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N Scale - Micro-Trains - 50090 - Caboose, Cupola, Wood - Great Northern - X611

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N Scale - Micro-Trains - 50090 - Caboose, Cupola, Wood - Great Northern - X611


Production Type Regular Production
Stock Number 50090
Secondary Stock Number 050 00 090
Brand Micro-Trains
Manufacturer Kadee Quality Products
Body Style Micro-Trains Caboose Wood Slant Side Cupola
Prototype Caboose, Cupola, Wood (Details)
Road or Company Name Great Northern (Details)
Road or Reporting Number X611
Paint Color(s) Red
Print Color(s) White
Coupler Type MT Magne-Matic Knuckle
Wheel Type Plastic Wheels With Steel Axle
Release Date 1978-12-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Caboose
Model Subtype 34 Foot
Model Variety Slant Side Cupola Wood Sheathed
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era II: Late Steam (1901 - 1938)
Scale 1/160


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Model Information: This body style is one of MTL's oldest caboose designs and dates back to June of 1975 when they introduced both a painted/unlettered version as well as a UP paint scheme. Early versions of this car come without simulated glass in their windows, much the same as Atlas' older caboose designs did. More recent versions have simulated glass. 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 20 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 (50000 series) and its sister-model the 'straight-side' cupola (51000 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) slant at an angle 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 50000 series having three windows per end, while the 51000 series has only two.

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 Great Northern Railway (reporting mark GN) was an American Class I railroad. Running from Saint Paul, Minnesota, to Seattle, Washington, it was the creation of 19th century railroad entrepreneur James J. Hill and was developed from the Saint Paul & Pacific Railroad. The Great Northern's (GN) route was the northernmost transcontinental railroad route in the U.S.

The Great Northern was the only privately funded - and successfully built - transcontinental railroad in U.S. history. No federal land grants were used during its construction, unlike all other transcontinental railroads.

The Great Northern was built in stages, slowly to create profitable lines, before extending the road further into the undeveloped Western territories. In a series of the earliest public relations campaigns, contests were held to promote interest in the railroad and the ranchlands along its route. Fred J. Adams used promotional incentives such as feed and seed donations to farmers getting started along the line. Contests were all-inclusive, from largest farm animals to largest freight carload capacity and were promoted heavily to immigrants & newcomers from the East.

In 1970 the Great Northern, together with the Northern Pacific Railway, the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad and the Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway merged to form the Burlington Northern Railroad. The BN operated until 1996, when it merged with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway to form the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway.

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: 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.


Item created by: Lethe on 2015-05-31 17:46:30. Last edited by gdm on 2018-02-27 19:20:14

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