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Model Information: These models are made in China for Walthers. There are three versions: a) tall bay with three windows, b) tall bay with four windows, and c) short bay.
Prototype Description: In a bay window caboose, the crew monitoring the train sits in the middle of the car in a section of wall that projects from the side of the caboose. The windows set into these extended walls resemble architectural bay windows, so the caboose type is called a bay window caboose. This type afforded a better view of the side of the train and eliminated the falling hazard of the cupola. The bay window gained favor with many railroads because it eliminated the need for additional clearances in tunnels and overpasses. On the west coast, the Milwaukee Road and the Northern Pacifc Railway used these cars, converting over 900 roof top cabooses to bay window cabooses in the late 1930's. Milwaukee Road rib-side window cabooses are preserved at New Libson, Wisconsin, the Illinois Railway Museum, the Mt. Rainer Scenic Railroad, and Cedarburg, Wisconsin.
In 1968, Southern Pacific subsidiary Cotton Belt (officially the St. Louis Southwestern Railway) received 20 cabooses from International Car Company. These were the first SP cabooses to use 50-ton trucks, starting the C-50 series of cabooses. In 1970, 1972, and 1974 SP returned to International Car Company for 181 cabooses, plus 16 for Cotton Belt in three groups.
For the next four years, SP did not acquire any new cabooses. Instead 207 older cabooses were rebuilt by the Sacramento Shops. In 1978, SP bought cabooses again. By then International Car was a division of PACCAR (formerly Pacific Car & Foundry). The 50 cars of the C-50-7 class were built at the same Kenton, Ohio plant as the previous C-50 series cars. In design they were similar to the previous C-50 cars with only a few changes. Their paint differed by having the roof painted the car body color, the road name was moved to the right of the bay window, and they featured an axle-end generator connection. They were also the first new cars in the 4000 series. In 1979 50 cars of the C-50-8 class were delivered, with some minor detail differences when compared to the earlier C-50-7 cars. In 1980 the C-50-9 class of 75 cars was delivered. The C-50-9 class was unique in that they were delivered without any windows in the car sides, in order to increase crew safety and reduce repair costs. They were also the last group of new cabooses delivered to SP.
Road Name History:
NW was famous for manufacturing its own steam locomotives, which were produced at the Roanoke Shops, as well as its own hopper cars. Around 1960, NW became the last major American railroad to convert from steam locomotives to diesel motive power but didn't retire its last remaining Y class locomotives until 1964 and 1965. By 1965, steam on class I railroads was gone but steam wasn't gone on class II railroads until 1974 and class III and mining railroads retired their steam locomotives from their active roster until 1983. By 1983, steam in America on class I, II, III, and mining railroads had finally closed the chapter on America's 150 years of steam from 1830 - 1983.
In December 1959, NW merged with the Virginian Railway (reporting mark VGN), a longtime rival in the Pocahontas coal region. By 1970, other mergers with the Nickel Plate Road and Wabash formed a system that operated 7,595 miles (12,223 km) of road on 14,881 miles (23,949 km) of track from North Carolina to New York and from Virginia to Iowa.
In 1980, NW teamed up with the Southern Railway, another profitable carrier and created the Norfolk Southern Corporation holding company by merging its business operations with the business operations of the Southern Railway. The NW and the Southern Railway continued as separate railroads now under one holding company.
On December 31, 1990, the Southern Railway was renamed "Norfolk Southern Railway" to reflect the Norfolk Southern Corporation and on the same day, the renamed Norfolk Southern Railway gained full control of the Norfolk and Western Railway with the Norfolk and Western being transferred from the holding company to the renamed Norfolk Southern Railway, this began the final years of Norfolk and Western which was absorbed into the renamed Norfolk Southern Railway seven years later in 1997 (1990 to 1997 the Norfolk and Western continued operating by using paper operations).
In 1997 during the Conrail battle with CSX, Norfolk Southern Corporation's principal railroad, the renamed Norfolk Southern Railway, absorbed the Norfolk and Western Railway into their rail system, ending the existence of the Norfolk and Western Railway and having the renamed Norfolk Southern Railway becoming the only railroad in the entire Norfolk Southern system after that.
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Within five years, Walthers had grown so much that larger quarters were needed. Space was found on Erie Street, where everything -- from milled wood parts to metal castings to decals -- was made in-house. 1937 also saw a new line in HO Scale, featured in its own catalog. Bill brought operating layouts to the 1939 World's Fair, which gave the hobby a big boost. Soon, though, the growing possibility of war overshadowed these successes, and supplies were becoming increasingly difficult to obtain.
During the war, model manufacturers were ordered to stop production in order to conserve critical metal supplies. Walthers produced what it could from nonessential materials. A series of ads in 1943 saw Bill literally scraping the bottom of a barrel! The postwar boom meant rapid growth for the hobby; however, small homes and new families left no room for O scale layouts, and many modelers moved to HO Scale.
The next twenty years brought great change. In 1958, Bill retired and his son Bruce took over. Just as full-size railroads were being hard-hit by new technology, so too were model railroads. Leisure time was spent in front of the TV set, not the train set. In 1960, Walthers became a full-line distributor of other manufacturers' products while continuing expansion of the Walthers lines. By the start of the 1970's, business was booming again, and Bruce's son Phil joined the company.
Expansion and diversification continue under Phil's tenure. The establishment of the Walthers Importing Division added several international lines. The manufacturing plant was modernized. Code 83 track was introduced in 1985, giving layouts more realistic proportions. In 1990, the Cornerstone Series buildings were unveiled. Combining a freight car with a related industry, the Cornerstone Series makes it possible for modelers to duplicate authentic operations, enhancing layout realism. The Train Line Deluxe Sets and locomotives debuted in 1994. These sets feature the detailing of serious models and an affordable price -- allowing newcomers to get started, and then build-on to their first set, rather than replacing it.
In 2005, Walthers purchased Life-Like from Lifoam Industries. With this purchase Walthers acquired the Proto Lines that have become the backbone of their locomotive and rolling stock segments.
Today, Walthers continues to expand, improve and develop a wide range of products. Their latest selection can be found throughout Walthers.com and their printed catalogs, along with items from over 300 other manufacturers.
Item created by: gdm on 2016-05-08 13:56:06. Last edited by gdm on 2018-01-09 10:48:10
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