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N Scale - Atlas - 35554 - Caboose, Cupola, Steel - Quebec Cartier Railway - V3

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N Scale - Atlas - 35554 - Caboose, Cupola, Steel - Quebec Cartier Railway - V3 Image Courtesy of Atlas Model Railroad


Stock Number 35554
Original Retail Price $21.95
Brand Atlas
Manufacturer Atlas
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style Atlas Caboose Cupola Offset 8-Window
Prototype Vehicle Caboose, Cupola, Steel (Details)
Road or Company Name Quebec Cartier Railway (Details)
Road or Reporting Number V3
Paint Color(s) Red with White and Black Lettering
Coupler Type AccuMate Magnetic Knuckle
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Announcement Date 2009-12-01
Release Date 2010-06-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Caboose
Model Subtype Cupola
Model Variety Offset
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era NA Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Scale 1/160



Model Information: The "35" series "Offset" Cupola Caboose is an early Atlas body style introduced between 1979 and 1982. It replaced the earlier 6-window version of the offset cupola caboose that was made for Atlas by Roco. The model was first manufactured in Atlas' New Jersey facility but later moved to China. Its cupola is located towards one end of the body hence the nickname "End" or "Offset" Cupola Caboose. This body style has a roofwalk. It has five windows on one side and three on the other (hence it is known as the 8-Window version) as well as two separated windows on each side of the Cupola. It has ladders on each end which do NOT loop over the ends onto the roof.

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.

Road Name History:
Chartered in 1957 by the US Steel owned Quebec Cartier Mining Company, the Cartier was completed in 1960 between Port Cartier on the north bank of the St. Lawrence River and Lac Jeannine, Quebec, 193 miles to the north.

Traffic was iron ore from Lac Jeannine to the docks on the St. Lawrence. By 1972, the iron began to play out at Lac Jeannine so the line was extended to Mont Wright where there is a much larger iron deposit. Total mileage is now 260 (putting it between Green Bay & Western and Clinchfield in relative size.)

The Cartier (pronounced the same as the high end jeweler Cartier) has no direct connection to the rest of the North American rail network. New equipment must be delivered by ship over the St. Lawrence from Metane.

The line opened with GP9’s and RS18’s doing the honors. These were later joined by ten C630’s (originally built for Union Pacific) that had been sold to and transferred from sister road Duluth Missabe & Iron Range. By the early 90s, traffic had grown to the point that a fleet of 55 locomotives (over half were C636s and the Canadian equivalent M636,) and 1400 cars were required. Most of the 636s have recently been replaced by fewer but bigger AC4400CW’s and ES44’s. Trains are typically 150 cars long and as few as 90 cars in the winter. Southbound (loaded) trains always hold the main, forcing the empty trains into the sidings.

Brand/Importer Information:
In 1924 Stephan Schaffan, Sr. founded the Atlas Tool Company in Newark, New Jersey. In 1933 his son, Stephan Schaffan, Jr., came to work for his father at the age of sixteen. Steve Jr. built model airplanes as a hobby and frequented a local hobby shop. Being an enterprising young man, he would often ask the owner if there was anything he could do to earn some extra spending money. Tired of listening to his requests, the hobby-store owner threw some model railroad track parts his way and said, "Here, see if you can improve on this".

In those days, railroad modelers had to assemble and build everything from scratch. Steve Jr. created a "switch kit" which sold so well, that the entire family worked on them in the basement at night, while doing business as usual in the machine shop during the day.

Subsequently, Steve Jr. engineered the stapling of rail to fiber track, along with inventing the first practical rail joiner and pre-assembled turnouts and flexible track. All of these products, and more, helped to popularize model railroading and assisted in the creation of a mass-market hobby. The budding entrepreneur quickly outgrew the limitations of a basement and small garage operation. Realizing they could actually make a living selling track and related products, Steve and his father had the first factory built in Hillside, New Jersey at 413 Florence Avenue in 1947. On September 30, 1949, the Atlas Tool Company was officially incorporated as a New Jersey company.

In 1985, Steve was honored posthumously for his inventions by the Model Railroad Industry Association and was inducted into the Model Railroad Industry Hall of Fame in Baltimore, Maryland. In addition, Steve was nominated and entered into the National Model Railroad Association Pioneers of Model Railroading in 1995.

In the early 1990s, the Atlas Tool Company changed its name to Atlas Model Railroad Company, Inc.

Item created by: trainnut3500 on 2016-08-25 11:26:26. Last edited by gdm on 2018-02-19 16:59:15

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