Tangent GATX 8000 Gal. Acid Tank Cars

A few weeks before the holidays, I ordered and received a pair of 8000 gal. acid tank cars from Tim at Action Hobbies in Kingsville.  These cars are by Tangent Scale Models and, like the rest of their product line, are very nicely detailed and finished.  I dare you to click on the link to Tangent’s web site and not be overcome by the urge to buy at least one model.

Models like these are expensive, by any measure, but one of the benefits of building a small layout is that I can put more resources into each model.  The paint scheme on the two cars I bought represents cars from a GATX lease fleet.  You may have noticed them in a photo from my December 29, 2014 post celebrating the installation of an NCE DCC system on my home layout.  Here is a shot of GATX 24941, off-spot at International Paper (on my layout, of course).


A keen eye will reveal that the car in the photo above is lettered for a pool of cars assigned to haul phosphoric acid, a food additive that provides tanginess.  As they stand, these models are out of place at a paper plant.  By default, my plan is to cycle these cars into the consist of trains TF-2/FT-1, COJ-32, or any of the CASO trains once I build the North Tonawanda yard across from the paper plant.  However, I’m exploring another possibility.

According to my limited understanding of the paper making process, sulphuric acid is used to manage Ph levels of the digested pulp as it passes through the washer and thickening machines.  It’s also used to make chlorine dioxide to bleach fine paper products to a brilliant white.  I’ll definitely need some sulphuric acid tank cars for my paper plant at Tonawanda Island.

Sulphuric acid is very dense, and is therefore moved in tank cars of relatively small volume, by modern standards.  At 8000 gallons, the prototype for these spectacular models by Tangent are approximately the right size to have been in pool of cars assigned to haul sulphuric acid.  I’ll have to do some research and reach out to my friends who are more knowledgeable about the details of freight car useage to figure this out.  The best-case scenario would have me undertaking some minor relettering to repurpose these two models.  I’m hoping that will be the case, but if not, these cars are fine addition to the various through trains that will be modelled in the next phase of the layout.