Bluford Shops products are not intended for children under 14.
Pre-Orders are now open:
New N Scale ICC Bay Window Cabooses.
Products bearing Southern Pacific, Missouri Pacific, Chicago & North Western and Cotton Belt marks are made under trademark license from Union Pacific Railroad Company.
Over the years the design of the bay windows evolved and Bluford Shops is presenting four phases of these designs plus the iconic half-bay window edition. All five will be represented in this announcement. Ladders and running boards will be included on appropriate paint schemes for each version. The ready-to-run models will feature magnetically operating knuckle couplers, Fox Valley Models metal wheels, wire grab irons, window “glass”, and plenty of weight. MSRP: $39.95 each. Now in production for 2020 delivery.
As the caboose era drew to a close in the late 1980s, many of these cars started new careers as “shoving platforms.” In this case, they would lead trains up branchlines where there were no opportunities for the locomotives to run around the train for the return trip. A crew member could safely ride the platform and be the eyes of the engineer. Norfolk Southern has a number of shoving platforms and it appears no two of them are exactly alike. We present two cars both of which were inherited from Conrail and are equipped with half-bay windows. NS 555201 has the medium size NS logo and the windows intact. NS 555200 has the large NS logo and all but the front and rear facing windows blanked. The two cars also differ in roof trim, brake stand, railing, and grab iron colors.
40080 Norfolk Southern #555201 shoving platform.
40081 Norfolk Southern #555200 large logo.
Erie was an early adopter of the all-steel bay window caboose, receiving their first phase 1 example in 1952. Erie was also the first Class One railroad to be completely “radio equipped” with radios in all road service locomotives, cabooses, dispatcher offices, towers and operator locations. This innovation was proudly proclaimed on their latest cabooses. Erie’s phase 1 caboose fleet passed intact to successor Erie-Lackawanna in 1960.
41030 Erie #301.
41031 Erie #337.
41035 Erie #346.
In 1963, Southern Railway acquired control of the Central Of Georgia Railway. From that point on, CoG adopted their parent’s paint schemes and lettering styles. This pair of cabooses were transferred from Southern to CoG and re-lettered during this period. Central Of Georgia persists today as a “paper railroad” subsidiary of Norfolk Southern.
41040 Central Of Georgia #X3118.
41041 Central Of Georgia #X3136.
When it came to all-steel bay window cabooses, Southern Railway had the Erie beat by more than a decade. Their first group of 48 phase 1 cars began rolling off the production line in 1941! Many more followed over the next four decades. This run represents how these cars were painted through the steam to diesel transition era.
41050 Southern – transition era #X2895
41051 Southern – transition era #X3148
41055 Southern – transition era #X3119
Chicago & North Western received this group of phase 2 bay window cabooses from International Car in 1955. Even at this early date, C&NW was sold on the bay window concept and would never again order a new cupola style caboose (although some were picked up on the secondhand market and acquired through mergers.) All of the cars in this delivery had odd road numbers and the number series overlapped a group delivered to C&NW the previous year that all had even numbers. We are presenting this run in the original red paint.
42080 Chicago & North Western red #10357.
42081 Chicago & North Western red #10363.
Norfolk & Western inherited 100 of these phase 3 bay window cabooses in their 1964 merger with Nickel Plate Road. These remained the only bay window cabooses on the N&W until their 1982 acquisition of the Illinois Terminal. Clearance restrictions in West Virginia and Virginia caused these bay window cars to congregate on the northern two thirds of the N&W system.
43030 Norfolk & Western #557563.
43031 Norfolk & Western #557578.
Southern Pacific began ordering phase 4 bay window cabooses in 1961 and continued ordering them for about a decade. These road numbers were built by International Car in 1966. These cars differed from later Southern Pacific caboose deliveries in that they used the standard width bay windows versus the later, much narrower bay windows.
44100 Southern Pacific #1761.
44101 Southern Pacific #1770.
Cotton Belt received this group of phase 4 bay window cabooses from International Car in 1968. Southern Pacific had controlled the Cotton Belt since 1932 but it remained a separate company due in large part to traffic solicitation restrictions placed on the SP when they took control of the Central Pacific. These restrictions (which forced SP to preferentially solicit traffic for the Overland Route with UP instead of the Sunset Route) didn’t apply to Cotton Belt who could send as much traffic as they could over the Sunset Route. Mergers in the 80s made this a moot point and Cotton Belt merged into SP in 1992.
44110 Cotton Belt #64.
44111 Cotton Belt #76.
These Duluth Missabe & Iron Range phase 4 bay window cars began life as the first group of all-steel wide vision cabooses ever built by International Car in 1952. After 23 years of service some were in need of rebuilding. They emerged from the shops with the wide vision cupola replaced with bay windows. Go figure.
44120 Duluth Missabe & Iron Range #C-204
44121 Duluth Missabe & Iron Range #C-218
Although Milwaukee Road was known for building their own cabooses, by 1973, they had given up on the practice and ordered this group of phase 4 bay window cabooses from International Car. They were assigned to the Section 3 Class A assignment group “for mainline and transcontinental service, equipped with cushion underframe and radio.” In other words, Milwaukee’s most important trains.
44130 Milwaukee Road #992216.
44131 Milwaukee Road #992218.
Baltimore & Ohio received an impressive 128 car order of phase 4 bay window cabooses from International Car in 1971. Because the paint job was still fairly new when the Chessie image was adopted two years later, much of the fleet retained this paint scheme well into the Chessie era and often until retirement.
44140 Baltimore & Ohio blue #C-3802.
44141 Baltimore & Ohio blue #C-3715.
Missouri Pacific ordered this group of fifty phase 4 bay window cabooses from International Car in 1976. Although MoPac was generally pleased with them, they marked a turning point. Following this order MP switched to the short-body bay window design car which they built in large numbers in their own shops.
44150 Missouri Pacific #13685.
44151 Missouri Pacific #13702.