Era question about tank cars

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by 2-8-2, Oct 30, 2006.

  1. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    I recently purchased the Walther's Cornerstone Interstate Fuel & Oil for my layout. I also need to buy some tank cars to service this industry. However, I'm having difficulty finding out which tank cars would've been used to service bulk dealers such as this in the 1950's era. I'm modeling in N scale, so my selection is going to be limited.

    Going by what I've read, here is an image of what I was going to use:


    Is this the correct style to use for fuel and oil in the 1950's?
  2. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Nope! If you look on the middle right side of the tank car it reads "For Chemical X only" These are chemical tank cars that carry usually harmful substances. Oil tank cars look like this! (from the Microtrains site)

    I wouldn't buy these exact tankers however, because much to my dismay, It's a 70's era paintjob on a 40's era tank car. :( The design is correct though! :)
  3. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member


    Check the build date on that tanker. It seems to be maybe a late 50's or early 60's type. I would use the "shorty" 10,000 gallon type - these generally did not have a platform around the dome.
  4. kitsune

    kitsune Member

    Miles is correct. 10,000 and 12,000 gallon tank cars with a single dome and no platform are typical of oil distribution at that time.

    The car you picture is indeed a chemical tanker.
  5. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    Thanks for the replies everyone. I had a feeling that wasn't what I needed, but I don't know much about tank cars. I'm not having much luck finding generic tankers in N scale, but I did find this little gem:


    This will be my first tank car purchase, hopefully I can find more like this. Thanks again!
  6. alexander

    alexander Member

    were tankers ever reassingned to other forms of service???
  7. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Tank Car Uses


    Sometimes they were assigned special loads (for chemical X only) and they were dedicated to carrying that load.

    Older Tank Cars were relagated to the MOW fleet for service as water cars for firefighting trains, or just for work. The ATSF car I gave the link to is a dedicated Santa fe oil product car. They were color coded (orange was for gasoline, other colors for lubricants, diesel fuel, and kerosene) and they only moved to locations, such as yards and shops there they needed that oil product in such quantity.

    Even more obscure, old wood cars were put in service to haul vinagar, the cars themselves looked not unlike a large vat of wine in a gondola.

    Finally some tankcars ended their lives storing fuel, or water on small shortlines in place of more formal fuel and water facitities.

    Does that answer youyr question? :rolleyes: :D
  8. alexander

    alexander Member

    no, not really, i mean, would they ever use a Chemical car to carry Oil, etc (after appropriate cleaning of course)

    thats interesting about the vinegar cars
  9. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    No, bacuse the chemical cars had special linings inside the cars like rubber, glass, or other material, it wouldn't be practical to clean out a dedicated chemical car anyways. ;)
  10. alexander

    alexander Member

    ok, thanks
  11. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    There were also tankers designed with "food grade" interiors. Corn syrup was one commodity shipped by tanker. I really hope it wasn't shipped in cleaned out diesel tanks!


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