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N Scale - AHM - 4391 - Caboose, Cupola, Steel - SOO Line

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Stock Number 4391
Original Retail Price $1.98
Brand AHM
Manufacturer Roco
Body Style Roco Caboose Cupola Offset 8-Window (4/4)
Prototype Vehicle Caboose, Cupola, Steel (Details)
Road or Company Name SOO Line (Details)
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
Wheel Type Nickel-Silver Plated Metal
Wheel Profile Standard
Release Date 1971-01-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Caboose
Model Subtype Cupola
Model Variety End
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era NA Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Scale 1/160



Model Information: This model was first produced by Roco for AHM. It uses a 4/4 window configuration meaning it has 4 windows on each side unlike many of the other 8-window offset cupola cabooses which present 5 windows on one side and 3 on the other. These models have metal wheels and body-mounted Rapido couplers. They are stamped "AHM Austria" on the bottom. JC Timmer also imported a very limited run of these models.

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:
The Soo Line Railroad (reporting mark SOO) is the primary United States railroad subsidiary of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CP), controlled through the Soo Line Corporation, and one of seven U.S. Class I railroads. Although it is named for the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad (MStP&SSM), which was commonly known as the Soo Line after the phonetic spelling of Sault, it was formed in 1961 by the consolidation of that company with two other CP subsidiaries, the Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic Railroad and Wisconsin Central Railroad. It is also the successor to other Class I railroads, including the Minneapolis, Northfield and Southern Railway (acquired 1982) and Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad (Milwaukee Road, acquired at bankruptcy in 1985). On the other hand, a large amount of mileage was spun off in 1987 to Wisconsin Central Ltd., now part of the Canadian National Railway.

The Soo Line and the Delaware and Hudson Railway, the CP's other major subsidiary (before the 2008 DM&E acquisition), presently do business as the Canadian Pacific Railway, and most equipment has been repainted into the CP's scheme, but the U.S. Surface Transportation Board groups all CP's U.S. subsidiaries under the Soo Line name for reporting purposes.

Brand/Importer Information:
AHM is the initials for Associated Hobby Manufacturers, Inc. The company was founded in 1959 as a reseller of other companies' model railroad components. Initially an HO company, they entered into N Scale in the early 1970's as an importer of products made by Roco in Austria. For N Scale products, AHM apparently contracted to use the exact same molds as were used by Roco to produce early Atlas models. They also contracted with Rivarossi to make locomotives.

When AHM went out of business IHC picked up some of their line. Also, at least one body style was taken over by Eastern Seaboard models.


Manufacturer Information:
The company was founded in 1960 by Ing. Heinz Rössler and started with a plastic Minitanks series of military vehicles. After export to the USA became successful, the model line was expanded with model trains in HO scale and the smaller N scale. TT scale was also subsequently added to the product line. The model rail product line covers many European countries including Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Spain, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden and the Netherlands, and also the USA.

On July 15, 2005 ROCO Modellspielwaren GmbH was declared bankrupt. From July 25 the company continues as Modelleisenbahn GmbH, but still uses the Roco brand and associated logo. On October 1, 2007, distribution of the 'Minitank' product series was assigned to the German model car manufacturer Herpa.

Since February 2008 Modelleisenbahn also owns Fleischmann, which like Roco had gone bankrupt. The two companies continue as separate brands under Modelleisenbahn GmbH, while benefiting from economies of scale through joined development projects, marketing and procurement.

From Wikipedia

Item created by: gdm on 2017-03-01 10:31:35. Last edited by gdm on 2020-08-06 08:03:59

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