Re: Hooker Tank Car Colors/Paint Schemes


Richard--In the July 2003 Railroad Model Journal, you had an article published entitled "ICC 105 11,000-Gallon High-Pressure Tank Cars From Atlas HO and N Scale Models." In that article on p. 51 two of these cars in Hooker schemes are shown. This article is available online; see

The caption for SHPX 1291 states:

"By April 1952, when SHPX 1291 was built for anhydrous ammonia service, Hooker had adopted an even more colorful paint and lettering scheme with black underframes, bottom shells, and center bands; orange tank shell and ends; and black-and-white stenciling. This car was at Tacoma, Washington when photographed in March 1955."

Your response to Jim prompts a couple of questions:

1. Is April 1952 not an accurate date for the adoption of the pictured "more colorful" scheme?

2. Although you do not say so explicitly in your article, I took the implication that the Atlas model was reasonably accurate, at least certainly better than "no models for any of these cars that are even remotely accurate." Is this not the case?

Thanks in advance for clearing this up!

Steve Hoxie
Pensacola FL

--- In, Richard Hendrickson <rhendrickson@...> wrote:
Jim, I'm sorry to be slow in responding to your questions, as they
required some research.

Re: paint and lettering. In the 1930s through early '50s, Hooker
cars were painted black with white lettering. In the mid-1950s, the
orange and black scheme was introduced with a black band at the
center of the tank, large white HOOKER lettering shaded with black at
the left, and trapezoidal Hooker logo to the right. The earliest
photo I have showing this scheme is 1955, and that's probably when it
was first introduced, as it was colorful enough to attract the
immediate attention of rail photographers.

With regard to car types, the 1/53 ORER shows only two ordinary TM
type tank cars; all the rest were high pressure cars of various sizes
(3K, 6K, 10K gals.) for liquid chlorine or propane service or rubber
lined cars with acid domes of various sizes (4K, 6K, 8K gals) for
acid service. With the possible exception of the two TM type cars,
there are no models for any of these cars that are even remotely
accurate, though the colorful post-'55 Hooker color scheme has
prompted several manufacturers to produce foobies.

At present, the tank car sources on the internet are scattered and
not very helpful, but there are several very useful books: Ed
Kaminski's on AC&F tank cars and on AC&F cars in general, both
published by Signature Press, and Ted Culotta's Steam Era Freight Car
Reference Manual Vol. 2 on tank cars published by Speedwitch Media.

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