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CABOOSE and CABIN CARS

The caboose (cabin car for the Pennsylvania Railroad) was the last car in the consist about freight trains, used by conductors and other railroad workers for checking and to assist when needed, by ensuring the proper trip of the train, in complete safety. Cabooses were used on every freight train until the 1980s, when safety laws requiring the presence of cabooses and full crews were relaxed. Each north american railroad company has had in service their own types of caboose, but in more recent times, many companies have removed from service this rail transport vehicle, following the changing of the american rail transportation rules. Now, cabooses are generally only used on rail maintenance or hazardous materials trains, or on heritage and tourist railroads. In the U.S.A. surviving many units in service on short regional lines and industrial area or stored in museums.
The classification of the caboose has been different from company to company, while the producers, identified the vehicles by their appearance and design adopted. Essentially, there are two concepts of development for the production of caboose, with or without the dome (cupola). The variants derived sort the subclasses and the common types were: built with wood or metal body, with centered or offset cupola, designed as transfert role, set with bay-windows (no cupola) or wide-vision's windows configuration. Almost all caboose products, were equipped with four-axle trucks (of different producers), but the american railroad pioneers had also supplied caboose with two axles, as types called "bobber caboose".
Cabin car PRR classification was as follows: NA (first type in service, with 2-axles), NB, NC, ND, NE, N4, N5, N6 (N6b was the main variant of this wood-caboose built in large number), N8 (steel cabin car produced in very large number and variants with trainphone antenna or not, used until 1990, also by Penn Central and Conrail), NX23.

 
At left, wood-caboose with offset cupola Chicago & North Western. At right, steel-caboose of Atchinson, Topeka & Santa Fe.

Here below, a gallery with selection of some cabin-cars in service with Pennsylvania Railroad (click on thumb to larger photo).

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CABIN CARS ROSTER
Total AT Collection ho scale models: 6.
Note: railroad, type with class and serial number (built date), general informations, manufacturer model and notes.
Click on thumbs to view each single photo in large format.
All models are modified and weathered as the prototypes by ATF.


Part 1 - "Steam era" Redstone Branch layout (PRR Pittsburgh Division 1957)

Pennsylvania Railroad
Wood-caboose cabin car N6b class #981693, #980883, #981693 (1919)
The N6b class of PRR's cabin car was the most famous caboose put in service by railroad, used in hundreds units on the huge network. Most cars rebuilt from 4 wheel wood underframe classes. There were Lines West (of Pittsburgh) cabins rebuilt in Lines West shops, starting 1914. These Lines West rebuilds into class N6a and N6b were concurrent with Altoona production of the N5 all-steel cabins for Lines East. Cupola placement could be variable: some rebuilds extended the body on only one end leaving the cupola near the other end, whereas others extended both ends leaving the cupola in the middle. N6b has narrower cupola with sloping sides.

Walthers Platinum Line Weathered and improved.

Steel-caboose N5c class # (19  )

Bowser Manufacturing HO scale Kit - Weathered and improved.

Steel-caboose N8 class #478072 (1951)
The N8 Class Cabin Cars were built by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1950 and 1951. There were a total of 199 built. Road Numbers assigned to these Cabins were 478020-478219. These were the last of the Cabin Cars built by the Pennsy. The N8 streamlined typical design has been produced with and without trainphone antennas.

Bowser Manufacturing HO scale Kit - Weathered and improved.

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