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N Scale - Life-Like - 7714 - Caboose, Cupola, Offset 8-Window - Union Pacific - 3821

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Stock Number 7714
Tertiary Stock Number 7712
Brand Life-Like
Manufacturer Life-Like
Body Style Life-Like Caboose Cupola Offset 8-Window
Prototype Vehicle Caboose, Cupola, Steel (Details)
Prototype Caboose, Cupola, Offset 8-Window
Road or Company Name Union Pacific (Details)
Reporting Marks UP
Road or Reporting Number 3821
Paint Color(s) Yellow
Print Color(s) Red
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Caboose
Model Subtype Cupola
Model Variety Offset 8-Window
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)



Model Information: This Chinese-made Life-Like model is similar to other 8-window offset-cupola steel cabooses made by other manufacturers. It has five windows on one side and three windows on the other (as well as windows in the cupola) which makes it similar to models made by Roco for Minitrix in the 1960s and Atlas-made offset cupola cabooses made from the late 1970s onward.
Caboose underside reads Life-Like Made In China.

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 Union Pacific Railroad (reporting mark UP) is a freight hauling railroad that operates 8,500 locomotives over 32,100 route-miles in 23 states west of Chicago, Illinois and New Orleans, Louisiana. The Union Pacific Railroad network is the largest in the United States and employs 42,600 people. It is also one of the world's largest transportation companies.

Union Pacific Railroad is the principal operating company of Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP); both are headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska. Over the years Union Pacific Corporation has grown by acquiring other railroads, notably the Missouri Pacific, Chicago & North Western, Western Pacific, Missouri-Kansas-Texas, and the Southern Pacific (including the Denver & Rio Grande Western).

Union Pacific Corporation's main competitor is the BNSF Railway, the nation's second largest freight railroad, which also primarily services the Continental U.S. west of the Mississippi River. Together, the two railroads have a duopoly on all transcontinental freight rail lines in the U.S.

Read more on Wikipedia and on Union Pacific official website.

Brand/Importer Information:
Life-Like Products LLC (now Life-Like Toy and Hobby division of Wm. K. Walthers) was a manufacturer of model railroad products and was based in Baltimore, Maryland.

It was founded in the 1950s by a company that pioneered extruded foam ice chests under the Lifoam trademark. Because ice chests are a summer seasonal item, the company needed a way to keep the factory operating year round. As model railroading was becoming popular in the post-war years, they saw this as an opportunity and so manufactured extruded foam tunnels for model trains. Over the years, Life-Like expanded into other scenery items, finally manufacturing rolling stock beginning in the late 1960s. At some point in the early 1970s, Life-Like purchased Varney Inc. and began to produce the former Varney line as its own.

The Canadian distributor for Life-Like products, Canadian Hobbycraft, saw a missing segment in market for Canadian model prototypes, and started producing a few Canadian models that were later, with a few modifications, offered in the US market with US roadnames.

In 2005, the company, now known as Lifoam Industries, LLC, decided to concentrate on their core products of extruded foam and sold their model railroad operations to Wm. K. Walthers.

In June 2018, Atlas and Walthers announced to have reached an agreement under which all Walthers N scale rolling stock tooling, including the former Life-Like tooling, will be purchased by Atlas.

Read more on Wikipedia and The Train Collectors Association.

Item created by: gdm on 2017-04-27 12:59:05. Last edited by CNW400 on 2020-05-16 15:34:08

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