Atlas Chlorine Tank Cars

The International Paper plant at North Tonawanda produced a range of fine papers, and one of the raw materials for the process would have been chlorine.  Photos of the factory from the early 1970s clearly show many orange and black “Hooker” tank cars spotted for unloading and off-spot.

Atlas made a nice model of a chlorine tank car a few years back, and while I don’t know whether this is the exact car that was used at the plant, it’s certainly plausible.  These models are out of production at Atlas, and it was proving difficult to find them on the used market.  I turned up one about a year ago, but it seemed futile, so I focused my energies elsewhere.

I was recently directed to the clearance page of the Atlas web site where they were advertising an undisclosed quantity of these very cars, minus trucks, for $7.95 each.  The hesitation of my credit card quick draw could have been measured in milliseconds.  Yesterday, I received a package from Atlas containing 8 chlorine tank cars and three other cars that they were cleaning out for $4.95, all without trucks, of course.  I’ve unquestionably stocked up on Hooker chlorine tank cars.

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12 thoughts on “Atlas Chlorine Tank Cars

  1. In my early career in government relations I often crossed paths with an attractive young woman who represented Hooker. At chemical industry events your name tag had your first name in bold with your company name below also in bold. Her tag always drew comments.

    While we all had environmental issues hers had more than its fair share.

    Back to railroading.

  2. As long as you are modelling pre-Love Canal, those cars are great. After that hit the fan those cars disappeared under a coat of grey paint with HOKX reporting marks and operating under the name Occidental Chemical Co. There are plenty of photos of the orange cars running around in the early 70s, though. We have a few at the club, too.

  3. Which road numbers did you get? What are the dates on these cars? Where else did these cars run? I’m considering getting a couple — if there’s any left 😉 I’m modeling 1975-78 but as yet undecided on locale: either mid-west USA (Chicago or the twin cities) or Pacific northwest (possibly Tacoma).

    • Colin, they’re all numbered 1263, Blt 71, so I’ll be renumbering all of them. I’m not sure where they ran aside from the area I’m researching, but it would be plausible to run them anywhere that chlorine was needed. I’ve confirmed that there are none left (sorry).

  4. Great find Hunter! I never knew Atlas had a clearance page.

    I purchased two of these cars (Atlas only made 2 road numbers of this scheme in their first run) for WRMRC use, thinking chlorine from Niagara Falls NY to northern Ontario paper plants was as good an origin as any. They are still the only two of this scheme (there is also one in the all-black Hooker scheme) on the club layout to this day, not that we really need more.

    I reserved them through Hutch’s Trains in Burlington (everyone remember them?) Upon arrival at the store, I walked up to Kevin Schirmer and in a deadpan tone asked “So you’ve got two Hookers for me in the back?” He rolled his eyes and went in the back room for the two tankers. I wish someone filmed the moment.

    Boy I miss Kevin, and his old hobby shop.

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