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First Look Review
N scale
17,360 Gallon Tank Car
17,360 Gallon Tank Car, Occidental #132509
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

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17,360 Gallon Tank Car HOKX 132509
Series: Atlas Master® N
Roadname: Occidental
Scale: N (1/160)
Item# : 50 000 657
MSRP: $21.95 (Undecorated $14.95)

Atlas Master® N models this ready-to-run N scale tank car after American Car and Foundry's insulated general service tank car designed primarily for transporting chlorine. It features separately-applied brake detail, finely molded handrails, tank fittings, safety placards and metal safety bars, and AccuMate® couplers.

ACF 17,360 Gallon Tank Car
Today tank cars are the second most numerous type on our rails, second only to covered hoppers. Tank cars have been around since the 1860s. The designs of today dates back to World War I, and have evolved dramatically. Open wooden casks on flat cars were enclosed; casks became metal tanks; capacities of 100’s of gallons now approach 50,000 gallons. Constructing the tank with rivets has given way to welded tanks, with the structural integrity to do away with underframes.

American Car and Foundry builds these big insulated 17,360 gallon tank cars without underframes. With internal liners of woven glass and ceramic, caustic contents can be carried.

AAR Class: T: Tank Car
AAR Type: T944
Detail Info: Tank Cars, Steel Pressure Insulated Car DOT 105J500W, Capacity: 12,000-18,000 gal.
Plate: B
Max Gross Weight: 261000
Load Limit: 180000
Liquid Capacity: 17342

Atlas Master® N 17,360 Gallon Tank Car
Atlas keeps expanding the standard of 1/160 model railroading. This model boasts these fine features:

    • Separately-applied brake detail
    • Finely molded handrails
    • Tank fittings, safety placards and metal safety bars
    • 100-ton roller-bearing trucks with AccuMate® couplers
    • Accurate painting and lettering

Atlas securely packs their models, this model is held in a formed cradle with a fitted top. Plastic film protects the model from scuffing; the cradle is held inside a hard clear plastic jewel case that both protects and displays.

It is molded to a high standard. The thin plastic or metal pipes and railings around the model are not warped or bowed. Perhaps not all the detailing is to true N scale but it is getting close. What does the model offer? Scale ladders and stirrups, safety bars and railings, equally fine and separately applied air brake detail, and a crisp hand brake wheel. Placard stands for hazmat and other information are on each end and side. The hatches and valves atop the tank are nicely molded. As is the entire model: no flash, no sink holes, no ejector marks, and no seam lines. The 100-ton roller-bearing trucks have good detail for the scale and the wheel sets, while plastic, are molded a dirty brown color. They are compatible with code 55 track.

You may notice the model looks warped. This is distortion of the small model under close-up photography.

Finish and Markings
Atlas N currently offers 13 American Car and Foundry 17,360 gallon tank cars in six roadnames plus an undecorated model:

    1. Diamond Shamrock (White/Black/Blue/Red)
    2. General American (Black/White)
    3. Occidental (Gray/Black)
    4. Hooker (Orange/Black/White
    5. PPGX (Black/White
    6. Stauffer (Gray/Black/White)

Each roadname comes with two road numbers.

This car is Occidental HOKX 132509, built in June 1988. The lettering of the logo, roadname, and dimensional data is sharp, crisp, opaque, and legible, even the brake shoe data: 2 IN HF COMP SHOES and lease information! This otherwise black and gray car does have some color, red marks above the saddles, and a yellow emergency contact number sign near the tank ladders. I write this a lot because it is true - the quality of the finish is amazing. Recalling the state of model finishes just a generation ago I am amazed at the level to which factory printing has progressed. Just find and examine N scale freight cars from 20 years ago and you will see why I am impressed with models of today.

Test Track
This car meets NMRA Standards and Recommended Practices, with RP-25 wheels and couplers at acceptable height. It is 47 scale feet from end to end, and 53 scale feet from coupler to coupler. It weighs 1.2 ounces which is heavy compared to recommended RP-2O.1 Car Weight of 1.03 oz.

These Atlas Master® N models impress me. It is a crisp, well detailed, sharply painted model with separate ladders and other detail pieces. Today factory applied knuckle couplers have become the standard and this model follows suite. The plastic wheels may be a drawback. One or more will certainly add to your modern N scale railroad. Recommended.

Our Thanks to Atlas Model Railroad! Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - RailRoadModeling.net.


RR Picture Archives.net. Pictures of HOKX 132510. 6/7/2010. http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/rsPicture.aspx?id=528405

AccuMate® couplers are made under license from AccuRail, Inc.

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Incredible printing. Fine railings and pieces, knuckle couplers and separately-applied details.
Lows: Plastic wheels.
Verdict: A clean, sharp, well detailed model.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: N Scale
  Mfg. ID: 50 000 657
  Suggested Retail: $21.95
  Related Link: Tank Car Components
  PUBLISHED: Feb 04, 2012
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Atlas Model Railroad!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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