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N Scale - Bachmann - 5400 - Caboose, Cupola, Steel - Penn Central - 478290

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N Scale - Bachmann - 5400 - Caboose, Cupola, Steel - Penn Central - 478290


Stock Number 5400
Original Retail Price $2.00
Brand Bachmann
Manufacturer Bachmann
Body Style Bachmann Caboose Cupola Offset 6-Window
Prototype Caboose, Cupola, Steel (Details)
Road or Company Name Penn Central (Details)
Road or Reporting Number 478290
Paint Color(s) Jade Green
Print Color(s) White
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
Wheel Type Nickel-Silver Plated Metal
Wheel Profile Deep Flange
Release Date 1969-01-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Caboose
Model Subtype Cupola
Model Variety Offset 6-Window
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Scale 1/160


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Model Information: Bachman introduced this caboose in 1967. It is the earliest of their caboose toolings. The first release had 8 Road names. It has body-mount Rapido couplers with nickel-silver plated wheels. Early releases had deep flanges on the wheels but later versions have smaller flanges. The body sides have six windows with three on each side. The windows have no glazing, but otherwise the detail is quite good for such an early model.

Prototype History:
The origins of the railroad caboose appear to date back to the 1840s when Nat Williams, a conductor of the Auburn & Syracuse Railroad (a later affiliate of the New York Central) became fed up with cramped and uncomfortable quarters to do paperwork (a common job of the conductor, whose responsibility is general oversight and control of a train, passenger or freight), which was usually done in either a free space of a passenger car or combine/baggage car. To fix this problem, Williams found an unused boxcar and using a simple box and barrel, as a seat and desk, set up shop in the car to do his duties. Not only did he find out he had plenty of room to work but also figured that he could use the unused space to store tools (flags, lanterns, spare parts, etc.) and other essentials to have on board whenever needed (such things become commonly stored on the caboose).

Perhaps the most striking feature ever applied to the railroad caboose was its cupola. According to the story, conductor T.B. Watson of the Chicago & North Western in the 1860s reportedly used a hole in a boxcar’s roof (which he was using as a caboose) to get a better vantage point of the train ahead. It is said that Watson was amazed by the view afforded from the position being able to not only see the train ahead but also from all sides, and to the rear as well. He apparently convinced C&NW shop forces to construct a type of open observation box onto an existing singe-level caboose with windows all around where one could sit and view their surroundings. The rest, as they say, is history and the common cupola was born.

Steel Cabooses replaced their wood-sheathed brethren after the second world war when the steel glut made the production and maintenance of steel cabooses far more efficient than wooden models. With the advancement of the End-of-Train device, cabooses slowly began to fall out of favor. However, in the early 2000’s, “shoving platforms” began to appear as a place to safely house a crew when a reverse move was required. Instead of riding on the side of a freight car, the crew member now has a safe place to stand, while guiding the rear of a reverse move. Atlas’ shoving platform cabooses will feature blanked out windows (Where appropriate).

Road Name History:
The Penn Central Transportation Company, commonly abbreviated to Penn Central, was an American Class I railroad headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that operated from 1968 until 1976. It was created by the 1968 merger of the Pennsylvania and New York Central railroads. The New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad was added to the merger in 1969; by 1970, the company had filed for what was, at that time, the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.

The Penn Central was created as a response to challenges faced by all three railroads in the late 1960s. The northeastern quarter of the United States, these railroads' service area, was the most densely populated region of the U.S. While railroads elsewhere in North America drew a high percentage of their revenues from the long-distance shipment of commodities such as coal, lumber, paper and iron ore, Northeastern railroads traditionally depended on a mix of services.

As it turned out, the merged Penn Central was little better off than its constituent roads were before. A merger implementation plan was drawn up, but not carried out. Attempts to integrate operations, personnel and equipment were not very successful, due to clashing corporate cultures, incompatible computer systems and union contracts. Track conditions deteriorated (some of these conditions were inherited from the three merged railroads) and trains had to be run at reduced speeds. This meant delayed shipments and personnel working a lot of overtime. As a result, operating costs soared. Derailments and wrecks became frequent, particularly in the midwest.

The American financial system was shocked when after only two years of operations, the Penn Central Transportation company was put into bankruptcy on June 21, 1970. It was the largest corporate bankruptcy in American history at that time. Although the Penn Central Transportation Company was put into bankruptcy, its parent Penn Central Company was able to survive.

The Penn Central continued to operate freight service under bankruptcy court protection. After private-sector reorganization efforts failed, Congress nationalized the Penn Central under the terms of the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976. The new law folded six northeastern railroads, the Penn Central and five smaller, failed lines, into the Consolidated Rail Corporation, commonly known as Conrail. The act took effect on April 1, 1976.

Read more on Wikipedia.

Brand/Importer Information:
Bachmann Industries (Bachmann Brothers, Inc.) is a Bermuda registered Chinese owned company, globally headquartered in Hong Kong; specializing in model railroading.

Founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the home of its North American headquarters, Bachmann is today part of the Kader group, who model products are made at a Chinese Government joint-venture plant in Dongguan, China. Bachmann's brand is the largest seller, in terms of volume, of model trains in the world. Bachmann primarily specializes in entry level train sets, and premium offerings in many scales. The Spectrum line is the high quality, model railroad product line, offered in N, HO, Large Scale, On30, and Williams O gauge all aimed for the hobbyist market. Bachmann is the producer of the famous railroad village product line known as "Plasticville." The turnover for Bachmann model trains for the year ended 31 December 2006 was approximately $46.87 million, a slight increase of 3.36% as compared to 2005.


Item created by: gdm on 2016-12-05 19:38:12. Last edited by gdm on 2018-02-01 08:50:28

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