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Uncataloged Premier O Scale Sunoco 33K Gallon Tank Car Announced

February 3, 2023 - M.T.H. Electric Trains has announced an exclusive Premier O Scale 33,000 Gallon Tank Car in Sunoco livery for M.T.H. Authorized Retailer The Train Loft and Brady's Trains. The cars will be produced in very limited quantities in two different car numbers and are available for order on a first-come, first-served basis, with an anticipated arrival date of April 2023.

Item No. 20-96819 Sunoco 33K Gallon Tank Car
Car No. 202677
Early Order Price: $84.95
Download The Order Form: HERE to purchase from Train Loft and HERE to purchase from Brady's Trains.

Item No. 20-96820 Sunoco 33K Gallon Tank Car
Car No. 170860
Early Order Price: $84.95
Download The Order Form: HERE to purchase from Train Loft and HERE to purchase from Brady's Trains.


The tank car was relatively uncommon until the 1870s when the nascent petroleum industry ordered large quantities of metal tanks carried on wooden car bodies. By the early 1900s, a standard design had evolved that lasted throughout the steam and early diesel eras: an 8,000-11,000 gallon metal tank perched on a metal flatcar-like underframe.

The one big change during that time was the transition from riveted to welded construction, beginning in the late 1930s. Car builders introduced X-ray inspection of welds to ensure safety, as well as giant annealing ovens that could heat-treat assembled tanks to relieve joint stress. Welded tanks were stronger, less susceptible to rust and corrosion, and less likely to rupture in the event of a wreck.

At the same time as steam engines were disappearing, another innovation completely changed the appearance of tank cars. Beginning in the mid-1950s, a new design took hold: the tank itself became the structural backbone of the car, eliminating the need for a full-length underframe and making bigger tank diameters possible. Stub sills under each end provided a place to mount trucks and couplers.

The prototype for this car was one of the largest tank cars in regular service, a pressurized 33,000-gallon car used for transporting liquefied petroleum gas, a byproduct of oil refining used for home and industrial heating. Another common payload for these cars was anhydrous ammonia, a highly concentrated fertilizer.

The first of these cars were built for Shippers car Line (SHPX) in 1962 by American Car and Foundry (ACF). To provide maximum capacity within the allowed loading gauge (outside dimensions), it featured a dual-diameter tank, with a smaller diameter over the stub end sills and a larger diameter between the sills — giving rise to the nickname "whale belly." Cars of this type were built throughout the 1960s and initially decorated in flamboyant paint schemes — until public concerns about the safety of flammable cargo led owners and lessees to opt for more subdued decoration. In the 1970s, however, the whale belly design was largely replaced by single-diameter cars of the same capacity. Many original whale bellies served into the first decade of this century, until the end of their allowed 40-year service life.


The Train Loft
4007-B Country Club Road
Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27104

Brady's Trains
1046 S. Main St.
Greensburg, Pennsylvania 15601

M.T.H. Electric Trains will be releasing a series of 2023 RailKing O Gauge Airslide Hoppers in four exciting liveries beginning late next Spring. Each of these unique schemes will be available in unique car numbers and will be in very limited production quantities. The cars are expected to begin shipping to M.T.H. Authorized Retailers in May 2023.

Check out each of these offerings HERE.

These items are available to order from your local M.T.H. Authorized Retailer.

Check Out The Latest Custom Run Production Announcements

M.T.H. Electric Trains announces hundreds of custom-run items each year for M.T.H. Authorized Retailers. Many of these unique releases are geographically relevant for an authorized retailer's local clientele. M.T.H. Email Subscribers get these announcements in their inbox every morning.

To review the 2023 announcements to date, click HERE. You can sort the list by Product Line, Product Classification, and Roadname.

To review the 2022 announcements to date, click HERE.

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