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Read the N Scale Insight column from the July 2018 Model Railroader
Jim didn’t need a water tank. He needed this water tank, and Shapeways came to the rescue.
Bill Zuback photos
In the heart of Tehachapi, Calif., near the Union Pacific’s double-track main line, stands a steam-era Southern Pacific 65,000-gallon water tank. It was brought to the town from another location on the railroad after a major earthquake destroyed its predecessor on April 21, 1952. Without it, Tehacahapi had a big problem, as the tank doubled as the town’s water supply.

After the SP stopped running steam, the railroad donated the tank to the town, and today it stands in Railroad Park, an uncharacteristic patch of green grass and large trees in this high desert mountain town.

This water tank is of special interest to me because a model of it belongs on my N scale railroad, set in the mid-1980s. I was figuring I’d have to scratchbuild the model and wasn’t looking forward to it, as I’ve got plenty of other projects to keep me busy.

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