New Atlas Cobooses

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Topo, Aug 7, 2004.

  1. Topo

    Topo Member

    New Atlas Cabooses

    Yesterday I received a couple of the new batch of Atlas' "Extended Vision" cabooses. They are a very nice model (mine are in D&RGW "Grande Gold", of course :D ), with tiny crisp lettering and fine details.

    The only thing that is a bit deceiving, in my opinion, are the wheels: they are supposedly blackened, but they are still a lot shiny, silvery. This is nothing that an airbrush job cannot fix, of course, but the Genesis or Kadee wheels have a more "real" look directly out-of-the-box.

    I have seen in the Walthers catalog that Keystone Locomotive Works make interiors for Athearn, Bachmann and AHM Wide Vision cabooses. It would be nice to paint and detail (brakeman and train master required ;) ) a couple of these and fit the cabooses with light & interiors, but I'm not sure if they would fit well, specially into the cupola.

    Do you have used these KLW interiors in Atlas Extended Vision cabooses?
  2. RioGrande

    RioGrande Member


    This are nice interiors! My Atlas D&RGW cabooses are in the mail to me and I should receive them Monday according to the UPS tracking. Now I gotta round up a couple of the early issue single stripe yellow/silver D&RGW Cabooses I never bought from Atlas.
  3. Topo

    Topo Member

    Atlas made D&RGW cabooses in "Prospector" single stripe? I didn't know that...

    If they were "EV" type also, maybe Atlas will re-release them with another #'s. I also would be happy grabbing a couple of these in single stripe! This are very nice cars. :p :D
  4. RioGrande

    RioGrande Member


    Yes, Atlas offered the HO Wide Vision caboose in D&RGW grande gold/silver with single stripe in one of the earliest production runs some 4 or 5 years ago. If I recall correctly, it was missing the roofwalk though - which is part of the reason I didn't buy it.

    Basically the choices for Wide Vision cabooses in HO were Atlas and Athearn. Neither are/were completely accurate for D&RGW 01501-01515 series cabooses. However, the Athearn WV caboose is actually based on the Rock Island home built cabooses which used box car underframes. Because of this, the Athearn cabooses are shorter than the standard International Car built cabooses.

    The Atlas WV caboose is an International Car WV caboose, so it is closer to the D&RGW WV cabooses, but there were variations. Here are the differences which I am aware of between the Atlas (early issue single stripe D&RGW) caboose and the prototype:

    Atlas: no roof walk - Prototype: has roof walk
    Atlas: square end side windows - Prototype: gasket sealed round corner side end windows
    Atlas: lower eastern cupola - Prototype: taller western cupola.

    Now with the new orange D&RGW cabooses, there is at least a roof walk... but the other two differences remain. But what's a guy to do? Either buy brass painted cabooses at more than $220 a pop, or buy Atlas cabooses for around $20 give or take.

    I shunned the single stripe cabooses when they came out for the lack of roof walk (IIRC). Now I think I'd like to hunt a couple down and buy the roof walk parts separately and add them. It is the lessor of the evils basically. I'll be selling off my Athearns soon.
  5. Topo

    Topo Member

    Hi Jim,

    Thanks, these are interesting details. I was aware of the Atlas model' incorrect side windows (thanks to the Eager's book pics), but I passed unnoticed the different cupola heights.

    As for the single stripe cabooses, maybe it will pay to wait and see: If Atlas has just released these upgraded with the roof walk, I wouldn't be surprised if in 6-8 months they re-release the single stripe ones, also with r/w.

    I'm with you, the Atlas cabooses are a good compromise for the price (I hope that they keep them coming!) :D
  6. RioGrande

    RioGrande Member

    I just received my two cabooses in the mail today and did some visual comparisons. These definitely have the lower cupola and rectangular side windows. I also noticed the small inner side window should be on the kitty corner side of the caboose - if you look at it so the short side is on the right, the small inner window should be there on the right. But it is on the other side. These cabooses are definitely not a correct match for Rio Grande's International Car VW cabooses, but they are a decent stand-in and they have nice detail.

    I pulled out one of my Athearn Wide Vision cabooses and noticed the small inner side window is on the left side of the cupola rather than the right side, so it is even more wrong. Also, the roof on the Athearn had even straight pressed steps but the Atlas has angled pressed steps correctly matching the prototype. The Athearn does have the taller cupola, but the over all caboose is too short, since it is based on the home built RI cabooses. Both Athearn and Atlas have the square rectangular side end windows.

    It's hard to say if Atlas will rerun the single stripe any time soon. If you find one of the early runs, I'd just buy it.

    As for compromise... it is definitely a "stand-in" caboose. But the only other alternative is brass - and those will sell for $220+ each decorated, "if" you can find them. The Atlas will have to do for me but they are nice so...

    I'm fortunate enough to have 5 of the 01400 series cabooses (2 welded & 3 rivited) in brass. The MDC steel three window caboose makes a decent stand-in for those... it has the correct cupola, and the window placement is sort of correct. I think replacing the sides wiht sheet plastic and cutting correct gasket sealed windows and kit bashing a roofwalk would yield a good caboose.

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