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Model Information: This model was originally produced by Lima for AHM. They were later imported by PMI and Model Power. Model Power moved the tooling to China and updated it a little. The retooled cabooses are very similar to the earlier Lima product. They can be told apart by examining whether the bays in are separately applied parts. The original Lima version has the parts applied whereas the Chinese version has the bays as part of the body mold. The trucks are "snap-in" and do not use kingpins. This will make it difficult to swap out the trucks for modern MTL trucks - a coupler transplant will need to be done.
For Model Power releases, since it is not marked on the body shell where the model was made. However the boxes for these cabooses will clearly indicate whether they were made in Italy or Hong Kong.
Prototype Information: 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.
The U.S. federal government created Conrail to take over the potentially profitable lines of multiple bankrupt carriers, including the Penn Central Transportation Company and Erie Lackawanna Railway. With the benefit of industry-wide regulatory requirements being reduced (via the 4R Act and the Staggers Act), Conrail began to turn a profit in the 1980s and was turned over to private investors in 1987. The two remaining Class I railroads in the East, CSX Transportation and the Norfolk Southern Railway (NS), agreed in 1997 to split the system approximately equally, returning rail freight competition to the Northeast by essentially undoing the 1968 merger of the Pennsylvania Railroad and New York Central Railroad that created Penn Central. Following Surface Transportation Board approval, CSX and NS took control in August 1998, and on June 1, 1999, began operating their portions of Conrail.
In early 2014, Model Power ceased its business operations. Its extensive portfolio of intellectual property and physical assets are now exclusively produced, marketed, sold, and distributed by MRC (Model Power, MetalTrain and Mantua) and by Daron (Postage Stamp Airplanes and Airliner Collection).
Hornby Railways offered €8 million to acquire Lima's assets (including tooling, inventory, and the various brand names) in March of the same year, the Italian bankruptcy court of Brescia (town near Milan, last headquarters of Lima) approving the offer later that year. In December 2004, Hornby Railways formally announced the acquisition along with the Rivarossi (H0 North American and Italian prototypes), Arnold (N scale European prototypes), Jouef (H0 scale French prototypes), and Pocher (die-cast metal automobile kits) ranges. As of mid-2006, a range of these products has been made available under the Hornby International brand, refitted with NEM couplings and sprung buffers and sockets for DCC (Digital Command Control) decoders.
Item created by: gdm on 2017-09-19 15:28:24
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