Atlas HO ATSF Ce6 Wide Vision Caboose
The Santa Fe Railroad was one of many users of waycars, or cabooses over the years. Many of these cars were built and rebuilt throughout their lifetime. However, when the number of cabooses diminishes to a critical level, Santa Fe management would buy new ones. Such was the case with the Ce6. Built by International Car Company, the Ce6 was a wide-vision design never used before in the ATSF. A total of five were procured in 1974, numbered 999538-999542.
Atlas has released their newest wide-vision caboose in HO, and it is nice! Among the first things you notice with this caboose is the absence of walkways and the unique corrugated roof. The chimney is properly braced to the cupola, and there are even windows installed.
Upon close inspection, you notice that there are no grabirons on the caboose. None molded on anywhere. Instead, Atlas provides you with a full set of pre-shaped grabirons to install. Likewise with the car-end bracing and framework.
The only real downside to this caboose is the same with any other mass-produced caboose - the windows are not accurate. There are three-too-many windows on the main car body, but it wouldn't be too difficult to fix this. On the plus side, the windows that are there are in the correct positions, though the window frames need to be rounded slightly in the corners. Again, a minor problem that is easily corrected (or ignored).
The underside of the caboose has a nice set of braking equipment/plumbing and external toolbox. Even the rivets are nicely portrayed on the carbody. Converting this Ce6 to one of the 50 Ce8 cabooses is actually rather easy. Remove the rivets. The window patterns and virtually everything else is identical between the Ce6 and Ce8.
Okay, so I'm suffering from a touch of AMS on the rails. I happened across the Santa Fe Waycar book by Stephen Priest, and before I knew it, I was on a quest for an accurate Santa Fe caboose.
This Atlas offering is currently the best injection-molded caboose I've seen of the Ce6 and won't be difficult to accurize. Heck, you might just see an article about it in the coming months.