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N Scale - Life-Like - 7720 - Caboose, Cupola, Offset 8-Window - Florida East Coast - 745

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N Scale - Life-Like - 7720 - Caboose, Cupola, Offset 8-Window - Florida East Coast - 745


Brand Life-Like
Stock Number 7720
Manufacturer Life-Like
Production Type Regular Production
Body Style Life-Like Caboose Cupola Offset 8-Window
Prototype Caboose, Cupola, Steel (Details)
Prototype Description Caboose, Cupola, Offset 8-Window
Road or Company Name Florida East Coast (Details)
Reporting Marks FEC
Road or Reporting Number 745
Paint Color(s) Red with Black Roof
Print Color(s) White
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
Coupler Mount Body-Mount
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)



Specific Item Information: Caboose underside reads Life-Like Made In China.

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. Atlas’ shoving platform cabooses will feature blanked out windows (Where appropriate).

Road Name History:
The Florida East Coast Railway (reporting mark FEC) is a Class II railroad operating in the U.S. state of Florida and since 2007 has been a subsidiary of Railroad Acquisition Holdings, LLC, itself a subsidiary of Fortress Investment Group, LLC.

The FEC was historically a Class I railroad owned by Florida East Coast Industries (FECI) from 2000-2006, FOXX Holdings from 1983-2000, and the St. Joseph Paper Company prior to 1983.

Built primarily in the last quarter of the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th century, the FEC was a project of Standard Oil principal Henry Morrison Flagler. Flagler originally visited Florida to aid with the health issues faced by his first wife, Mary. A key strategist who worked closely with John D. Rockefeller building the Standard Oil Trust, Henry Flagler noted both a lack of services and great potential during his stay at St. Augustine. He subsequently began what amounted to his second career developing resorts, industries, and communities all along Florida's shores abutting the Atlantic Ocean.

The FEC is possibly best known for building the railroad to Key West, completed in 1912. When the FEC's line from the mainland to Key West was heavily damaged by the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, the State of Florida purchased the remaining right-of-way and bridges south of Dade County, and they were rebuilt into road bridges for vehicle traffic and became known as the Overseas Highway. However, a greater and lasting Flagler legacy was the developments along Florida's eastern coast.

During the Great Depression, control was purchased by heirs of the du Pont family. After 30 years of fragile financial condition, the FEC, under leadership of a new president, Ed Ball, took on the labor unions. Ball claimed the company could not afford the same costs as larger Class 1 railroads and needed to invest saved funds in its infrastructure, fast becoming a safety issue. Using replacement workers, the company and some of its employees engaged in one of the longest and more violent labor conflicts of the 20th century from 1963 until 1977. Ultimately, federal authorities had to intervene to stop the violence, which included bombings, shootings and vandalism. However, the courts ruled in the FEC's favor with regard to the right to employ strikebreakers. During this time, Ball invested heavily in numerous steps to improve its physical plant, installed various forms of automation,was the first US Railroad to operate two man train crews, eliminate cabooses and end all of its passenger services (which were unprofitable) by 1968.

In modern times, the company's primary rail revenues come from its intermodal and rock trains. Since 2007, it has been owned by Fortress Investment Group,[citation needed] which acquired it for over US$3 billion (including non-rail assets). Fortress previously owned conglomerate short line railroad operator RailAmerica, which for a time operated FEC but the two companies never merged; Fortress no longer owns RailAmerica and RailAmerica no longer operates FEC. A former CSX official, James Hertwig, was named as President and Chief Executive Officer of the company effective July 1, 2010.

From Wikipedia

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 2017-07-15 11:49:23. Last edited by scottakoltz on 2020-05-16 18:20:58

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