SyntheticBlinkerFluid SuperDork
3/18/12 11:17 p.m.

So as some of you know I'm a big Railfan. I grew up with trains and being around them. Out where I live here in the country, every once in a while I'll see someone with a caboose in their backyard. I actually like the idea of owning a caboose since they have not been used by the railroads for 25+ years and there are still many that are sitting on sidings waiting to be scrapped or bought up by railroad companies.

After doing some internet searching, it seems that it's actually not that difficult to purchase a caboose. The most difficult part is getting it from a local rail yard to your house.

So the style I'm looking at is a rear cupola style caboose like this CB&Q.

The reason being is because of the space. Most of the space is in the front 3/4s of the caboose. Now realize that these can be gutted and you can do almost anything to the inside.

Right now this is a total pipe dream, so I'm not even thinking or considering logistics right now. One day I hope to do this. I think it would be pretty cool.

Oh here's an article on somebody who actually moved one into their backyard. Pretty interesting.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker UltimaDork
3/18/12 11:42 p.m.

I have no knowledge of this whatsoever but I already berkeleying love this idea. That is enough room for a single guy, a motorcycle and a dog. Can you attach a couple high top box cars so you can have a garage?

Mitchell SuperDork
3/18/12 11:52 p.m.

Better yet, just move the car onto an abandoned piece of track. When you want to move, move the caboose.

DoctorBlade Dork
3/19/12 12:01 a.m.


SyntheticBlinkerFluid SuperDork
3/19/12 12:12 a.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: I have no knowledge of this whatsoever but I already berkeleying love this idea. That is enough room for a single guy, a motorcycle and a dog. Can you attach a couple high top box cars so you can have a garage?

A High Cube boxcar can be 50-60 feet in length, about 13 feet high and about 9.5 feet in width. It's totally possible to make one into a garage. Actually it would work considering the average car isn't much more than 6 feet wide.

Mitchell SuperDork
3/19/12 12:34 a.m.

At 60' x 9.5', I have lived in a smaller apartment than that. It had two bedrooms, too.

fasted58 SuperDork
3/19/12 7:28 a.m.

Some years ago, a co-workers brother was jonesin' for rail cars. His wife threatened to leave him if he brought one home..

... he bought two

Graefin10 Dork
3/19/12 7:42 a.m.

When I was young my father made guitars and other musical instruments as a hobby. Through that he met an older man who bought and sold instruments. The man's home was constructed from two parrallel box cars seperated by about 12 ft. and his workshop was in a caboose sitting beside the home. I loved to visit him and just take in the clutter of ancient instruments being repaired and others ready to be sold.

petegossett UltraDork
3/19/12 7:58 a.m.

There's a railroad museum in Monticello, IL(that I'd highly recommend stopping for). Last time I was there, 10-years or so ago, one of their club members was nearing completion of the restoration of his Canadian Pacific passenger train, complete with locomotives.

The plan was to not only use it at/for the museum, but also rent it out for long and/or cross-country excursions.

SVreX UltimaDork
3/19/12 8:09 a.m.

A friend of mine has a caboose he uses as a guest house.

I've stayed in it.

Pretty cool.

Jay SuperDork
3/19/12 8:16 a.m.

So, out of curiosity if for no other reason, what was a caboose for and why have they stopped using them?

Woody UltimaDork
3/19/12 9:18 a.m.

There are four of these in my area, parked in people's yards. It's very cool, though I'm not sure that I'd want to be "that guy".

Moving them is a big project.

JoeyM SuperDork
3/19/12 9:21 a.m.
Jay wrote: So, out of curiosity if for no other reason, what was a caboose *for* and why have they stopped using them?

(...and I had to try very hard not to make an " the caboose" double entendre statment)

pinchvalve PowerDork
3/19/12 9:33 a.m.

For more inspiration about what can be done, check out the Cockaboose Railroad.

SyntheticBlinkerFluid SuperDork
3/19/12 11:56 a.m.

Idealy, this would also have running water and electricity. There is enough space to put a small countertop with a sink and refridgerator. Most all cabooses have a toilet too, so a more modern one could be retrofitted.

The plan would be to somehow keep a woodburning stove. Have a couch, recliner, flat screen, surround sound, etc and just have it be a total hang out place for me and my guys. The only thing I would have to be concerned about is winterizing, but that wouldn't be too hard.

curtis73 SuperDork
3/19/12 8:23 p.m.

There used to be (maybe still is) a FREE railcar that was Bobby Kennedy's touring coach. Its something like 80 x 11'. It is even signed by Bobby.

Quaker Steak and Lube in Sharon, PA. Give them a call and see if they still have it. I looked hard into getting it, but permitting alone was going to be something like $15,000, then I had to find someone who could move it and probably pay them a few trillion to do it.

The Permits were the worst part. I had to get approval from Sharon Municipality, the township, the county, the state, and the DOT. I would have had to pay police escorts for in-town, wide-load escort services for the highway, road weight tariffs, and they would have had to close two roads just to get it to the highway.

The other big bitch was that is was very tall and we couldn't get "there" from "here" without overpasses being a problem. That means I would have had to remove the wheels and carriage and construct some kind of axles for it that dropped it down to a clearance that was do-able.

But I'm with ya... I want one really bad too.

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