TANK CARS, MADISON HARDWARE CUSTOM TWO DOME


MADISON HARDWARE TANK CARS

In the 1960’s Madison Hardware had a surplus of about 1,000 No. 6465 Two-Dome “Lionel Lines” Tank Cars in orange plastic with black plastic ends that they desired to sell.  The owners of Madison contacted E.C. Kraemer who was doing painting work for the company at the time.  Kraemer came up with the idea of re-painting the cars and re-labeling them with 18 different road names (gasoline and chemical companies).  He took several of the surplus cars, disassembled them, sanded the lettering and rivets off the bodies, re-painted them various colors, and added a clear plastic pressure sensitive sticker (referred to as decals by Kraemer) with decoration for the new road names.  A clear spray coating was applied to dull the sticker. The cars were then re-assembled using the original black plastic ends.  Madison was pleased with the result and ordered 55 each of the 18 different road names.  Each road name had a designated body color and all of the cars were numbered (except one).  Five different numbers were used for the cars as shown on the following table.  The Hooker car was not numbered.

According to Kraemer, most of the re-decorated tank cars were subsequently lost in a fire at one of Madison Hardware’s warehouses.  However, a few hundred of the cars apparently did survive the fire and were sold by Madison as part of made up sets or for separate sale.  It is not known how many of the surviving cars were eventually issued by Madison Hardware.  Today, the cars occasionally appear for sale at train meets and at auctions.  There is a growing interest in the cars among collectors and the prices have been increasing as a result.

The following is a listing of the 18 road names used for the re-painted tank cars with the original body color and number as approved by Madison.

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ROAD NAMEBODY COLORNUMBER
ATLAS OILGray6428
Borden’s MilkWhite6524
Diamond ChemicalsGray6525
Deep – RockBlack6524
DOWGray6427
DUPONTWhite6426
DuPONT (Name in Oval)White6426
ESSORed6427
GULFSilver6427
HOOKEROrangeNone
MobilgasSilver6426
RepublicSilver6525
SHELLYellow6428
SinclairSilver6428
SUNOCOBlue6426
SUN OIL CO.Black6426
TEXACOSilver6525
Union StarchSilver6524

      According to Kraemer, all of the cars listed above were created using No. 6465 Orange Tank Cars with plastic trucks.  However, many examples of the cars have been documented with older tank car bodies and metal trucks.  Often the bodies of these cars are painted a different color than listed above and often have the ends painted the same color as the body.  In addition to complete cars, there are reports of many of these tank car bodies being available for sale by Madison Hardware.  In fact, some of the car bodies obtained from Madison show evidence of melting which most likely resulted from the bodies having been exposed to the warehouse fire.  The total number of these tank cars, both using the original Lionel No. 6465 orange tank cars and older tank car bodies, in addition to separate car bodies, as reported by collectors would indicate that more of these car and car bodies likely exist than the original 55 of each road name reported by E.C. Kraemer.

The above information was obtained from an article by E.C. Kraemer that was published in the January 2017 issue of the Train Collectors Quarterly a publication of the Train Collectors Association.


THE No. 6428 ATLAS OIL TANK CAR

Courtesy of “The MacNair Collection”


THE No. 6524 BORDEN’S MILK TANK CARS

Black Lettering
Courtesy of “The MacNair Collection”

Blue Lettering
Courtesy of the Leverich collection


THE No. 6525 DIAMOND CHEMICALS TANK CAR

Courtesy of “The MacNair Collection”


THE No. 6524 DEEP – ROCK TANK CAR

As shown in TCA article
Courtesy of the Leverich collection

On older shell with railing
Courtesy of “The MacNair Collection”


THE No. 6427 DOW TANK CAR

Courtesy of the Leverich collection


THE No. 6426 DuPONT TANK CARS

DuPONT in large letters
Courtesy of “The MacNair Collection”

DuPONT in oval
Courtesy of the Leverich collection


THE No. 6427 ESSO TANK CARS

As shown in the TCA article
Courtesy of “The MacNair Collection”

On older tank body with railing
Courtesy of “The MacNair Collection”

with red painted ends
Courtesy of “The MacNair Collection”


THE No. 6427 GULF TANK CAR

Courtesy of “The MacNair Collection”


THE NO NUMBER HOOKER TANK CARS

As shown in TCA article
Courtesy of the Leverich collection

On an older tank shell painted black
Courtesy of “The MacNair Collection”


THE No. 6426 MOBILGAS TANK CAR

Courtesy of the Leverich collection


THE No. 6525 REPUBLIC TANK CAR

Courtesy of “The MacNair Collection”


THE No. 6428 SHELL TANK CAR

Courtesy of “The MacNair Collection”


THE No. 6428 SINCLAIR TANK CAR

Courtesy of “The MacNair Collection”


THE No. 6426 SUNOCO TANK CARS

Blue body with SUNOCO in large letters
Courtesy of “The MacNair Collection”

Black body with smaller graphics
Courtesy of the Leverich collection


THE No. 6525 TEXACO TANK CARS

As shown in TCA article
Courtesy of “The MacNair Collection”

On an early metal shell
Courtesy of the Leverich collection


THE No. 6524 UNION STARCH TANK CARS

As shown in the TCA article
Courtesy of the Leverich collection

On an older shell with railing
Courtesy of “The MacNair Collection”


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