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N Scale - Aurora Rail Masters - 5475-300G - Caboose, Cupola, Steel - Chessie System

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N Scale - Aurora Rail Masters - 5475-300G - Caboose, Cupola, Steel - Chessie System The image shown is the same body type though not necessarily the same road name or road number.



Brand Aurora Rail Masters
Stock Number 5475-300G
Original Retail Price $2.00
Manufacturer Aurora Mexico
Production Type Regular Production
Body Style Aurora Caboose Cupola End
Prototype Caboose, Cupola, Steel (Details)
Road or Company Name Chessie System (Details)
Paint Color(s) Green
Print Color(s) Yellow
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
Coupler Mount Truck-Mount
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Deep Flange
Body Material Plastic
Announcement Date 1975-01-01
Release Date 1977-01-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Caboose
Model Subtype Cupola
Model Variety End
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Scale 1/160



Model Information: Aurora Models, having lost it's access to Minitrix/Roco products in the 1970s, turned to Mexico to produce a new low-cost line of N Scale products. The result was the "Red Ball Express" train set. The set was comprised of a Diesel Switcher (no prototype specified) in Chessie/C&O livery, 3 freight cars and a caboose. The cars used a wonky coupler system which likely is fairly difficult to convert to either Rapido or a knuckle design. The caboose is an "End" or "Offset" design which is of equivalent quality to the other 1970s vintage cabooses such as those imported by Atlas. The caboose, in Santa Fe livery, is from this set.

The cars are marked "Aurora made in Mexico" underneath.

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. Atlas’ shoving platform cabooses will feature blanked out windows (Where appropriate).

Road Name History:
Chessie System, Inc. was a holding company that owned the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway (C&O), the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O), the Western Maryland Railway (WM), and several smaller carriers. It was incorporated in Virginia on February 26, 1973, and it acquired the C&O (which controlled the other companies) on June 15. C&O had been popularly known as "Chessie System" since the 1930s.

The three railroads had been closely related since the 1960s. C&O had acquired controlling interest in B&O in 1962, and the two had jointly controlled WM since 1967.

On November 1, 1980, Chessie System merged with Seaboard Coast Line Industries to form CSX Corporation. However, the Chessie image continued to be applied to new and re-painted equipment until mid-1986, when CSX introduced its own paint scheme. The B&O and C&O were not legally merged out of existence until 1987, when the company's official successor, CSX Transportation was founded.

Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, the Chessie System was the creation of Cyrus S. Eaton and his prot?g? Hays T. Watkins, Jr., then president and chief executive officer of C&O. A chief source of revenue for the Chessie System was coal mined in West Virginia. Another was the transport of auto parts and finished motor vehicles.

The signature symbol of the Chessie System was its "Ches-C", a large emblem incorporating the outline of the C&O's famous "Chessie" the kitten logo. The Ches-C was emblazoned on the front of all Chessie System locomotives, and also served as the "C" in "Chessie System" on the locomotive's flanks, and on other rolling stock. The Chessie System itself did not own any locomotives or other rolling stock; rather, equipment would be placed on the roster of one of the three component railroads. While all three companies shared a common paint scheme of yellow, vermillion, and blue, actual ownership of the equipment was denoted by the reporting marks C&O, B&O, or WM.

From Wikipedia

Brand/Importer Information:
In 1975 Aurora was on its third owner and about to give up the ghost. They had terminated the Postage Stamp Trains line five years earlier, but the owners evidently made a last-ditch attempt to re-enter the N Scale model railroading market with Rail Masters. This was a very small, oddball product line consisting of battery-operated locomotives and Mexican-made rolling stock using a new coupler type that was completely incompatible with every other coupler on the market.

Item created by: scottakoltz on 2019-03-01 10:28:17. Last edited by gdm on 2019-03-01 11:01:01

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