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Atlas - 50 000 300 - Caboose, Cupola, Steel Extended Vision - Richmond Fredericksburg & Potomac - 907

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N Scale - Atlas - 50 000 300 - Caboose, Cupola, Steel Extended Vision - Richmond Fredericksburg & Potomac - 907 Image Courtesy of Atlas Model Railroad
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Stock Number50 000 300
Original Retail Price$28.95
Body StyleAtlas Caboose Cupola Extended Vision
Image Provider's WebsiteLink
Prototype VehicleCaboose, Cupola, Steel Extended Vision (Details)
Road or Company NameRichmond Fredericksburg & Potomac (Details)
Reporting MarksRF&P
Road or Reporting Number907
Paint Color(s)Harvest Gold, Green
Print Color(s)Green
Coupler TypeAccuMate Magnetic Knuckle
Wheel TypeInjection Molded Plastic
Wheel ProfileSmall Flange (Low Profile)
Announcement Date2009-08-01
Release Date2009-12-01
Item CategoryRolling Stock (Freight)
Model TypeCaboose
Model SubtypeCupola
Model VarietyExtended Vision
Prototype RegionNorth America
Prototype EraNA Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Track GaugeN standard

Specific Item Information: This model is depicted with reporting number 901. This particular model was actually produced with reporting number 907.
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. As of the 2009 run, it comes with Accumate couplers (only).

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:
The RF&P ran from Richmond, Virginia north 114 miles to Potomac Yard (known widely as Pot Yard) on the river near Washington D.C. The purpose of the line was to link the Pennsylvania Railroad and Baltimore & Ohio lines to the northeast with the Seaboard Air Line and Atlantic Coast Line lines to the south. There were few branchlines of consequence and the mainline was entirely double tracked with no grades to speak of. It was operated as a single route as early as 1901 although the route north of Quantico actually belonged to a PRR subsidiary called the Washington Southern. RF&P absorbed the Washington Southern in 1920. There were also connections with Southern and C&O but C&O traffic in the area was almost entirely east-west and Southern had their own line to Washington D.C.

Traffic was heavy and fast. Pacifics were used for freight and passenger service. These were supplanted by 4-8-2 Mountains then by Northerns and Berkshires. Aside from some Alco switchers, RF&P was an entirely EMD road in the diesel era. E8’s and FP7’s hauled the passengers (mostly PRR, SAL and ACL trains) while F5’s and F7’s hauled freight with GP7’s in support. The second generation brought GP35’s, and GP40’s for road service. The diesel fleet usually ran just under 40 units for the 114 mile line (indicating very heavy traffic.) As a rule, even numbered units faced north and odd numbered units faced south. Road switchers were equipped with dual cab controls and running long hood forward was common.

By 1987, RF&P’s situation had changed. The former PRR connection had mostly faded as Amtrak operated the line to the northeast and not Conrail. That left the former B&O on the north end and the former Seaboard System on the south end. Both were now part of CSX. RF&P was still a vital link but it didn’t make sense to be a separate railroad. CSX already owned much of the stock but a quarter of the shares of RF&P were owned by the state of Virginia’s state employee retirement fund. In the end, CSX gave the state fund the property rights to Potomac Yard in exchange for all of the stock. Pot Yard originated or terminated very little traffic with nearly every train just running through so the property was ripe for development. In fact there was talk of turning part of the property into a new stadium for the Washington Redskins. In the end, it became commercial property instead. The state was happy and CSX closed the gap on their system map. RF&P merged into CSX in 1991.
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 2017-01-12 00:56:00

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