through my books but could not find any-thing that was as small as my car.

    Thank you so much, and please feel free to leave any comments or sugestions, Ryan.

  • #2
    Here is an excellent reference book.MSRP $19.99

    Quick Pic Book

    Union Tank Car Co. (UTLX)

    Narrow gauge

    Frame less Tank Cars

    (As operated on the Denver Rio Grande Western,

    Rio Grande Southern, And The White pass & Yukon)

    Era 1924 to Present.

    Published by: BHI Publications 45 Wellington Downs Dr. O'Fallon, Mo 633366

    My rating of this book is [:-star][:-star][:-star][:-star][:-star]


    • #3
      [:-graduate]The book I have shows the "Frame less" tank car (for narrow gauge anyway), the trucks and coupler boxes are attached to what they describe as the "cradle". The cradle is a semi circular section of steel plate that was a little longer then the actual tank itself. The bolster & trucks, brake and coupler Assembly's were attached to it and the tank itself was riveted to the cradle. A wooden walkway was running down both sides of the tank. Stirrups were at each end both sides. No ladder's were used. id="Comic Sans MS">


      • #4
        Good morning Bob ....

        Thanks for the info on frameless tank cars. My RR will be in need of one.

        In Dec 2008 Model Railroader, pg. 43 is a picture of a 1910 circa Union Tank Car

        (not 0N30 ) FWIW (For What It's Worth)
        Tom M.


        • #5
          Does this help? Not real clear but does show a bit of the cradle Bob talks about.

          Tom M.


          • #6
            Hi Tom! Ive been around just sand bagging in the midst. Nice pic of the tank car! The book is written on that exact make & model. I'd post some pics but copy right infringements and all of that rot.

            Great book for reference, I admit some pics could have shown a slight bit more detail but for whats available on the market this ones top's.


            • #7
              Can't help you with your request, but I do suggest moving your camera back from your close up subjects so they will be in focus. It looks like you're too close, the object in the background is almost in focus, this is in the range where your subject should be.


              • #8
                Grandt made On3 frameless tank and there have been lots of pictures of them at various times. Slaon did article series in the Gazette coverign all of the NG tanks in Colorado so there are plans and pics. If you look on the Large Scale forum you might find pictures of Bachmann conversion there as some have been shared.

       fror a conversion of a Grandt to SG

                Bill Uffelman

                Las Vegas NV


                • #9

                  Looks like the tank just sat in a cradle ...

                  nice picture ...
                  Tom M.


                  • #10
                    exactly to the "T"! Notice the cradle at the rear of the car protruding out with the coupler.

                    Frisco, If you didnt want to go to the trouble of scratch building and using what you have just to "run what you have" try putting on some truck mounted couplers. I believe they are referred to as "Talgo" style trucks if memory serves me right.

                    That's a quick way out, Not prototypical correct the trucks come in HO scale and not 0n30 but functional. just a thought...


                    • #11
                      Thank you every-one for your help.

                      I will probaly start using the talgo trucks while I decide how to do the rest.

                      The pictures really help. I will post more pictures as it gets farther along.

                      Also thanks for the picture advise. Thanks,



                      • #12

                        I found these in my box of coupler parts. I got them from ebay, there is no name on them just a number 61. They will hold the truck and coupler to the tank car. Maybe someone else will know who makes them.

                        I was going to sell my tank cars as they were too long but the actual tank is 19 feet long. So I may now be able to use these on the new RR.

                        Thanks for the idea.


                        • #13
                          They are Ace American Flyer conversion bolsters. They are used to put KD #5's and scale trucks on AF cars.



                          • #14
                            I looked at mine and wondered if it would look better if the tank was mounted on a shortened bare frame, without the flatcar deck. Doesn't look bad without any frame at all, though -