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I don’t think the army uses ‘X’ in their numbers…..and besides, the jury is still out on this car….we don’t even know if it’s for hauling tanks….could be for bull dozers or other construction equipment….
 

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And we don’t know who applied the lettering, if they intended to be prototypical or not? I don’t think it’s something to base any hard conclusions on.
 

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I do think it’s for tanks though. I’ve seen them loaded via a concrete stationary ramp, like at General Dynamics etc. But such infrastructure is often not where you need it to be. So taking your own ramp with you makes absolute sense to me.
Same reason you see some 18 wheelers carrying their own forklift with them.

I bet my bottom dollar it’s a mobile loading/unloading ramp for those destinations in the middle of anywhere you want.
 

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I bet my bottom dollar it’s a mobile loading/unloading ramp for those destinations in the middle of anywhere you want.
I think you nailed it! Notice the ramps at each end are at different heights and pivot points, so it can load in any given situation….

I think it’s a loading ramp, and just that….don’t think it’s meant to actually carry a load, just to act as a portable loading ramp….it’s too short to carry present day armour…..
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Even still, no matter what if it’s, as we’ve kind of nailed that; who made it? There has to be some kind of giveaway or clue from the construction of the car. Maybe the trucks?
 

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If it truly is a custom job, they could have used anybody’s trucks….doesn’t appear to be any identifying wording on the trucks upon close examination…..

Is it possible to get a side shot of the trucks?
 

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Sumthin' about this one whispers "one-off, 3d-printed" ...
Agreed. After that last photo I'm convinced it's scratch-built. Can't tell if it's foundation was a flat car, 3D printed or scratched. Although if it was 3D printed there was a lot of careful fill or sanding.

Reporting mark PI is Paducah & Illinois.

Interesting car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Agreed. After that last photo I'm convinced it's scratch-built. Can't tell if it's foundation was a flat car, 3D printed or scratched. Although if it was 3D printed there was a lot of careful fill or sanding.

Reporting mark PI is Paducah & Illinois.

Interesting car.
I honestly think it’s a shapeways product. Someone created it, had shapeways print it. Sold it, it was sold two more times, now I have it
 

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It just seems that it’s too detailed and specific to not have been modelled after an actual prototype….must have been modelled after something…..
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Agreed. After that last photo I'm convinced it's scratch-built. Can't tell if it's foundation was a flat car, 3D printed or scratched. Although if it was 3D printed there was a lot of careful fill or sanding.

Reporting mark PI is Paducah & Illinois.

Interesting car.
Is the Paducah & Illinois an actual line? I know there’s the Paducah and Louisville short line
 

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I’m going to ask a currently serving NCO friend if they’ve ever seen anything like this. They’re not in an Armor battalion but ground pounders see a lot of different things.
 

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I’m not 100% certain the PI are reporting marks. It’s an odd placement if they are. Could be anything from a military designation of some sort, to being something sentimental to the builder (i.e. Private Irwin).
Because it appears scratch built, and clearly by someone who is familiar with the prototype, add to the fact it’s such a rare sight that we’re all just making logical deduction here… I’d say the car was built by someone who was a veteran and worked around said rail car… But added & omitted things at their discretion or memory gaps; the lack of a brake wheel for example.
Paducah & Illinois was just a line of trackage, no equipment. There’s no listing in Fallen Flags. PAL operates in the area now, and does some trans loading, but if it was that it’d say PAL. I think the PI isn’t what we think it to be.
again, just deductive reasoning being my guide.
 
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