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N Scale - Micro-Trains - 51080 - Caboose, Cupola, Wood - New York Central - 19551

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N Scale - Micro-Trains - 51080 - Caboose, Cupola, Wood - New York Central - 19551
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Stock Number51080
Secondary Stock Number051 00 080
BrandMicro-Trains
ManufacturerMicro-Trains Line
Body StyleMicro-Trains 051 Caboose Wood Straight Side Cupola
Prototype VehicleCaboose, Cupola, Wood (Details)
Road or Company NameNew York Central (Details)
Reporting MarksNYC
Road or Reporting Number19551
Paint Color(s)Boxcar Red
Print Color(s)White
Coupler TypeMT Magne-Matic Knuckle
Wheel TypeInjection Molded Plastic
Wheel ProfileStandard
Release Date1995-03-01
Item CategoryRolling Stock (Freight)
Model TypeCaboose
Model SubtypeCupola
Model Variety34 Foot Straight Side Wood Sheathed
Prototype RegionNorth America
Prototype EraNA Era II: Late Steam (1901 - 1938)
Scale1/160



Model Information: This body style (51000) is much newer than its sister tooling, the 5000 series. It was first released in October of 1989 when they introduced a 3-pack of Seaboard cars, each in a different paint scheme. The model is of a wood-sided caboose with a cupola towards one end (offset) that was common in the 1st half of the 20th century. The model also has a roofwalk. Micro-trains has produced this car in about several dozen different road names since its introduction (as of 2017) and it has also been quite popular for special runs.

At first glance it can be hard to tell the difference between this model (51000 series) and its sister-model the 'slant-side' cupola (50000 series). The difference lies primarily in the cupola (there might be other differences but I cannot see them). If you examine the car from one end (doesn't matter which), you will see that the sides of the cupola (not the car) drop straight down from the roof of the cupola down to the roof of the car. Furthermore, the window configuration of the ends of the cupola is quite different with the 51000 series having only two windows per end, while the 51000 series has three.
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.
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: Micro-Trains is the brand name used by both Kadee Quality Products and Micro-Trains Line. For a history of the relationship between the brand and the two companies, please consult our Micro-Trains Collector's Guide.
Manufacturer Information:
Micro-Trains Line split off from Kadee Quality Products in 1990. Kadee Quality Products originally got involved in N-Scale by producing a scaled-down version of their successful HO Magne-Matic knuckle coupler system. This coupler was superior to the ubiquitous 'Rapido' style coupler due to two primary factors: superior realistic appearance and the ability to automatically uncouple when stopped over a magnet embedded in a section of track. The success of these couplers in N-Scale quickly translated to the production of trucks, wheels and in 1972 a release of ready-to-run box cars.

Micro-Trains Line Co. split off from Kadee in 1990 to form a completely independent company. For this reason, products from this company can appear with labels from both enterprises. Due to the nature of production idiosyncrasies and various random factors, the rolling stock from Micro-Trains can have all sorts of interesting variations in both their packaging as well as the products themselves. When acquiring an MTL product it is very important to understand these important production variations that can greatly enhance (or decrease) the value of your purchase.

Please consult our Micro-Trains Collector's Guide
Item created by: Lethe on 2015-05-31 17:46:30. Last edited by gdm on 2020-07-04 07:58:11

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