Raise an elbow to Atlas' 8th release of N Beer Can Shorties. This stout model wears the striking livery of Hooker Chemicals & Plastics.

Shorty Tank Car, Hooker Chemical [GATX] #24922, Item 50005007

Atlas continues to offer these popular N Trainman® beer can shorty tank cars with new road names and road numbers, nine in this  8threlease.  There is a lot of information supporting this review.

Subject, Atlas Website

Beer Can Shorty Tank Car Archives

Atlas Reviews

Hooker Electrochemical Co. was founded in 1903 and operated for 65 years before being bought by Occidental Chemical Corporation.  Hooker's reporting marks were HOKX.  While Hooker is known in rail circles for their bright orange tank cars, Hooker's legacy may be best known for environmental disasters.  Hooker did paint their tank cars orange for a while, but finding photos of actual cars has eluded me.  I read a post that a tank car book features some actual photos of them but all of the Hooker tank cars I have found photos of are painted gray.

"Shorty beer can" tank cars

This design was not created to haul small orders of liquids or gas.  Like ore cars they shoulder heavy, dense liquids, i.e., acids, corn syrup, slurries, tetraethyl lead, etc.

I found a prototype close to this model, the AAR Type T103.

    AAR Class: T: Tank Car. Tank car means any car which is used only for the transportation of liquids, liquefied gases, compressed gases, or solids that are liquefied prior to unloading. Car may be without underframe if container serving as superstructure is designed to serve as underframe. If car has underframe, it must be designed only for the carriage of one or more enclosed containers (with or without compartments) that form the superstructure and are integral parts of the car.
    AAR Type: T103
    Detail Info:   Tank Cars, General Service Cars, Carbon Steel Tank (Welded or Riveted), Includes Rubber Lined. AAR 203,203W,211A60W1,211A100W1,211J100W1. ICC or DOT 103,103W,104W,111A60W1,111A100W1,111A100W3,111A100W4, Capacity: 10,000-11,000 gal
    Plate:   B
    Max Gross Weight:   177000
    Load Limit:   129600
    Liquid Capacity:   10411
    Ext L/W/H:   31' 10" / 10' 7" / 15' 0"

Data stenciled on the tank car identifies it as a DOT 111A60W1:

    • Non-Pressure Tank Car
    • Top and Bottom Shelf Couplers
    • Non-Insulated or Insulated.
    • Safety Valve (35 psi) or Safety Vent (60 psi)
    Certified to carry
      Benzene
      Gasoline
      Alcohol
      Caustic Soda
      Fuel Oil
I reviewed one of these lil' dudes years ago and, again, I spent more time trying to ferret out the ARR class* than I did writing this review.   Now as then the closest match I found is AAR Type T103.

Trainman models  are Atlas' economy models.   I think this model is of legacy tooling upgraded with knuckle couplers and excellent finish.   Packed in a jewel box for safe display or storage, this shorty is nestled in a clear form-fitted cradle with a lid. A  thin plastic sheet protects it from scuffing. No part diagram is provided.

Features:

    Ladder detail
    Dome detail
    Accurate painting and printing
    Ready-to-run
    AccuMate® couplers

Molding quality is good with no flash, sink dimples, visible ejector circles, or seam lines. I didn't find any glue smears where separate parts were attached, like the Miner hand brake wheel. However, the tooling is old and some detail is soft and over scale. While the stirrups and ladders are molded open, the running board decking is not.

Appearance & Performance

Rolling

She rolls well on those dirty brown colored plastic wheels held in Bettendorf double truss trucks.   Replacing the plastic wheels and over-scale stirrups and ladders will greatly improve the look of the model.

My inspection finds the model to be in conformance with NMRA Standards and Recommended Practices, with RP-25 wheels and couplers at acceptable height. It weighs 0.8 ounces which is almost exactly the RP-20.1 Car Weight ideal. End sill to end sill it’s a scale 28-foot 8-inches long, and 34-ft from coupler to coupler. No dimensional data is stenciled on the car to check this against.

Paint and markings

These characteristics really set the model off. The paint is smooth and opaque and does not obscure any detail. The Hooker logo is crisply printed.  All markings are sharp and legible.    The data tells us this car was built in February, 1968, and lists test dates and capacities.

Nine new beer cans and an undecorated car are issued in this release:

Hooker Chemical (GATX) (Orange/White)

Standard Chemical (SCLX) (Red/Blue/White)

Wyandotte Chemicals (SHPX) (Blue/Yellow)

Canadian General (CGTX) (Black/Blue/White)

General Molasses Co (GATX) (Black/White)

Monsanto (MONX) (Black/White)

San Angelo Tank Car (SANX) (Black/White)

Hercules (HPCX) (BlackRed/White)

UTLX+ (White/Black)

Each name has two road numbers to choose from.

Conclusion

Atlas N Trainman® Beer Can Shorty Tank Cars are nice economy models with knuckle couplers.   The paint and printing quality is equal to Atlas Master Line models.    They got the NMRA weight spot-on.

These are from older tooling and lack the scale fidelity of recent models.  Prototype pedigree is ambiguous.

N scalers of the modern era  can economically create a small fleet with these nice looking beer can shorty tank cars. Recommended.

Please remember to tell retailers and Atlas that you saw this model here - on RailroadModeling.

_______

Sources

AccuMate® couplers are made under license from AccuRail, Inc.

GATX. Equipment Types (Railcars & Locomotives). [Web.] 2011.

GATX. GATX Tank Car Manual, 6th Edition. 1994.

*RR Pictures Archive.net. AAR Class T - Tank Cars. [Web.] n.d.

USFA Hazardous Materials Guide for First Responders

Silhouettes of Rail Cars, Tank Trucks and Chemical Tanks Railroad Tank Car Marking System https://www.hsdl.org/?view&did=445918  n.d.

*AAR Class:

    T: Tank Car. Tank car means any car which is used only for the transportation of liquids, liquefied gases, compressed gases, or solids that are liquefied prior to unloading. Car may be without underframe if container serving as superstructure is designed to serve as underframe. If car has underframe, it must be designed only for the carriage of one or more enclosed containers (with or without compartments) that form the superstructure and are integral parts of the car.

SUMMARY

Highs: High quality printing and finish. Knuckle couplers.

Lows: Oversize components. Soft detail.

Verdict: Atlas N Trainman® beer can shorty tank cars have impressive paint and printing and can look good on a modern N scale layout.

YOUR REACTION?


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