Vintage N Scale Rolling Stock

Atlas (Roco) Single Dome Tank Car: Gulf Oil –

atlas-tankshell

Here is another early N scale model which, while not B&M, I just had to buy. I really like tank cars and I feel that I don’t own enough, both my vintage and recent/current production fleets are largely 40 and 50 foot boxcars. Gulf, of course, is a widely known oil corporation and the “HOKX” reporting marks apparently originated with Hooker Chemicals but now represent Occidental Chemical Company. By my count Atlas released at least three other A1G (1) tank cars with this reporting mark and road number but only one is a Hooker Chemicals car (2).

While it appears that a number of single dome tank cars were marked for private oil companies, I couldn’t actually locate a photo of a car marked for Gulf Oil. Interestingly however, Gulf Oil single dome cars appear to make popular models because I found examples in all major scales across a wide timeframe. Most models I could find use “SHPX” reporting marks so I am a bit uncertain whether any real life Gulf Oil tank car bore the “HOKX” reporting marks. This non-pressurized general purpose tank car is an appropriate type for moving petroleum products, so it is completely within the realm of possibility that some were marked for Gulf Oil in real life.

Regardless, finding one of these Gulf Oil cars in good condition can be hit or miss. While not overly rare, one in good-new shape with the jewel case will set you back some (I am pretty sure this one came in at around $15 USD delivered). If you are an A1G collector then you have your work cut out for you with these early tanks cars, they aren’t cheap and there are quite a few to track down. For my purposes, just one or two oil/gasoline cars will do and this Gulf car fits that bill.

Historical Information:

Non-pressurized single dome tank cars were commonly used to transport petroleum products, like oil and gasoline, as well as other commodities like corn syrup, etc. Cars bearing the name of a major oil corporation like Gulf were sometimes owned by a third party and leased to the chemical producer, this practice leads to reporting marks which often differ from the company name on the car and is still common practice to this day. I couldn’t find any specific information about cars of this vintage used by Gulf Oil, or what reporting marks would be appropriate, but the type of car is certainly correct for transporting the types of commodities Gulf would be moving.

(1) Abbreviated as “A1G”, Atlas’ 1st generation of N scale production basically lasted until the late 1960s and early 1970s. There is an excellent A1G website/resource to be found at: http://www.irwinsjournal.com/a1g/

(2) Within the A1G timeframe Atlas also released a single dome tank car produced by Rivarossi, which had a different shell and was classified as a “chemical tank car”. The Hooker Chemicals car was produced as part of the Rivarossi chemical tank car variation.

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