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N Scale - Bluford Shops - 44050 - Caboose, Bay Window - Bessemer & Lake Erie - 1995

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N Scale - Bluford Shops - 44050 - Caboose, Bay Window - Bessemer & Lake Erie - 1995 Image Courtesy of Bluford Shops


Brand Bluford Shops
Stock Number 44050
Original Retail Price $39.95
Manufacturer Bluford
Production Type Regular Production
Body Style Bluford Shops Bay Window Caboose
Prototype Caboose, Bay Window (Details)
Road or Company Name Bessemer & Lake Erie (Details)
Road or Reporting Number 1995
Paint Color(s) Red
Print Color(s) White
Coupler Type Generic Magnetic Knuckle
Coupler Mount Body-Mount
Wheel Type Chemically Blackened Metal
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Release Date 2019-01-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Caboose
Model Subtype Bay Window
Model Variety Bay Window
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era II: Late Steam (1901 - 1938)
Scale 1/160



Prototype History:
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.

Road Name History:
The Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad (reporting mark BLE) is a class II railroad that operates in northwestern Pennsylvania and northeastern Ohio.

The railroad's main route runs from the Lake Erie port of Conneaut, Ohio to the Pittsburgh suburb of Penn Hills, Pennsylvania, a distance of 139 miles (224 km). The original rail ancestor of the B&LE, the Shenango and Allegheny Railroad, began operation in October 1869.

Rail operations were maintained continuously by various corporate descendants on the growing system that ultimately became the B&LE in 1900. In 2004 the B&LE came under the ownership of the Canadian National Railway as part of CN's larger purchase of holding company Great Lakes Transportation. As a subsidiary of CN the B&LE has been largely unchanged (though repainting of B&LE locomotives into CN paint with "BLE" sub-lettering began in April 2015) and still does business as the B&LE. Bessemer and Lake Erie's locomotives, especially the former Souther Pacific SD40T-3 "Tunnel Motors", have been scattered across the CN system lately; ironically, many are being used in the line that feeds most of B&LE's traffic, the former Duluth, Missabe, and Iron Range lines in Minnesota. The iron ore that originates on these lines is transloaded to ships at Twin Harbors, Minnesota, then sent by ship to Conneaut, Ohio, where it is again transloaded to B&LE trains. It is then taken down to steel mills in the Pittsburg area, mainly to the blast furnaces at US Steel's Edgar Thompson Plant in Braddock, Pennsylvania, part of the Mon Valley Works. As of summer 2015, most of the locomotives on the B&LE are former Illinois Central standard cab SD70's, although B&LE Tunnel Motor 905 and a few SD38's, still in B&LE orange, are being kept on the line. Also, a few Canadian National locomotives, especially SD60 5422, are assigned to the line.

Brand/Importer Information:
Bluford Shops began in 2007 as a side project of two model railroad industry veterans, Craig Ross and Steve Rodgers. They saw a gap between road names available on N scale locomotives but not available on cabooses. They commissioned special runs of Atlas cabooses in Atlantic Coast Line, Central of Georgia, Monon, Boston & Maine and Southern plus runs on Grand Trunk Western and Central Vermont on the MDC wooden cabooses. While these were in process, they began to develop their first all new tooling project, 86' Auto Parts Boxcars in double door and quad door editions in N scale. By January of 2008, Bluford Shops became a full time venture. Along with additional N scale freight cars and their own tooling for new cabooses, they have brought their own caboose line to HO scale. They also have their popular Cornfields in both HO and N. The future looks bright as they continue to develop new products for your railroad.

The town of Bluford in southern Illinois featured a small yard on Illinois Central's Edgewood Cutoff (currently part of CN.) The yard included a roundhouse, concrete coaling tower (which still stands) and large ice house. Reefer trains running between the Gulf Coast and Chicago were re-iced in Bluford. Things are more quiet now in Bluford with the remaining tracks in the yard used to stage hoppers for mines to the south and store covered hoppers. Intersecting the IC line in Bluford is Southern Railway's (currently NS) line between Louisville and St. Louis. Traffic on this single track line remains relatively heavy.

Item created by: scottakoltz on 2019-01-29 12:48:11. Last edited by CMK on 2019-10-08 16:06:05

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