Live from Trainfest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin: In 2007, Tangent Scale Models started the trend of offering unparalleled railroad freight car replicas in HO scale, the likes of which had never been seen in the market. These highly-detailed replicas have consistently raised the bar for HO scale models with several hallmarks, including precision tooling, hyper-accurate stenciling, true to life colors, and era-specific details. Additionally, our models are designed to operate perfectly by including CNC-machined wheels, correct weights, and correct coupler heights. Simply put: We offer detailed freight cars on a higher level.
Fast forward to today’s release: our third “Tangent quality” HO scale caboose offering. The era of “one size fits all” cabooses in HO scale plastic is over. We bring our passion and knowledge for translating real 1:1 railroad equipment from freight cars to cabooses. And we are taking things a step further, where our penchant for operations is accelerated with accurate marker lighting in era-specific versions!
Our third caboose model is the HO Scale IC Centralia Shops Wide Vision Caboose. These IC cabooses are one of the most recognizable body styles in North America. You know these cabooses – with those long, extended end walkways, wide vision cupolas, and bright orange paint. This caboose was utilized system-wide on the IC, ICG, the “New” IC and yes, even on today’s CN. At its peak, the ICG served 14 states, including major interchange terminals from Chicago, IL, East St. Louis, IL, and Kansas City, MO to Louisville, KY, Memphis, TN and Birmingham, AL. These cabooses certainly got around!
Perhaps your trains model the famous IC “Main Line of Mid-America” North-South racetrack. Or maybe you model the final days of the IC-UP run-through freights between North Platte, NE and Chicago, IL. For others, coal is king in Southern Illinois and Kentucky. Perhaps pulpwood traffic is your jam in Vicksburg, MS. Or maybe you just need to protect your crews with a shoving platform in Mattoon, IL on today’s CN. Tangent has the right caboose for your train!
Our “system” of cabooses includes two different Centralia build lots, with multiple assembly variations. How about a little history on the subject:
IC Centralia Wide Vision Caboose with Stanray Roof
In the late 1960s, the Illinois Central Railroad embarked on a program to modernize its fleet of road cabooses. With most of the IC’s side-door cabooses starting to show their age, the railroad used its own Centralia, Illinois Car Shops to design and build an all-new steel caboose. In 1966, IC tested this process and built a small group of 50 riveted-design cabooses at Centralia. These riveted cabooses featured a smooth welded roof and plain bearing trucks. A couple of years later in 1968, the Darby Corporation built an additional 50 welded-design cabooses. Centralia then accelerated the program and produced 200 new cabooses between 1970 and 1972. This 1970-72 group is the target for the Tangent Scale Models IC Centralia Wide Vision Caboose system. The first 100 cabooses built in 1970 featured riveted body construction, extended platform ends for crew safety, wide vision cupolas, and Stanray “reverse-diagonal” panel roofs.
IC Centralia Wide Vision Caboose with Pullman Standard Roof
The second 100 cabooses, built in 1972, featured Pullman Standard “bow-tie” panel roofs. All of these cabooses boasted modern features such as full electrical lighting and marker lights, bunks and high-back chairs, an oil heater, and roller bearing trucks. This modern fleet of IC Centralia wide vision cabooses served on IC, ICG, and now Canadian National continuously from 1970 to today, painted in a myriad of IC / ICG / ”New” IC / CN paint schemes. Additionally, many cabooses were sold to short lines and regional railroads.
And now, on to the models! The Tangent Scale Models IC Centralia Wide Vision Caboose is a state of the art, dimensionally-accurate scale replica with highly accurate “true-to-life” colors and precise letter stencils. Designed from meticulous field dimensions, our model includes build year and era-specific details such as a Keystone Cushion Underframe and full brake system details, underframe detail variations, Stanray and Pullman roof variations, side window variations, and wide vision cupola window options. Our model also includes distinctive details like full end platform tread plate and see-through steps and running boards. Inside the model is an accurate IC interior layout — from bunks and lockers to the ice chest and oil bunker. We offer “no fuss” track-powered interior and exterior lighting features, including marker light options that are appropriate for the era and paint scheme of each caboose. Our cabooses are compatible with DC or DCC setups right out of the box (a simple wand included in the box activates the lights). Finally, our ready-to-operate replica includes “near-scale” draft gear box including side “key” detail, coupler lift bars, Kadee® scale couplers, sufficient hidden weights, and CNC-machined wheels to ensure the model operates as good as it looks.
