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N Scale - Atlas - 30578 - Caboose, Cupola, Steel Extended Vision - Alaska Railroad - 1085

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N Scale - Atlas - 30578 - Caboose, Cupola, Steel Extended Vision - Alaska Railroad - 1085 Image Courtesy of Atlas Model Railroad


Stock Number 30578
Original Retail Price $25.95
Brand Atlas
Manufacturer Atlas
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style Atlas Caboose Cupola Extended Vision
Prototype Vehicle Caboose, Cupola, Steel Extended Vision (Details)
Road or Company Name Alaska Railroad (Details)
Road or Reporting Number 1085
Paint Color(s) Blue, Yellow
Print Color(s) Yellow
Coupler Type MT Magne-Matic Knuckle
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Announcement Date 2004-05-01
Release Date 2004-09-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Caboose
Model Subtype Cupola
Model Variety Extended Vision
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Scale 1/160
Track Gauge N standard



Specific Item Information: This model is also depicted with reporting number 1087. This particular model was actually produced with reporting number 1085.

Model Information: Atlas released the "30" series extended vision caboose in 1996. This model is very similar to the "43" series cupola caboose in most respects. It can be easily distinguished from the standard cupola caboose in that the cupola is wider than the body on the "30" series - hence the name "Extended Vision". This model may or may not have "loop-over" ladders.

It is re-released every other year (approximately). The original releases sported Rapido hook couplers, but interestingly the 1999 release had versions with Rapido as well as versions with real (licensed) Magnematic couplers.

The current release from Atlas features:
  • Thin endrails
  • Window glazing
  • Separate brake cylinder
  • Open smoke stack
  • Triple valve and air reservoir
  • Roller-bearing caboose trucks
  • Roofwalk where appropriate
  • Accurate painting and lettering
  • Now with AccuMate couplers

Prototype History:
In the extended-vision or wide-vision caboose, the sides of the cupola project beyond the side of the car body. Rock Island created some of these by rebuilding some standard cupola cabooses with windowed extensions applied to the sides of the cupola itself, but by far, the greatest number have the entire cupola compartment enlarged. This model was introduced by the International Car Company and saw service on most U.S. railroads. The expanded cupola allowed the crew to see past the top of the taller cars that began to appear after World War II, and also increased the roominess of the cupola area.

Additionally, Monon Railroad had a unique change to the extended-vision cabooses. They added a miniature bay to the sides of the cupola to enhance the views further. This created a unique look for their small fleet. Seven of the eight Monon-built cabooses have been saved. One was scrapped after an accident in Kentucky. The surviving cars are at the Indiana Transportation Museum (operational), the Indiana Railway Museum (operational), the Kentucky Railway Museum (fire damaged), and the Bluegrass Railroad Museum (unrestored but servicable). The remaining three are in private collections.

Road Name History:
Born in 1923 with the consolidation and connection of the Tanana Valley and Alaska Northern railroads, the line was owned by the Federal Government (under the Department of the Interior) from the outset, later becoming the responsibility of the Department of Transportation in 1967. In the mid-80s it was sold to the State of Alaska.

The Alaska Railroad links Anchorage with the port of Whittier and Seward to the south, and Fairbanks and environs to the north. Total mileage is about 525 putting it between Bangor & Aroostook and New York Ontario & Western in relative size. Alaska does run its own passenger service over the length of the railroad. Although the Alaska Railroad is disconnected from the rest of the North American rail network, they do interchange with other railroads. A trio of sea-going barges ferry rail cars from the port of Whittier to Prince Rupert, British Columbia, and Seattle, Washington. ARR had collected a fleet of Alco RS-1s (and a few RSD-1’s) with cowls, effectively making them cab units unique to this line. These were later replaced by second generation EMD power. The big power on the line is a fleet of 28 SD70MACs. A dozen of these are equipped with HEP for use in passenger service.

The port of Whittier is hemmed in by the ocean on one side and mountains on the other. A 2.5 mile single track tunnel is the only way out of the port. The line through the tunnel is paved like street trackage so that highway traffic can use the tunnel. It is a single lane so highway traffic going south enters from the top of the hour until quarter after. Northbound traffic enters from the bottom of the hour until 45 after the hour. Trains get priority and proceed as soon as traffic has cleared.

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: James on 2017-01-10 16:46:02

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