This is commonly referred to as a Firecracker antenna. You need a really good ground plane for this thing to work right. I had a friend who had one of these off of an old locomotive, and he had a lot of problems with it. he had it mounted on the roof of his car.
That's a Firecracker antenna. Needs a really good ground plane to work effectively and is usually seen mounted on top of the locomotive cab.
Many railroads (at least in the eastern US) have gotten away from using this antenna as they're too subject to damage from low-hanging tree branches. A 1/4-wave whip is just about as effective and just snaps around when hit by a tree branch (usually). Plus, it's essentially a unity-gain antenna, and isn't much better than a 1/4-wave whip.
If you're looking for something for the house, go with something designed for base use in the VHF band. For mobile use, get a mag-mount 5/8-wave VHF antenna (unless you're willing to punch holes in the car for an NMO mount in which case you can get a 5/8-wave NMO-mount antenna).