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N Scale - Industrial Rail - 7793 - Tank Car, Triple Dome, 40 Foot - Union Tank Car - 39559

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N Scale - Industrial Rail - 7793 - Tank Car, Triple Dome, 40 Foot - Union Tank Car - 39559 Copyright Held by TroveStar


Brand Industrial Rail
Stock Number 7793
Manufacturer Sanda Kan
Production Type Regular Production
Body Style Sanda Kan Tank Car 3-Dome
Prototype Type Tank Car, Triple Dome, 40 Foot (Details)
Road or Company Name Union Tank Car (Details)
Reporting Marks UTLX
Road or Reporting Number 39559
Additional Markings/Slogan Gasoline
Paint Color(s) Gray and Red
Print Color(s) Black and White
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
Wheel Type Chemically Blackened Metal
Wheel Profile Deep Flange
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Tank Car
Model Subtype 40 Foot
Model Variety 3-Dome
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era II: Late Steam (1901 - 1938)
Scale 1/160



Model Information: These models were made in China for Life-Like by Sanda Kan. They were also imported by Industrial Rail. The tooling is derived from the earlier Mehano tooling from the late 1960s. They have nickel-silver plated deep flange wheels and Rapido Couplers.

Prototype History:
Triple Dome tank cars, while not as common as single-domes, are a railroad staple. They have been around since the first half of the 20th century.

The dome above tank cars serves as an expansion chamber as temperature affects the volume of any liquids contained within. With no dome, if the liquid did not 100% fill the tank, then it is possible for the liquid to slosh around inside the tank, causing instability and increasing the possibility of a derailment. The dome allows the tank to be slightly overfilled so that should the volume in the main section decrease due to colder temperatures or even a small leak, that there will still be sufficient liquid within to prevent sloshing. Similarly if temperature increases, the liquid can rise up inside the dome preventing excess pressure within the tank. While not as serious as an underfilled tank, an over-pressurized tank might present problems during unloading.

If you see three domes on a tank car it is because there are three separate compartments inside the tank car each containing a different liquid. This was desirable for many reasons.

Often times a delivery would consist of much less than a carload (LCL) of liquid. Remember the sloshing problem? So if you only had to fill a third of a tank with your commodity, then you can avoid the issue by using one of the three chambers within the tank car. Also, you might have several grades of a commodity to deliver such as unleaded, leaded and diesel fuel and you need them to be kept separate. Or you might be producing wine and you want your white wine kept separate from your red wine. Or maybe all three chambers had the same contents but were being delivered to three different customers. It can be very difficult to determine when one third of a single dome tank car has been discharged...

For all these reasons, three-dome tank cars were a common sight in the first half of the 20th century. However, with the rise of the interstate highway system and the modern trucking industry, LCL deliveries have primarily been accomplished with tanker trucks instead of tank cars and the three-dome tank car has gradually disappeared from the North American rail network.

Road Name History:
Union Tank Car Company or UTLX (their best known reporting mark) is a railway equipment leasing company (and car maintenance / manufacturing) headquartered in metro Chicago, Illinois. As the name says, they specialise in tank cars, and covered hopper cars. As of September 2005, according to their site, they have about 80,000 cars in their fleet.

Union Tank Car Company was founded in 1866 by Captain Jacob J. Vandergrift, in response to the economic activities of John D. Rockefeller in the years leading up to his creation of Standard Oil. Vandergrift was involved in the conflicts in the oil regions of Western Pennsylvania in the 1860s?1870s. Eventually, Union Tank Car Company and Vandergrift's other holdings, which included pipeline and riverboat transport companies, merged with the company that later became Standard Oil. Rockefeller, once Captain Vandergrift's nemesis, made him Vice President of Standard Oil. The town of Vandergrift, Pennsylvania, built in 1895 by steel company president George G. McMurtry to house his workers, was named in Vandergrift's honor.

TransUnion was formed as a holding company in 1968 to hold Union Tank Car Company. TransUnion soon began began acquiring credit information and information management companies as a second major investment. The Marmon Group acquired TransUnion in 1981, spinning off the TransUnion name and the financial portion of the holding company to Madison Dearborn Partners in the 1990s.

Union Tank Car Company is still owned by Marmon, which in turn is now a 100% owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway.

Brand/Importer Information:
Industrial Rail was an importer of Chinese made N Scale rolling stock in the 1990s. They forged a relationship with Sanda Kan, a manufacturer in southern China to import model railroad cars from a series of toolings that Sanda Kan had developed for Life-Like in the 1980s. Apparently Life-Like did not have an exclusive relationship to import these models and Industrial Rail took advantage of this fact.

Manufacturer Information:
Established in 1973, Sanda Kan was originally a venture (subsidiary?) of Life-Like products. In 1979, Mr. Wai Shing Ting, formerly of Cox Hong Kong, joined Sanda Kan and took over as de facto CEO. At some point ownership of the venture changed hands and Mr. Ting became the primary owner. In 2000, Ting sold Sanda Kan to ZS Fund. The company was later resold to Kader Holdings, the venerable Hong Kong based toy manufacturer. The original location of the Sanda Kan facility was in Hong Kong, but after the liberalization of the mainland Chinese economy, the primary manufacturing site moved to Guang Dong (Canton), while the administrative offices appear to have remained in Hong Kong. At its height, Sanda Kan operated in 10 factories across Guang Dong with over 10,000 employees in 1.2 million square feet of space.

Sanda Kan is a highly recognized developer and manufacturer of precision models. It produces a full range of model train locomotives, from the very small 1:220 scale to the large 1:22 scale products. Other hobby items include electronic slot racing cars, sophisticated digital controls as well as accessories such as scenery, promotional cars and trucks. It continues to work closely with some of the world’s leading brands from concept to mold construction through to final production.

Sanda Kan’s unique structure allows for maximum flexibility. Its production facilities are located in Songgang, Shenzhen and Wanjiang, Dongguan. Each location is outfitted with mould shops providing full service on-site mould construction and maintenance. Both locations are also sub-divided into individual factories capable of manufacturing complete products, which are comprehensively equipped with injection moulding machines, tempo printing and spraying facilities, and dedicated assembly lines. This arrangement provides our clients with the dedicated capacity, service and privacy levels that they may require.

In 2008, Sanda Kan was acquired by Kader Holdings, the parent company of Bachmann and Tinco, but remains in operation producing model trains for numerous clients including: Atlas, Lionel, Aristo-Craft, Micro-Ace, S-Helper, Hornby, Brawa, Marklin and Tomix.

For more on Sanda Kan and Mr. Wai Shing Ting, please visit the Atlas Model Trains article on Wai Shing Ting.

Item created by: gdm on 2017-10-02 15:59:10. Last edited by scottakoltz on 2020-06-22 10:46:27

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