by: Frederick Boucher [ ]
Introduction This Atlas N scale model is based upon a standard caboose design of the International Car Company of Kenton, Ohio that was used in the 1940s. The cabooses showed real longevity and were found in operation well into the diesel era.
NE-6 CabooseThe NE (I have read this stood for North Eastern) caboose was an all-metal design by the International Car Company of Kenton, Ohio. The -6 was a standard that was used in the 1940s. It is typically associated with the New Haven Railroad but this body style was in fact used by other rail lines as well. The cabooses showed real longevity and were found in operation well into the diesel era.
The average weight was about 23 tons. The NE-6 has five steel panels separated by four vertical ribs on each carbody side.
Atlas N NE-6 Caboose Susquehanna No. 0111This model is securely packed in a plastic cradle held in a clear hard plastic case. A thin plastic sheet protects the caboose from scuffing against the cradle and case lid. The model is factory assembled and ready-to-run. Two different body styles are produced, a New Haven Body Style with windows spaced closer to the cupola, and a Nickel Plate Body Style with windows spaced further from the cupola.
My first impression was Look at the sharp small detail and that sharp printing! From the underframe hangs a pair of re-railers. Basic airbrake and brake rigging is also included and adds a lot to the underside when the caboose is viewed in profile from track level.
The trucks and wheels are plastic. I’ve got to admit, the plastic wheels look better because they don’t have that shine of metal wheels found on larger scales. The trucks are held to the underside by plastic pins.
The model is molded without any noticeable flaws. For N scale the end ladders are very thin, too. The one scale drawback of N is the couplers. Though they are way too big that is par for the scale; I have only found one aftermarket brand that is more to scale.
The chain guard across the end railing and on the brake posts is impressively fine, too. The steps are molded open as well.
This caboose type had relatively small windows. You really cannot see inside which is no doubt why no interior was provided. The windows are clear all the same.
The caboose is 34 scale-feet long from sill to sill, and 40 feet from coupler to coupler. It weighs .9 ounces. NMRA RP-20.1 Car Weight suggests the weight should be .72 ounces.
DetailsYour N scale gem features:
• Finely detailed end rails, smokestack and ladders
• Brake line detail
• Weighted chassis
• Friction-bearing or roller-bearing caboose trucks as appropriate
• Factory-equipped with AccuMate® couplers
• Accurate painting and printing
• Railroad specific features
LiveryAtlas’ finish on this model is top notch. The paint is smooth and does not obscure detail. The markings and data are sharp for the scale. Six roadnames are available:
• Norfolk & Western
• Undecorated New Haven Style
• Undecorated Nickel Plate Style
• Wheeling & Lake Erie
Most have two road numbers.
ConclusionCompared to a couple of N scale cabeese I have c. 1990, am impressed with this model. N scale of today has the detail only found in larger scales a decade ago. The molding of the body is crisp. The fidelity of the detail parts is impressive. Painting is smooth and markings are sharp. Overall this is a good model for N-scalers who want a steel caboose spanning the steam-diesel transition era through today. Recommend.
Susquehanna The New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway (reporting mark NYSW), also known as the Susie-Q, or simply the Susquehanna, is a Class II American freight railway operating over 500 miles (800 km) of track in the northeastern states of New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The initial railroad that became Susie-Q began in 1854, eventually becoming “Susquehanna” in 1881 from the merger of several smaller railroads. Passenger service, including commuter service from Northern New Jersey to New York City, was offered until 1966. After losing the intermodal traffic in the late 1990s to CSX and Norfolk Southern (as a result of the Conrail breakup), the freight operations continue into the 21st Century with contracts to haul commercial waste, corn syrup, and other materials. In March 2008 the railroad started selling off its historic passenger rolling stock to various concerns. Despite this Susie-Q is a survivor!
Conrail Caboose Photo Archive. “The ex-New Haven Classes - N-8A, N-8B, NE-6”. http://www.hebners.net/cr/crNH.html
Wikipedia. New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway.