UTLX Tank Car

UTLX Tank Car

UTLX Tank Car on the Back Belt

New paint on a UTLX Tank Car

Many rail modelers spend a lot of time weathering their rolling stock. When I’m sitting at a coffee shop on the Norfolk Southern “back belt” in New Orleans, I get a lot of inspiration for weathering and grafitti. Just after The Crescent (#20) passed by, about 0710CDT, a CSX consist came by. It’s a regular train in the morning, usually tank cars and hoppers.

This morning, however, one of the tank cars caught my eye, because of its fresh paint! This 33,900-gallon tank car shone in the morning sun.

Union Tank Car Company

The reporting mark UTLX belongs to the Union Tank Car Company. It was founded in 1866 in Chicago. Its founder was Captain Jacob J. Vandergrift. Vandergrift was a competitor of John D. Rockefeller. As Rockefeller began to form what became Standard Oil Company, Vandrgrift started a tank car company to move oil via rail. Today, Union Tank Car Company leases and operates mostly tank and hopper cars.

Modeling UTLX

Up to now, my tank cars have been painted for various oil companies, such as Gulf or Shell. I don’t see those on the Back Belt, since those cars are mostly UTLX or GATX. So, this car will be a good start.

utlx tank car

Athearn N-Scale Tank Car, UTLX

Athearn makes a number of N-scale tank cars. While this particular one appears to be a pretty close match to the prototype car. Pontchartrain RR doesn’t currently service any customers who require materials shipped via tank car. So, these UTLX cars won’t get dropped off on an interchange track. They’ll go past, like they do in real life, from CSX to (most likely) the big UP yard in Avondale.

I’m going to order a couple of these from Hub Hobby. I’ll leave one pristine, and work to weather the other.