Tangent’s IC Centralia Wide Vision Caboose System replicas are AVAILABLE TODAY and include the following eleven schemes plus two undecorated kit options:
- Illinois Central (IC) “Original Orange Split Rail 1970” replicates the as-built paint scheme as the cabooses rolled out of the Centralia Shops. The IC painted their cabooses in a beautiful orange and lettered them with the “Split Rail” logo and “Main Line Of Mid-America” slogan. This group of cabooses features a Stanray roof, along with an accurate Keystone Center-of-Car cushioning underframe and matching brake components layout for the 1970 Centralia lot. The little details are present – from the accurate smokejack and “can” radio antenna on the roof to the water filler covers and pipes on the underframe. IC painted the bathroom window with a half orange patch for privacy, and we have carefully duplicated this neat little detail on the model. The fully-painted, green interior is illuminated with LED “warm” lights to replicate incandescent bulbs, as well as accurate, lighted IC box-style red-green markers on the ends. Check out those beautiful Barber caboose trucks, complete with accurate Brenco-6 style roller bearings. We are offering this scheme in eight road numbers! SKU 60210
– Illinois Central Gulf (ICG) “Orange I-Ball Repaint 1974+” represents a common repaint scheme applied by the now Illinois Central Gulf’s Centralia Shops. The GM&O and IC merged in August of 1972, and cabooses were painted with a new version of the logo: The IC’s “split rail” was filled in to form the ICG’s “solid I.” The ICG didn’t bother to mask off the aluminum window frames, so they are now orange with the rest of the carbody. These accurate repaint car numbers are carefully selected from the 1972-built group of cabooses. That means they feature a Pullman “bow-tie” panel roof. But there is more to it that that – along with PS panels, the roof features a completely different construction layout, and Apex walkway than the earlier Stanray-equipped series. The underframe details also match the 1972 Centralia lot, including accurate brake components layout and the classic IC-style battery box. This group of cabooses was built with Microphor chemical toilets, so there is no visible dump pipe on the underframe. Take a minute to enjoy the finer details of this model, including Timken style roller bearings and flexible rubber air hoses. The fully-painted interior is illuminated with LED “warm” lights to replicate incandescent bulbs, and the ends feature accurate, lighted IC(G) box-style red-green markers for the era. This scheme is available in four prototypically accurate numbers! SKU 60211
– Illinois Central Gulf (ICG) “Simplified Orange Repaint w/Logo 1978+” illustrates the ICG’s attempt to save money and apply a simplified painting scheme to their equipment. Gone is the full “ILLINOIS CENTRAL GULF” and I-ball logo. It has been replaced with a simple bold ICG and black “I” logo. While the paint scheme is simplified, the details are the opposite. These 1978+ car number selections are chosen from the IC’s 1970 group of Stanray-roof cabooses. The underframe has been modernized: The toilet dump pipe is gone, since the prototype’s interior bathroom was reconfigured with a Microphor chemical toilet. A new thin drain pipe for the relocated sink takes its place. If you look closely at the wide vision cupola roof, you will see a tiny pipe vent – this is the breather pipe for the toilet tank! The Centralia battery box has been added, causing adjustment of the underframe supports. The lighting has also changed. Of course, the interior is lit to mimic the incandescent bulbs of the prototype but check out the ends: A flashing red FRA light has been added to the existing IC-style Red green marker setup. Cabooses in the 1970s and 80s are in a constant state of change, and we find that modeling many of these detail and lighting changes to be incredibly interesting! This scheme is available in four prototypically accurate numbers, with each SKU containing differences in stenciling and placement to match the prototype. SKU 60212
– Illinois Central Gulf (ICG) “Simplified Orange Repaint 1987+” replicates an exact one-of-a-kind ICG repaint with a little extra “flair.” As many of you know, the IC (and later ICG/New IC) regularly ran December “Santa Train” service on the Illinois Division, making sure that the children along the line had an opportunity to speak with Kris Kringle himself and get those Christmas wish lists submitted. This caboose was repainted for Santa Train duties in late 1987, receiving yet another version of the ICG’s simplified orange scheme. But a Santa caboose deserves some extra special attention, so Centralia applied ICG logos to the caboose side along with white handrail and step edge highlights. Big changes were coming fast to the ICG, with a corporate name change right around the corner in 1988. As a result, this was the final caboose repainted orange by the ICG. After Santa service was completed, the caboose returned to freight duties on the railroad. The 1987 era translates to many little details for this caboose: This scheme features accurate plated windows on the body, along with plated box-markers on the end. The coupler lift bars are a replacement style and the small water fill covers on the sill are long gone. The end cupola windows have also been modified to a smaller size by the ICG. This replica has a lighted interior along with an operating FRA flashing red light on each end. This scheme is available in one prototypically accurate number. SKU 60213
