Author Topic: Those helium cars  (Read 566 times)

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Chris333

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Those helium cars
« on: January 19, 2019, 06:08:09 AM »
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I never thought I would need one, figured they were an oddity and rare. Today I picked up vol. 4 of Erie Railroad Official Photos and found 2 pics of them and they were right here in Ohio.

This one is on the repair track at Marion Ohio in 1945:


And here is one on a spur at a shop loaded with gas bottles. Lima Ohio 1959:


The building is still there:
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Lima,+OH/@40.7243669,-84.1117565,44a,35y,90h,39.46t/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x883ef24907782aa3:0x70a190adffa629c2!8m2!3d40.742551!4d-84.1052256

Looks like USNX is a US Navy car and Tichy makes decals for them:
https://www.tichytraingroup.com/Shop/tabid/91/c/usnx1/Default.aspx

And here is a pic of the same car as above:
http://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2012/04/helium-cars-part-1.html

So in N scale is there only one model of this car?

Point353

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Re: Those helium cars
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2019, 06:23:07 AM »
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So in N scale is there only one model of this car?
Apparently - all made by Roco and sold under several different brand names. Some were factory decorated for USNX.
https://www.trovestar.com/general/Search/callback.php?SearchString=helium&user_id=0&Collection=4&AdvancedFlag=0

Chris333

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Re: Those helium cars
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2019, 06:28:07 AM »
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Looks like they are all $35 + on the bay right now. Really for an old $2 car.

Point353

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Re: Those helium cars
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2019, 07:41:40 AM »
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Looks like they are all $35 + on the bay right now. Really for an old $2 car.
Supposedly MTL bought a load of undecorated cars from Roco.
https://www.trovestar.com//generic/zoom.php?id=138818
If you don't object to painting it (and since Tichy has the appropriate decals), try contacting @Shipsure to see if they would sell one to you at a more agreeable price.

bbussey

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Re: Those helium cars
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2019, 09:10:18 AM »
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Looks like a wood roofwalk should replace the overly thick plastic one.

If MTL doesn’t have any, I’d be surprised if they couldn’t be found at local train shows for a reasonable price.
Bryan Busséy
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Mark5

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Re: Those helium cars
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2019, 03:53:43 PM »
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1945. I didn't realize these cars were that old!

Chris333

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Re: Those helium cars
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2019, 04:35:15 PM »
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Construction photos here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/barrigerlibrary/35069473621/in/photostream/
These say 1955.

Trying to find when they were first built...


More photos:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/29340670@N06/sets/72157645603812466/

I did find that after 1955 they were no longer USNX cars.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2019, 04:38:33 PM by Chris333 »



bbussey

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Re: Those helium cars
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2019, 08:28:47 PM »
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... I did find that after 1955 they were no longer USNX cars.

What did the USNX cars become after 1955?
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Chris333

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Re: Those helium cars
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2019, 08:39:42 PM »
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What did the USNX cars become after 1955?

In 1955, the Navy turned over most of the fleet to the Bureau of Mines, Department of the Interior, with some cars going to the Atomic Energy Commission. The Bureau of Mines, under the title “Mines Helium Activity” or MHA, continued to produce and ship helium, now in cars with the perhaps obvious reporting marks MHAX. The cars were also repainted from their former Navy gray to silver within a few years after the handover.

bbussey

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Re: Those helium cars
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2019, 08:51:08 PM »
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We’re the NAHX cars restenciled before being repainted?  Or would the non-repainted cars still have NAHX reporting marks in 1956?  I guess I should check a 1956 ORER.
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Englewood

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Re: Those helium cars
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2019, 12:58:24 AM »
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The railroad museum in Tomball, Texas has one of these cars. I believe it was used by NASA.

nkalanaga

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Re: Those helium cars
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2019, 01:05:59 AM »
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Since there were airships based in Ohio in the 50s, and, as far as I know, Goodyear's still are, helium cars in the same areas should have been fairly common.
N Kalanaga
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Chris333

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Re: Those helium cars
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2019, 04:01:35 AM »
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Yes there were blimps in Akron and the Erie went through there, but it was the regular looking bottle business that got me thinking these could be just about anywhere.