Modeler's Moment - Tank car unloading at small industries

An unloading hose for tank cars

Ever wonder how tank cars are unloaded when they are delivered to industries and how to model such an unloading facility? It can be quite simple, really, as we see in this photo of a siding at a local styrofoam manufacturing company. The receiving industry attaches a hose to a drain valve on the tank car and pumps the liquid out. In this photo we can see the hose the industry attaches to the tank car, and the outer edge of the pump is visible in the lower left corner of the picture. The track is far enough away from the industry that a person can walk between the building and the car in order to attach the hose. Also notice, that when the industry is not actively unloading the car, the hose is detached from the car and out of the way so the railroad can perform switching without damaging the unloading equipment. At some industries, the pump is completely inside the building to deter vandalism or to keep it out of the weather, so sometimes the only visible item is the hose; of course, there are other industries that bring the hose inside also when it's not in use.