– Illinois Central (IC) “Gray Repaint 1988+” shows off the “New” IC corporate image of the time period, which was later referred to as “Death Star.” The ICG removed the “G” in early 1988, and the new slimmed-down railroad adopted an all-new logo and color scheme palette. Centralia painted cabooses in a classy gray with white lettering, including the “New Image” IC logo. The prototype numbers selected for this offering are from the 1972 IC lot with Pullman roofs. These cabooses feature accurate plated windows and plated end marker light boxes. The interior is lit along with era-appropriate flashing FRA red lights applied to each end. That beautiful gray paint allows you to pause and peek at many little details. Did you notice the intricately rendered “Junior JAL-Tread” raised-cleat treadplate on the extended end walkways and step treads? How about that detailed oil tank gauge, fuel oil fill and floor spill drain on the A End of the caboose? This scheme is available in 4 prototypically accurate numbers, with each SKU featuring slightly different lettering and data placement to match the prototypes. SKU 60214
– Chicago Missouri & Western (CM&W) “Red Repaint 1988+” is the first offering in this release aimed at a second-hand operator of IC Centralia Wide Vision Cabooses. The CM&W Railway purchased the ICG’s ex-GM&O mainlines between East St. Louis, IL, Joliet, IL and Kansas City, MO in 1987. Its first paint scheme was an Alton R.R.-inspired red and maroon. The CM&W rostered a dozen of the ex-IC/ICG Centralia cabooses, but only one would receive this stunning paint application. The Tangent replica is decorated with an intricate and accurate CM&W logo along with classy yellow handrail highlights. This is a former IC 1970 lot caboose, so it is equipped with a Stanray roof, just like the prototype. The model features an accurate Keystone-equipped cushion underframe with Battery Box and toilet pipe modifications made by the IC. The model also features correct “plated” windows and “blanked” end marker light boxes, plus additional modern changes like replacement style coupler lift bars and a “cut off” smokejack. If you look closely at the cupola end windows, you will notice that they are a “modified” style from its days on the ICG. Yes, we tooled multiple cupolas to handle window changes across the eras. This model is equipped with interior lights and a red FRA light on each end, flashing with that carefully researched slow decay of the prototype. Watching a caboose’s flashing red light disappear in the distance is a classic railfan experience — getting that red flash rate correct is important to us! This scheme is available in one prototypically accurate number. SKU 60215
– MidSouth Rail Corporation (MSRC) “Gray Repaint 1989+” is our second example of an IC Centralia Wide Vision caboose that has found its way to an ICG spin-off railroad. The MidSouth Rail Corporation started operation in 1986, taking over several hundred miles of ex-ICG lines in Mississippi and Louisiana. The MidSouth rostered a few ex-ICG cabooses. Our example was repainted by MidSouth into a beautiful gray scheme with a green stripe and tall MIDSOUTH graphics. This MSRC caboose survived the ICG era with its body windows intact but did have its end marker lights plated over. This is a Pullman roof ex-IC car, so it also has all the underframe features to match these 1972 builds, including the IC style battery box. Each piece of lettering is carefully reproduced on this caboose, from the accurate COTS panel data to the “NO. 2 DIESEL FUEL” lettering on the A-end. This model is available in one prototypical number. Finally, an accurate caboose to put behind those MSRC Geeps! SKU 60216
– Canadian National (CN) “Red Repaint 2005+” gives the modern era modelers some love. A handful of the IC Centralia Wide Vision Cabooses have continued to serve the CN into the 2000s and beyond. IC 199408 was repainted from its IC Gray scheme into CN’s Oxide Red colors in 2005 at Centralia. At this time, it also received the yellow reflective delineators. This model features plated fixed side windows, plated end markers, replacement style coupler lift bars, modernized end cupola windows, and a “cut off” smokejack, all based on the prototype caboose. It is illuminated with LED “warm” lights to replicate incandescent bulbs, as well as FRA flashing red end lights. This caboose serves faithfully on the CN today around Champaign, IL and Mattoon, IL. It’s hard to believe, but this caboose will soon wear CN paint longer than any previous IC gray or IC(G) orange scheme! This caboose is accurate for 2005 through to today, available in one prototypical number. SKU 60218
– Canadian National (CN) “Red Repaint 2007+” gives another modern era example for today’s CN modelers. A handful of the IC Centralia Wide Vision Cabooses have continued to serve the CN into the 2000s and beyond. ICG 199576 was repainted from its ICG orange scheme into CN’s Oxide Red colors and yellow reflective delineators in 2007 at Centralia. This is one of the “Stanray” roof IC cars from the 1970 lot. The model features intact side body windows, as this example has survived the entire modern era without getting the window plating treatment. The end marker boxes have been completely removed on this specific caboose, and we have duplicated this on the model. It also features replacement style coupler lift bars painted blue, modernized end cupola windows, and a “cut off” smokejack, all based on the prototype. It is illuminated with LED “warm” lights to replicate incandescent bulbs, as well as FRA flashing red end lights. This caboose still serves faithfully on the CN – it was last noted around Baton Rouge, LA in 2022! This example of modern 2007-2022 accuracy is available in one prototypical number. SKU 60219
