New Product Spotlight – The Oil Cans Are Back

11 03 2013

It has been several years since we last produced our popular Tank Train cars and the SD40T-2 Tunnel Motors. Now they’re back and better than ever and headed to a dealer near you soon!

The Tank Train

Oil Can Set

6-29366 Oil Can Set

The “Tank Train” concept and equipment found use all over North America. We took a more in-depth look at the train in an earlier Freight Car Friday feature. Thanks to connecting hoses, these cars could be loaded and emptied from a single point which greatly simplified the process and the required facilities.

Tank Train

The set and three pack come decorated in the bold “TANK TRAIN” graphics.

Of all the routes traveled by these trains, perhaps none were more well-known than the Southern Pacific’s routing over the famous Tehachapi Mountains. Dubbed the “oil cans” by local rail fans and railroaders, the trains were a regular feature wrapping around the Tehachapi Loop.

Typical power for the train in the 1980s and 1990s included multiple sets of Tunnel Motors. These locomotives had been designed with special radiator intakes low on the carbody to prevent drawing in hot and saturated air from the top of the numerous tunnels on the route. Although only purchased by the Southern Pacific and Rio Grande, the SD40T-2s were acquired by Union Pacific through merger in 1996. Since then many have been sold to other railroads all across the United States.

Lionel’s Latest Release

Lionel’s re-release of the SD40T-2 and the Tank Train gives you the opportunity to create your own set of oil cans, or expand your existing operation! The locomotive and cars are each available as a set and for individual sale. We’re offering some additional tank car schemes for individual sale as well.

The SD40T-2s now feature LEGACY control and sound and come painted in the Southern Pacific’s “Speed Lettering” scheme. This was started after the SP was purchased by Rio Grande Industries in 1988. Additional features of the locomotives include:


The SD40T-2 was common power for the Oil Cans in the 1980s and 1990s.

  • Odyssey II Speed Control
  • LEGACY RailSounds with
    • CrewTalk and TowerCom
    • Six railroad speeds
    • Eight diesel RPM levels
    • Quilling Whistle
    • Bell
    • Current speed and fuel dialog
    • Sequence Control
  • Front and rear ElectroCouplers
  • Dual motors
  • Refined Conventional Control with lower starting speeds
  • Traction tires
  • Fan-driven smoke unit with adjustable output
  • Directional lighting with LED headlights

    Tank Train

    Tank Train cars in this simplified scheme could also be seen in these trains.

  • Operating front / rear marker lights
  • Illuminated number boards
  • Lighted cab interior
  • Operating ditch lights
  • Metal frame
  • Die-cast metal trucks, pilots and fuel tank
  • Engineer and conductor figures

A LEGACY powered  unit is included with the Oil Can set, and an additional unit is available for separate sale for $529.99. A non-powered locomotive is also available with die-cast metal trucks, pilot and fuel tank and magnetic couplers for $259.99. Each of the locomotives features a unique road number and will negotiate an O-31 curve.

The Tank Train cars themselves are highly detailed models sure to please. The cars include:

  • Die-cast metal sprung trucks with rotating roller bearing caps and operating couplers with a hidden uncoupling tab


    The Tank Train concept wasn’t limited to the SP.

  • Separately applied metal details
  • Flexible hoses connecting the cars
  • A Flashing EOT on the last car
  • Each car in the set is individually boxed

Expand your existing Tank Train sets with these 2-packs, all with new numbers.

The oil can set includes four cars in the bold orange and white “TANK TRAIN” graphics. A matching 3-car expansion set is also available for $239.99.  For those looking to expand older Tank Train sets, we’re also offering two-packs in three other schemes; CIBRO, Canadian National, and a simplified Tank Train scheme with only the white lettering. (These cars could often be seen intermixed with the orange / white scheme cars in the SP unit trains.) These cars feature all new road numbers. Two packs retail for $159.99.

The Oil Can set retails for $849.99. All of these cars should be rolling out of our factory this month and headed for your dealers’ shelves. Don’t miss this chance to add this distinctive train to your collection.



One response

12 03 2013
Andrew Falconer

I have seen the real GATX TankTrain tank cars on the CN/GTW line in Michigan due to great timing. They were common for a few years, then became rare.

I am planning on getting both the CN 2-Pack and the GATX 3-Pack of TankTrain cars in the next two months, so I can have a longer Tank Train. Does the GATX 3-Pack actually have the End-Of-Train Device.

I have a video on YouTube of the CN TankTrain set that has over 50,000 views. If I can get the new tank cars like I reserved, I will have to make a new video, using a new, better camera.

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