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N Scale - Bev-Bel - 2169 - Caboose, Cupola, Offset 8-Window - Seasons Greetings - 89

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N Scale - Bev-Bel - 2169 - Caboose, Cupola, Offset 8-Window - Seasons Greetings - 89 Image Courtesy of N Scale Enthusiast


Brand Bev-Bel
Stock Number 2169
Secondary Stock Number 2169R
Manufacturer Life-Like
Production Type Regular Production
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 Seasons Greetings (Details)
Reporting Marks XMAS
Road or Reporting Number 89
Paint Color(s) White
Print Color(s) Red
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Series Name Christmas Car
Release Date 1989-01-01
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)



Series Information: Several manufacturers have a tradition of releasing an annual Christmas car.
- Con-Cor has been making an annual “N” Christmas Collectors Car since 1975.
- Bev-Bel has been making Christmas and Holiday cars at least since 1978 (until their end of business).

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.

Brand/Importer Information:
Formerly located in Cresskill, New Jersey, the now defunct Bev-Bel Corp. was founded by the late Irvin and Beverly Belkin in 1956. A prolific "boutique" producer of after-market, limited production, special run rolling stock and locomotives (in road names and non-traditional commemorative and holiday themed paint schemes that were not typically offered by the major manufacturers), Bev-Bel' sourced its models from Atlas Tool Co., Inc., Atlas Model Railroad Co., Inc., Bachmann, and Life-Like Trains.

Item created by: Alain LM on 2017-12-26 11:52:13. Last edited by Alain LM on 2020-07-10 02:07:03

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