– Ready-To-Run “IC/ICG Orange Unlettered 1980+ with Stanray Roof” is a nod to the prolific IC and ICG modeling community out there. There are a lot of ICG paint schemes to do, and this offering allows builders to customize their own model for the 1980+ ICG era. This is an ex-IC Stanray roof car, and it has full windows, with the window frames painted orange. It is ready-to-decal into any of the many different IC/ICG orange schemes or second-hand patches that were on the rails in that era. What does the 1980+ part mean? The end marker light boxes have been plated over, and the caboose has a red FRA light on each end. This ready-to-decal caboose is painted IC(G) orange with a black underframe. It is equipped with interior lights as well as flashing red FRA lights. SKU 60205-01
– Ready-To-Run “IC/ICG Orange Unlettered 1980+ with Pullman Roof” is a nod to the prolific IC and ICG modeling community out there. There are a lot of ICG paint schemes to do, and this offering allows builders to customize their own model for the 1980+ ICG era. This is an ex-IC Pullman roof car, and it has full windows, with the window frames painted orange. It is ready-to-decal into any of the many different IC/ICG orange schemes or second-hand patches that were on the rails in that era. What does the 1980+ part mean? The end marker light boxes have been plated over, and the caboose has a red FRA light on each end. This ready-to-decal caboose is painted IC(G) orange with a black underframe. It is equipped with interior lights as well as flashing red FRA lights. SKU 60206-01
– Undecorated KIT “IC 1970+ with Stanray Roof” is an unassembled kit version of the IC Centralia Wide Vision Caboose with the Stanray roof. This kit is UNLIT — no electronics are included. It is perfect for those who want to build their own cars or want to customize their own lighting circuit options. Ready for building, painting, and lettering for a favorite prototype or your own private road. This kit includes Tangent’s 70T roller bearing caboose trucks with power-pickup and 33″ standard .110” tread CNC wheels. You supply your own favorite couplers. SKU 60200-01
– Undecorated KIT “IC 1972+ with Pullman Roof” is an unassembled kit version of the IC Centralia Wide Vision Caboose with the Pullman roof. This kit is UNLIT — no electronics are included. It is perfect for those who want to build their own cars or want to customize their own lighting circuit options. Ready for building, painting, and lettering for a favorite prototype or your own private road. This kit includes Tangent’s 70T roller bearing caboose trucks with power-pickup and 33″ standard .110” tread CNC wheels. You supply your own favorite couplers. SKU 60201-01
Besides the above kits, we have these brand-new caboose – and locomotive (!) – parts available on our website for additional building and bashing options and combinations beyond the kits. We expanded the Unique and Useful parts line with the following four NEW additions:
– Caboose Flags – Type 2 is a pack of eight (8) metal “flag” paddles used on cabooses for daytime running. This pack contains the rectangular style used by IC and ICG in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. The painted metal parts are red on one side and green on the other, matching the prototypes, and have a mounting stem for a customer-drilled #76 hole. A great update for any IC/ICG family caboose! SKU 241
– Can-Style Radio Antennas contains a pack of six (6) radio antennas as used by the IC, ICG and other roads on diesel locomotives and cabooses. These plastic parts have a mounting pin for installation, if you want to drill hole, or it can be trimmed and glued directly to the roof of your model. SKU 1300
– Motorola Firecracker-Style Radio Antennas contains a pack of six (6) radio antennas as used by many railroads on diesel locomotives and cabooses. These turned-metal parts (not plastic!) are durable and won’t break and great for super-detailing exercises. SKU 1301
– Sinclair-Style Radio Antennas contains a pack of six (6) radio antennas as used by many railroads on diesel locomotives and cabooses. These plastic parts have mounting pins for installation, if you want to drill holes, or they can be trimmed off and glued directly to the roof of your model. SKU 1302
Finally, we are pleased to add another all-new caboose truck to our ever-expanding system of trucks:
– 70-Ton Barber Roller Bearing Caboose Trucks with power pickup is a pair of our all-new roller bearing trucks as seen in our IC Centralia Wide Vision Caboose system. These trucks have a separate, installed brake beam part, and feature power pickup with wires. This makes them perfect for your own caboose projects! The trucks contain CNC-machined blackened brass wheels, and we are pleased to offer this new truck in both .110” Standard tread and .088” Semi scale tread versions.
