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First Look Review
N scale
C&O Steel Caboose
TrainmanŽ C&O Caboose - Belt Railway of Chicago
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

Atlas N TrainmanŽ C&O Caboose
Roadname: Belt Railway of Chicago
Item: 39862

Atlas just released their 4th run of Atlas N TrainmanŽ C&O Caboose. This one is in the livery of Belt Railway of Chicago, and is equipped with AccuMateŽ knuckle couplers.

C&O Steel Caboose
The first all-steel cabooses built for the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad were produced in 1937 by the Magor Car Corporation in Clifton, N.J. Magor, along with St. Louis Car Company and ACF, ultimately built a total of 350 cabooses for the C&O using a similar design. The last were produced in 1949. Through subsequent rebuilding and modernization, many remained in service through the end of regular caboose usage in the 1980s. Cabooses of a similar design were also built for Pere Marquette, Missouri Pacific and Chicago & Eastern Illinois. [1]

N TrainmanŽ C&O Caboose
Atlas' TrainmanŽ is their entry-level series of trains. They lack finescale tooling and most of the detail is molded on. Atlas has upgraded the products with knuckle couplers and very good paint.

The model is packed in a cradle, surrounded by a soft plastic sheet to protect from scuffing. This is set in a clear jewel case. The case is made to stack other Atlas jewel cases upon, and to display the model; the model is its own box art.

Model features:

    - Crisply molded body detail
    - Weighted, detailed underframe
    - Equipped with AccuMateŽ knuckle couplers*
    - Window glazing

Molding of the body is sharp; I found no noticeable flash, sink marks, or seam lines on it. The rivets are big. The flexible plastic end rails and ladders are oversized, and I spotted a burr from the sprue on one. Sunshades are case over the body windows. All windows have clear plastic glazing. Hand railings on the ends and atop the cupola are molded on. Only token detail is molded to the underframe, with the exception of some open brackets. Plastic wheels molded in a dirty brown carry the cabin car. They roll acceptably. Trucks on this caboose have only the most basic detail, and are secured to the frame with plastic pins.

Atlas equips the model with AccuMateŽ knuckle couplers.

This caboose is modeled for the time of running boards on the roof. A smoke jack aslo details the roof. The most interesting detail I found are the open backed stirrups below each end platform.

Paint & Finish
Atlas' paint is good. The lines between colors are sharp despite the big rivets. Aside from the Belt Railway of Chicago emblem and car number, the caboose is devoid of lettering.

Atlas has a nice starter caboose here. I appreciate the clean molding , and the dirty brown wheels. AccuMateŽ knuckle couplers really upgrade this model. This is an older model as shown by the big parts. While molding is clean, the sprue burrs on the ladders and railings take a little away.

This is a starter model and does not have the 21st century tooling and detail of Atlas' Master Series, but it was not meant to. The paint is sharp and the model looks good per "The 3-foot Rule".

I recommend it as a good looking starter caboose.

Please remember to tell sellers and manufacturers that you saw this model here - on Railroad Modeling!

[1]. Atlas Model Railroad Co.

*AccuMateŽ couplers are made under license from AccuRail, Inc.

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Crisp paint and knuckle couplers.
Lows: Older, molded, over-scale detail.
Verdict: A good looking starter caboose.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: N Scale
  Mfg. ID: 39862
  Suggested Retail: $16.95
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Aug 24, 2012
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Atlas Model Railroad!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright Š2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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