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Model Information: Model: Introduction: October 2009. ERA: 1960s to present (depending on road name). Three bodies available: C-50-7, C-50-8 and C-50-9
Features: Body mounted McHenry knuckle spring couplers,Weighted for optimum performance, Partial interior, Separately applied wire grab irons, New truck tooling including axle mounted generator, End walkway tread, Etched window screens included, Finely detailed end railing and brake wheel, Fully detailed underbody, Window glazing, Plastic/etched roof detail (antenna, marker light, smoke jack and vent) when appropriate per prototype.
Prototype Information: In a bay window caboose, the crew monitoring the train sits in the middle of the car in a section of wall that projects from the side of the caboose. The windows set into these extended walls resemble architectural bay windows, so the caboose type is called a bay window caboose. This type afforded a better view of the side of the train and eliminated the falling hazard of the cupola. The bay window gained favor with many railroads because it eliminated the need for additional clearances in tunnels and overpasses. On the west coast, the Milwaukee Road and the Northern Pacifc Railway used these cars, converting over 900 roof top cabooses to bay window cabooses in the late 1930's. Milwaukee Road rib-side window cabooses are preserved at New Libson, Wisconsin, the Illinois Railway Museum, the Mt. Rainer Scenic Railroad, and Cedarburg, Wisconsin.
In 1968, Southern Pacific subsidiary Cotton Belt (officially the St. Louis Southwestern Railway) received 20 cabooses from International Car Company. These were the first SP cabooses to use 50-ton trucks, starting the C-50 series of cabooses. In 1970, 1972, and 1974 SP returned to International Car Company for 181 cabooses, plus 16 for Cotton Belt in three groups.
For the next four years, SP did not acquire any new cabooses. Instead 207 older cabooses were rebuilt by the Sacramento Shops. In 1978, SP bought cabooses again. By then International Car was a division of PACCAR (formerly Pacific Car & Foundry). The 50 cars of the C-50-7 class were built at the same Kenton, Ohio plant as the previous C-50 series cars. In design they were similar to the previous C-50 cars with only a few changes. Their paint differed by having the roof painted the car body color, the road name was moved to the right of the bay window, and they featured an axle-end generator connection. They were also the first new cars in the 4000 series. In 1979 50 cars of the C-50-8 class were delivered, with some minor detail differences when compared to the earlier C-50-7 cars. In 1980 the C-50-9 class of 75 cars was delivered. The C-50-9 class was unique in that they were delivered without any windows in the car sides, in order to increase crew safety and reduce repair costs. They were also the last group of new cabooses delivered to SP.
Chartered by the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 1850, the road grew into one of the great success stories of American business. Operating under one name continuously for 132 years, it survived civil war and economic depression and several waves of social and technological change. Under Milton H. Smith, president of the company for thirty years, the L&N grew from a road with less than three hundred miles (480 km) of track to a 6,000-mile (9,700 km) system serving thirteen states. As one of the premier Southern railroads, the L&N extended its reach far beyond its namesake cities, stretching to St. Louis, Memphis, Atlanta, and New Orleans. The railroad was economically strong throughout its lifetime, operating both freight and passenger trains in a manner that earned it the nickname, "The Old Reliable."
Growth of the railroad continued until its purchase and the tumultuous rail consolidations of the 1980s which led to continual successors. By the end of 1970, L&N operated 6,063 miles (9,757 km) of road on 10,051 miles (16,176 km) of track, not including the Carrollton Railroad.
In 1971 the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad, successor to the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, purchased the remainder of the L&N shares it did not already own, and the company became a subsidiary. By 1982 the railroad industry was consolidating quickly, and the Seaboard Coast Line absorbed the Louisville & Nashville Railroad entirely. Then in 1986, the Seaboard System merged with the C&O and B&O and the new combined system was known as the Chessie System. Soon after the combined company became CSX Transportation (CSX), which now owns and operates all of the former Louisville and Nashville lines.
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Brand/Importer Information: Athearn's history began in 1938, when its founder-to-be, Irvin Athearn, started an elaborate O scale layout in his mother's house. After placing an ad selling the layout, and receiving much response to it, Irv decided that selling model railroads would be a good living. He sold train products out of his mother's house through most of the 1940s. After becoming a full-time retailer in 1946, Irv opened a separate facility in Hawthorne, California in 1948, and that same year he branched into HO scale models for the first time.
Athearn acquired the Globe Models product line and improved upon it, introducing a comprehensive array of locomotive, passenger and freight car models. Improvements included all-wheel drive and electrical contact. One innovation was the "Hi-Fi" drive mechanism, employing small rubber bands to transfer motion from the motor spindle to the axles. Another was the double-ended ring magnet motor, which permitted easy connection to all-wheel-drive assemblies. Athearn was also able to incorporate flywheels into double-ended drives.
The company produced a model of the Boston & Maine P4 class Pacific steam locomotive which incorporated a cast zinc alloy base and thermoplastic resin superstructure. It had a worm drive and all power pickup was through the bipolar trucks that carried the tender. This item was discontinued after the Wilson motor was no longer available, and was not redesigned for a more technologically advanced motor.
Athearn's car fleet included shorter-than-scale interpretations of passenger cars of Southern Pacific and Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad prototypes. The company also offered a variety of scale-length freight cars with sprung and equalized trucks. The cars could be obtained in simple kit form, or ready-to-run in windowed display boxes. The comprehensive scope of the product line contributed to the popularity of HO as a model railroad scale, due to the ready availability of items and their low cost.
Irv Athearn died in 1991. New owners took control in 1994, but continued to follow Athearn's commitment to high-quality products at reasonable prices. Athearn was bought in 2004 by Horizon Hobby. Athearn was then moved from its facility in Compton to a new facility in Carson, California. In mid-2009, all remaining US production was moved to China and warehousing moved to parent Horizon Hobby. Sales and product development was relocated to a smaller facility in Long Beach, California.
Read more on Wikipedia and Athearn website.
Item created by: gdm on 2016-02-18 10:39:00
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