SKU 114 (.110” Standard Wheels)
SKU 115 (.088” Semi-Scale Wheels)
All of these models can be seen at www.tangentscalemodels.com!
These cabooses are shipping today! Features for these replicas include:
– Dimensional accuracy – designed from meticulous field dimensions using real tape measures and multiple real IC Centralia Cabooses.
– Highly correct “true to life” colors
– “Hyper-Accurate” lettering including exact fonts and lettering placement
– Genuine Kadee® scale couplers
– “Near-scale” draft gear box with beautifully-rendered side “key” detail
– Multiple road numbers for each scheme, as appropriate
– Era-specific body details for each RTR scheme, including multiple body, side vents and side window combinations
– Three different era-specific and road number specific wide vision cupola options
– Two different roof options – “Stanray” or “Pullman Standard”
– Two different Apex “See through” running boards
– Accurate Centralia Shops-specific outward-angled end ladders
– Accurate Keystone Center-of-Car cushioning unit
– Railroad and era-specific underframe details to match as-built and IC(G) modified configurations
– Multiple cupola roof options for different radio antennas and chemical toilet vent
– End steps and walkways that carefully replicate the prototype “Junior JAL-Tread” walkway pattern
– Unapologetically fine etch metal side and end window screens, where appropriate
– Five different end railing/marker light options, based on railroad and era
– Three different smokejacks to cover IC/ICG and replacement options
– Two “coupler lift bar” options per prototype application and era
– Railroad specific/era specific battery box options
– Different toilet pipe/sink drain pipe options based on the prototype and era
– Full IC-specific interior – chairs, bunks, desk, lockers, ice chest, oil bunker and the most detailed Vapor Corporation TCHA55 Caban heater in HO Scale! The interior is fully painted with railroad and era-specific colors.
– Full underbody details – brake system with brake rods and piping, release rod, snubber, water fills, axle generator and more – all based on the prototype and era!
– Beautiful side wire curved grab irons, intricate signature Centralia end railings in plastic with accurate wire top ladder hoops.
– Flexible rubber air hoses with mounting bracket detail
– Consumer applied optional metal red/green “flag” paddle parts included for appropriate eras
– Consumer applied optional cupola Prime wind deflector parts included
– LED illuminated scale-sized IC Red-Green Marker light boxes that can be controlled red/green/off – on each end – independently, where appropriate
– LED illuminated scale-sized ICG FRA end lights with a proper slow flash/prototype “decay” that can be controlled on or off – on each end – independently, where appropriate
– LED illuminated interior lighting “warm” lights to replicate incandescent bulbs that can be controlled on or off.
– No complicated decoder. No complicated programming. No complicated electronics. DC/DCC compatible track-powered “no fuss” interior and marker light lighting – simple and easy to operate with included wand
– CNC-machined standard RP25 .110” tread 33” wheels (Yes, semi-scale .088” wheels are available separately!)
– All-New precision Tangent Scale Models 70-ton Barber roller bearing trucks with separate brake beam part, or 70-Ton Gould roller bearing trucks with separate brake beam parts, as appropriate for each paint scheme
– Recommended age 14 years and older
Don’t miss out on the Tangent Scale Models IC Centralia Shops Wide Vision Caboose System, our third release in the Tangent caboose line. Pricing for RTR models is $119.95, with quantity discounts for direct purchases from Tangent Scale Models.