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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Those ugly step sisters
Bridesmaids of the rails.

For the most part, (back in the day) an entire freight train always got a wide-eyed notice, until the caboose went by.
It was more-or-less only a signal that the fun was over.

Car spotters looked for their favorite billboard boxcars and road names, detail purists scouted the train for anomalous oddities, and photo bugs clicked away at a fever pitch.
But then the caboose went by, and everybody turned around.
It's kind of the same way on a model layout.

I'm a caboose fan. Ever since I was a young boy I've been enamored of them. The other kids in the hobby all seemed to ignore them, as though they were only necessary to complete a set of something, like dishes.

My era layout will have at least one yard track devoted to them. Each caboose has it's own special place and time for deployment... for even incidental or minor purposes, e.g., deadheading ('tail wagging').
There are two to four cabs each of four different railroads serving my operations, and each one has a place in the scheme.

I didn't spend a lot on them -- they're all low to mid-priced models, but each one is tuned to roll, and (in one way or another) is treated with the same attention as any premium car.

Proto... Athearn RTR... Centralia... MDC.

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In the 13 years I worked for the RR my fondest times were spent in the caboose. We had lunch there everyday, rested in the bunks while waiting hours for passenger trains to clear, planned our switching for the day, and played cards when nothing was going on.


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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
By 1981, all Cotton Belt wides had been repainted in SP Freightcar Red. Looks quite a bit different than they did in the '50's.
IMO, not as attractive.
However, this newer Athearn RTR release is nice.
I'll buy one, and weather it like #45.

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Here in central europe specially in germany, it gave Caboose cars, too.
In the past every freight train used it. It was the right place to show End of Train Devices like lanterns or metal sighns or flags in space to show the interlocking towers that a running by freight train was complete.
The Caboose Cars here called Facultative Cars, a Canteen or Bunk Car or Canteen Car where the Train Chief had his Compartment, too.
Onto local freight or mixed freight and passenger trains such Falcultative Cars had been used as mobil office for freight agents or station agents connecting rural countryside areas with bigger town stations.

When I was a child of ten years that is 40 years ago, there was one daily countryside train onto a branchline who run with such Falcultative Car in end of train.
If passengers wanted to travel into next bigger town they could use this freight train an got their ticket from the train chief.
The small depots often had no RR personal and the interlocking towers personal staff did not bought tickets or did not doing freight house service.
Me I rode two times with such freight train. Onto next train stops the freight car switching was the first job before we continued the travel into next town.

In 1982 the Passenger and freight service had been closed for public use. Only a gravel company was the last company alongside that 20 miles long branchline. The branchline got partitionally abdoned in later years.

Onto my model RR Layout I do run Coboose Cars for my fictional US based RR.
Onto my Prussian RR project of first steam Epoche in the year of 1888 such Facultative Cars are a must have in every freight train.

Ya Ingo

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I like cabooses too. Here are some of mine that are the shop built D&RGW cabooses.
I've always been a fan of the D&RGW... especially the pre-diesel era.
John Allen's work did a lot to grab my attention. MR mag was always featuring his stuff, and his G&D railroad, and it was all closely tied to the D&RGW.

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
This was the subject of a thread I started (a couple years ago I think).
It's a KCS stainless steel caboose from the '60's. I believe about 30 or 40 were built. Quite a jaw-dropper.
They had Rockwell trucks.
The scratchbuilt model has the wrong trucks, but it's a masterpiece.

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