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Athearn - 16540 - Tank Car, Single Dome, 33.9K LPG - Union Tank Car - 910288

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N Scale - Athearn - 16540 - Tank Car, Single Dome, 33.9K LPG - Union Tank Car - 910288 Image Courtesy of Horizon Hobby
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Stock Number16540
Original Retail Price$30.98
BrandAthearn
ManufacturerAthearn
Body StyleAthearn Tank Car 33.9K LPG
Image Provider's WebsiteLink
Prototype VehicleTank Car, Single Dome, 33.9K LPG (Details)
Road or Company NameUnion Tank Car (Details)
Reporting MarksUTLX
Road or Reporting Number910288
Paint Color(s)Black
Print Color(s)Yellow
Coupler TypeMcHenry Magnetic Knuckle
Coupler MountTruck-Mount
Wheel TypeChemically Blackened Metal
Wheel ProfileSmall Flange (Low Profile)
Announcement Date2018-04-01
Release Date2019-06-01
Item CategoryRolling Stock (Freight)
Model TypeTank Car
Model Subtype33.9K
Model VarietyLPG
Prototype RegionNorth America
Prototype EraNA Era V: Modern Diesel (1979 - Present)
Scale1/160



Prototype History:
Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) (also called Autogas) is a liquefied mixture of propane and butane. It is an inevitable by-product of the crude oil refining process and of natural gas processing. In natural gas processing, the natural gas is cleaned off heavy hydrocarbons such as propane and butane before distribution. About 60% of global LP Gas supply comes from natural gas processing. In crude oil refining, LPG is a by-product of the refining process. LPG is gaseous at room temperature and changes to a liquid when compressed at moderate pressure or chilled. The chemical composition of LPG can vary, but is usually made up of butane and propane with a 30-99% propane mix.

The 33,900 gallon tank car is one of the largest standard tank cars used today. While Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Anhydrous Ammonia are the two most common commodities, they are also used to transport butadiene, isoprene and gasoline. These cars can be seen regularly in mixed manifest freight trains throughout North America. They travel singly or in large blocks between producers and distributors.
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:
Athearn's history began in 1938, when its founder-to-be, Irvin Athearn, started an elaborate O scale layout in his mother's house. After placing an ad selling the layout, and receiving much response to it, Irv decided that selling model railroads would be a good living. He sold train products out of his mother's house through most of the 1940s. After becoming a full-time retailer in 1946, Irv opened a separate facility in Hawthorne, California in 1948, and that same year he branched into HO scale models for the first time.

Athearn acquired the Globe Models product line and improved upon it, introducing a comprehensive array of locomotive, passenger and freight car models. Improvements included all-wheel drive and electrical contact. One innovation was the "Hi-Fi" drive mechanism, employing small rubber bands to transfer motion from the motor spindle to the axles. Another was the double-ended ring magnet motor, which permitted easy connection to all-wheel-drive assemblies. Athearn was also able to incorporate flywheels into double-ended drives.

The company produced a model of the Boston & Maine P4 class Pacific steam locomotive which incorporated a cast zinc alloy base and thermoplastic resin superstructure. It had a worm drive and all power pickup was through the bipolar trucks that carried the tender. This item was discontinued after the Wilson motor was no longer available, and was not redesigned for a more technologically advanced motor.

Athearn's car fleet included shorter-than-scale interpretations of passenger cars of Southern Pacific and Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad prototypes. The company also offered a variety of scale-length freight cars with sprung and equalized trucks. The cars could be obtained in simple kit form, or ready-to-run in windowed display boxes. The comprehensive scope of the product line contributed to the popularity of HO as a model railroad scale, due to the ready availability of items and their low cost.

Irv Athearn died in 1991. New owners took control in 1994, but continued to follow Athearn's commitment to high-quality products at reasonable prices. Athearn was bought in 2004 by Horizon Hobby. Athearn was then moved from its facility in Compton to a new facility in Carson, California. In mid-2009, all remaining US production was moved to China and warehousing moved to parent Horizon Hobby. Sales and product development was relocated to a smaller facility in Long Beach, California.

Read more on Wikipedia and Athearn website.
Item created by: gdm on 2019-07-01 16:28:25

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