Walthers - Platinum Line HO Scale 30' GTW Caboose w/Offset Coupla - Rio Grande (Denver & Rio Grande Western)
For use with your scale model railroad
Denver & Rio Grande Western(TM) HO scale Walthers Platinum Line: All the Detail with Less Work * All Grab Irons Installed * All Detail Parts Added * Metal Wheelsets * McHenry(R) Knuckle Couplers * Superb Paint & Lettering The banshee wail of a whistle splits the still summer air. Baseballs are swapped for bikes and we're flying down the dirt road to the crossing. Breathless, we wave to the engineer as the steamer puffs past. Minutes later the bright red caboose rumbles into view, a sharp contrast to the brown box cars and black hoppers in the rest of the train. This time we wave to the crewman in the cupola and wish we could trade places! For over 100 years no freight train was complete without a caboose bringing up the rear. To crews they were known as way cars, vans, cabins, buggies, hacks, crummies and dozens of other colorful nicknames. On the road, they served as office, hotel, restaurant and observation post for the conductor and flagman. Walthers brings back the glory days of the caboose with this model, based on wood-bodied cars of the 1920s fitted with stronger, safer steel underframes. Many cabooses of this era soldiered on into the 1970s so the models are the perfect complement to your favorite steam or diesel power. Each Platinum Line model comes fully assembled with all grab irons and details installed, ready for the road. Most lines owned hundreds of similar cars, so decorated models are available as 2-Packs and Single cars with three different numbers to expand your fleet in minutes. All are complete with detailed interiors, separately applied "wood" roofwalks, window glazing and molded end ladders. Leaf spring arch-bar trucks, turned-metal wheels and McHenry(R) near scale knuckle couplers complete the realistic detail.
A caboose (North American railway terminology) or brake van or guard's van (British terminology) is a manned rail transport vehicle coupled at the end of a freight train. Although cabooses were once used on nearly every freight train, their use has declined and they are seldom seen on trains, except on locals and smaller railroads.
The caboose provided the train crew with a shelter at the rear of the train. The crew could exit the train for switching or to protect the rear of the train when stopped. They also inspected the train for problems such as shifting loads, broken or dragging equipment, and hot boxes. The conductor kept records and handled business from a table or desk in the caboose. For longer trips the caboose provided minimal living quarters, and was frequently personalized and decorated with pictures and posters.
Coal or wood was originally used to fire a cast iron stove for heat and cooking, later giving way to a kerosene heater. Now rare, the old stoves can be identified by several essential features. They were without legs, bolted directly to the floor, and featured a lip on the top surface to keep pans and coffee pots from sliding off. They also had a double-latching door, to prevent accidental discharge of hot coals due to the rocking motion of the caboose.
Early cabooses were nothing more than flat cars with small cabins erected on them, or modified box cars. The standard form of the American caboose had a platform at either end with curved grab rails to facilitate train crew members' ascent onto a moving train. A caboose was fitted with red lights called markers to enable the rear of the train to be seen at night. This has led to the phrase bringing up the markers to describe the last car on a train (these lights were officially what made a train a "train"). 
Originally lit with oil lamps, with the advent of electricity, later caboose versions incorporated an electrical generator driven by belts coupled to one of the axles, which charged a lead-acid storage battery when the train was in motion.
Cabooses are non-revenue equipment and were often improvised or retained well beyond the normal lifetime of a freight car. Tradition on many lines held that the caboose should be painted a bright red, though on many lines it eventually became the practice to paint them in the same corporate colors as locomotives. The Kansas City Southern did something unique: They left their cabooses unpainted, but ordered them with a stainless-steel car body. These were the exception to the rule of painting cabooses.
Other Rio Grande Items In HO Scale: Bachmann HO Scale 2-6-2 Prairie Locomotive - Rio Grande / Trainline EMD GP9 HO Scale Locomotive - Rio Grande
Rio Grande Items In Other Scales: Bachmann On30 Scale Electric Train Set - Rio Grande / Lionel O Scale Electric Train Set - Rio Grande Flyer- Just In Time For Christmas!
News Stories About The Rio Grande: Railroad Photo Gallery - Union Pacific GP40-2 1368 (Ex Rio Grande)