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N Scale - Aurora Rail Masters - RBE-C - Caboose, Cupola, Steel - Santa Fe - 10752

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N Scale - Aurora Rail Masters - RBE-C - Caboose, Cupola, Steel - Santa Fe - 10752 Copyright held by TroveStar


N Scale - Aurora Rail Masters - RBE-C - Caboose, Cupola, Steel - Santa Fe - 10752 Copyright held by TroveStar


Brand Aurora Rail Masters
Stock Number RBE-C
Manufacturer Aurora Mexico
Production Type Regular Production
Body Style Aurora Caboose Cupola End
Prototype Caboose, Cupola, Steel (Details)
Road or Company Name Santa Fe (Details)
Road or Reporting Number 10752
Paint Color(s) Red
Print Color(s) Yellow
Coupler Type Other
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Deep Flange
Body Material Plastic
Release Date 1977-01-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Caboose
Model Subtype Cupola
Model Variety End
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Scale 1/160



Model Information: Aurora Models, having lost it's access to Minitrix/Roco products in the 1970s, turned to Mexico to produce a new low-cost line of N Scale products. The result was the "Red Ball Express" train set. The set was comprised of a Diesel Switcher (no prototype specified) in Chessie/C&O livery, 3 freight cars and a caboose. The cars used a wonky coupler system which likely is fairly difficult to convert to either Rapido or a knuckle design. The caboose is an "End" or "Offset" design which is of equivalent quality to the other 1970s vintage cabooses such as those imported by Atlas. The caboose, in Santa Fe livery, is from this set.

The cars are marked "Aurora made in Mexico" underneath.

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 Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (reporting mark ATSF), often abbreviated as Santa Fe or AT&SF, was one of the larger railroads in the United States. Chartered in February 1859, the railroad reached the Kansas-Colorado border in 1873 and Pueblo, Colorado, in 1876. To create a demand for its services, the railroad set up real estate offices and sold farm land from the land grants that it was awarded by Congress. Despite the name, its main line never served Santa Fe, New Mexico, as the terrain was too difficult; the town ultimately was reached by a branch line from Lamy.

The Santa Fe was a pioneer in intermodal freight transport, an enterprise that (at one time or another) included a tugboat fleet and an airline (the short-lived Santa Fe Skyway). Its bus line extended passenger transportation to areas not accessible by rail, and ferryboats on the San Francisco Bay allowed travelers to complete their westward journeys to the Pacific Ocean. The ATSF was the subject of a popular song, Harry Warren & Johnny Mercer's "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe", written for the film, The Harvey Girls (1946).

The railroad officially ceased operations on December 31, 1996, when it merged with the Burlington Northern Railroad to form the Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway.

Read more on Wikipedia.

Brand/Importer Information:
In 1975 Aurora was on its third owner and about to give up the ghost. They had terminated the Postage Stamp Trains line five years earlier, but the owners evidently made a last-ditch attempt to re-enter the N Scale model railroading market with Rail Masters. This was a very small, oddball product line consisting of battery-operated locomotives and Mexican-made rolling stock using a new coupler type that was completely incompatible with every other coupler on the market.

Item created by: gdm on 2017-02-03 14:09:47. Last edited by gdm on 2019-03-01 11:02:09

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