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N Scale - Atlas - NSE ATL 13-21 - Caboose, Cupola, Steel - New York Central - 551066

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N Scale - Atlas - NSE ATL 13-21 - Caboose, Cupola, Steel - New York Central - 551066 Image Courtesy of Jon Monsein


Commissioned By N Scale Enthusiast
Production Type Special Run
Stock Number NSE ATL 13-21
Brand Atlas
Manufacturer Atlas
Body Style Atlas Caboose Cupola Standard
Prototype Vehicle Caboose, Cupola, Steel (Details)
Road or Company Name New York Central (Details)
Road or Reporting Number 551066
Paint Color(s) Black, Grey, White, Red, Yellow
Print Color(s) White
Paint Scheme Lightning Stripe
Coupler Type AccuMate Magnetic Knuckle
Coupler Mount Body-Mount
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Multipack ID Number NSE ATL 13-Set-1
Multipack Element 1
Series Name Norfolk Southern Heritage
Announcement Date 2013-01-01
Release Date 2013-01-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Caboose
Model Subtype Cupola
Model Variety Standard
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era NA Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Scale 1/160
Track Gauge N standard



Specific Item Information: Not originally sold separately. Part of NSE ATL 13-Set 1 NS Heritage, Conrail Family #1 Boxed Caboose Set, which is a five pack. containing NSE ATL 13-21, NSE ATL 13-22, NSE ATL 13-23, NSE ATL 13-24 and NSE ATL 13-25.

Model Information: The Atlas "43" series cupola caboose has been around since the early 2000's. The cupola is located slightly off-center, but towards the middle of the body. It carries three windows on each body side, two larger ones at the ends and a smaller one in the middle. The cupola carries a double-window on each side. This body usually has a raised roof-walk and "loop-over" ladders but not always.

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 New York Central Railroad (reporting mark NYC), known simply as the New York Central in its publicity, was a railroad operating in the Northeastern United States. Headquartered in New York City, the railroad served most of the Northeast, including extensive trackage in the states of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Massachusetts, plus additional trackage in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec.

The railroad primarily connected greater New York and Boston in the east with Chicago and St.Louis in the midwest along with the intermediate cities of Albany, Buffalo, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Detroit. NYC's Grand Central Terminal in New York City is one of its best known extant landmarks.

1853 company formation: Albany industrialist and Mohawk Valley Railroad owner Erastus Corning managed to unite ten railroads together into one system, and on March 17, 1853 executives and stockholders of each company agreed to merge. The merger was approved by the state legislature on April 2, and by May 17, 1853 the New York Central Railroad was formed.

In 1867 Vanderbilt acquired control of the Albany to Buffalo running NYC. On November 1, 1869 he merged the NYC with his Hudson River Railroad into the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad. Vanderbilt's other lines were operated as part of the NYC.

In 1914, the operations of eleven subsidiaries were merged with the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad, re-forming the New York Central Railroad. From the beginning of the merge, the railroad was publicly referred to as the New York Central Lines. In the summer of 1935, the identification was changed to the New York Central System.

In 1968 the NYC merged with its former rival, the Pennsylvania Railroad, to form Penn Central (the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad joined in 1969). That company went bankrupt in 1970 and was taken over by the federal government and merged into Conrail in 1976. Conrail was broken up in 1998, and portions of its system was transferred to the newly formed New York Central Lines LLC, a subsidiary leased to and eventually absorbed by CSX and Norfolk Southern. Those companies' lines included the original New York Central main line, but outside that area it included lines that were never part of the New York Central system. CSX was able to take one of the most important main lines in the nation, which runs from New York City and Boston to Cleveland, Ohio, as part of the Water Level Route, while Norfolk Southern gained the Cleveland, Ohio to Chicago, Illinois portion of the line called the Chicago line.

At the end of 1925, the New York Central System operated 11,584 miles (18,643 km) of road and 26,395 miles (42,479 km) of track; at the end of 1967 the mileages were 9,696 miles (15,604 km) and 18,454 miles (29,699 km).

Read more on Wikipedia.

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.

Commissioner Information: The N Scale Enthusiast Society (previously known as The N Scale Collector until 2011) was established by Wick Brandon, as a sole proprietorship and was a stand alone company until Wick passed away in 2000. The company has been owned by Micro Trains Line since then.

Wick was the founder of TexNRails and he established NSE right after he sold the pioneering N Scale retailer to the Herz family, and the store moved to Florida. Wick and Lea moved their family from Texas to Bakersfield California, and the entire operation was run from his home in Bakersfield. George Johnsen, the current Chairman, came on board as Associate Editor starting with the third issue of the magazine, and the growth of the organization hasn’t stopped. Wick and George did the first convention in Medford in 1993, and added staff and advisors as the organization grew. Wick held the first auction for the NSE in 1995.

The NSE mission statement reads: “This organization is dedicated to the preservation of the history of N Scale Model Railroading, and the railroads they represent.”

They do:
- Special Run Cars
- Regular Auctions of "collectable" Cars
- Annual Conventions
- Bi-Monthly Magazine

Item created by: jonmonsein on 2021-03-06 22:10:43. Last edited by Alain LM on 2021-03-08 01:37:11

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