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N Scale - Life-Like - C8250091 - Caboose, Cupola, Offset 8-Window - Ontario Northland - 110

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N Scale - Life-Like - C8250091 - Caboose, Cupola, Offset 8-Window - Ontario Northland - 110


Brand Life-Like
Stock Number C8250091
Original Retail Price C$9.95
Manufacturer Hobbycraft Canada
Production Type Regular Production
Body Style Life-Like Caboose Cupola Offset 8-Window
Prototype Caboose, Cupola, Steel (Details)
Prototype Description Caboose, Cupola, Offset 8-Window
Road or Company Name Ontario Northland (Details)
Reporting Marks ONT
Road or Reporting Number 110
Paint Color(s) Yellow and Black
Print Color(s) Blue and White
Coupler Type AccuMate Magnetic Knuckle
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Release Date 2006-01-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Caboose
Model Subtype Cupola
Model Variety Offset 8-Window
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)



Model Information: This Chinese-made Life-Like model is similar to other 8-window offset-cupola steel cabooses made by other manufacturers. It has five windows on one side and three windows on the other (as well as windows in the cupola) which makes it similar to models made by Roco for Minitrix in the 1960s and Atlas-made offset cupola cabooses made from the late 1970s onward.
Caboose underside reads Life-Like Made In China.

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:
The Ontario Northland Railway (reporting mark ONT) is a Canadian railway operated by the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission, a provincial Crown agency of the government of Ontario.

Its north-south mainline is located entirely in Ontario, and has a southern terminus at North Bay, passing through Cochrane, and a northern terminus at Moosonee, several miles south of the shore of James Bay. An east-west secondary mainline connects Calstock (near Hearst) with Cochrane, and a line extends from Swastika (south of Cochrane) into the neighbouring province of Quebec, where it terminates at Rouyn-Noranda. The railway's branch from Swastika to Rouyn-Noranda, including 40 kilometres of track in Quebec, is operated by a subsidiary, the Nipissing Central Railway. Shorter spur lines also exist running west from Rock Junction to Sherman Mine, south-west from Porquis Junction to Kidd Creek Mine, about 22 km east of Timmins, north-east from Porquis to Iroquois Falls and south from Opaz Junction to Agrium mine site.

Originally built to develop the Lake Timiskaming and Lake Nipissing areas, the railway soon became a major factor in the economic growth of the province. After decades of difficult construction through the Canadian Shield, workers reached James Bay in 1932. While blasting the route through the shield, geologists discovered deposits of valuable minerals such as gold, silver, copper and nickel. The railway also made it possible to exploit the timber resources of Northern Ontario.

Read more on Wikipedia.

Brand/Importer Information:
Life-Like Products LLC (now Life-Like Toy and Hobby division of Wm. K. Walthers) was a manufacturer of model railroad products and was based in Baltimore, Maryland.

It was founded in the 1950s by a company that pioneered extruded foam ice chests under the Lifoam trademark. Because ice chests are a summer seasonal item, the company needed a way to keep the factory operating year round. As model railroading was becoming popular in the post-war years, they saw this as an opportunity and so manufactured extruded foam tunnels for model trains. Over the years, Life-Like expanded into other scenery items, finally manufacturing rolling stock beginning in the late 1960s. At some point in the early 1970s, Life-Like purchased Varney Inc. and began to produce the former Varney line as its own.

The Canadian distributor for Life-Like products, Canadian Hobbycraft, saw a missing segment in market for Canadian model prototypes, and started producing a few Canadian models that were later, with a few modifications, offered in the US market with US roadnames.

In 2005, the company, now known as Lifoam Industries, LLC, decided to concentrate on their core products of extruded foam and sold their model railroad operations to Wm. K. Walthers.

In June 2018, Atlas and Walthers announced to have reached an agreement under which all Walthers N scale rolling stock tooling, including the former Life-Like tooling, will be purchased by Atlas.

Read more on Wikipedia and The Train Collectors Association.

Manufacturer Information:
Hobbycraft Canada (or Canadian Hobbycraft) has been the importer of Life-Like products in Canada. They produced Canadian versions of Life-Like rolling stock and engines.
Their license agreement from Life-Like expired in 2006 and was not renewed. The model train activity then continued as True-Line Trains.

Item created by: Alain LM on 2020-01-29 06:38:41. Last edited by Lethe on 2020-05-07 00:00:00

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