A Penn Central transfer caboose

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by Ralph, May 14, 2004.

  1. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    I've always liked these. They have such a distinct look. First one I saw was in the early 70's and I've always wanted to model one. 30 years later...I finally did! I used pieces from two cheap second hand Tyco cabooses and a flat car. The whole project cost under 10 bucks and I still have Jade green paint for more PC equipment. :)

    Like a lot of PC equipment they were lettered various ways, some with the words Penn Central above the window, some with a logo to the right of the window, some with both, some with neither!

    Here's my version waiting for a locomotive...

    Attached Files:

  2. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    The transfer caboose is put to work on a one car local to Marion Aggregates and is seen here waiting for the RS3 to drop off a solitary hopper. I posted these pics yesterday on the very cordial Railroad-line.com but wanted to show them here at "home" too! :)

    Attached Files:

  3. Ho Modeler

    Ho Modeler Member


    WoW That is awesome!!!
    How Long Did it take to build?
    Does it have an interior?
    Do you have any idea what they were used for? Such as why does it have flat car ends?

    Young Railroad Tycoon
  4. Ho Modeler

    Ho Modeler Member


    Can I ask what the building in the background of the second picture is?
    Is it a full building or just a half-build half backdrop?
    Would it have any use next to a coal mine or tripple?
    I was also wondering about the grafetee on the building in the first picture.
    What did you use to make it and is it after a prototype or freelance?

    Young Railroad Tycoon
  5. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Thanks Eric!
    I spent about a week on it. The challenge for me was filling in the extra window on the side walls of those Tyco cabooses and getting the walls smooth. As I understand it, a transfer caboose was used as an office for transfer runs from one yard to another and also on local service when the finer amenities of regular cabooses weren't needed. The PC units were made of old box cars placed on a flat as a base. I didn't detail the inside but check out this link to a former transfer caboose now serving as a hotel room!
    I'm betting its a lot more comfortable then the original decor! :)
  6. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    Looks good Ralph.
    The PC had some interesting looking cabooses.
    I have photos of a steel caboose with a cut down cupola and bay windows added that I'm thinking of modeling. PC#18449
  7. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    The structure is a full one (about three inches deep and a foot wide) built into the side of a hill. Its a very scaled down version of an aggregate plant near Mt. Marion, NY near where I lived as a kid. From the road you could see the complicated conveyor system dropping dark grey/black stones into open hoppers. Behind it (much farther behind than in my model) was the windowed structure you see in the pic. Behind that in real life were three long cylindrical kilns. I believe they heated materials and then transfered them up front. They'd drop red hot rocks out of the front of the structure and then be moved by the conveyors. It was cool to see at night! The building looks like a lot of classic mining structures to me.
    The grafitti is freelanced and made from a white-out pen and some colored markers. There are some great sites with grafitti pics on frieght cars. I looked at them for inspiration.
  8. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Would that be a former NYC unit Ray? I've seen a kit for a caboose at my LHS that sounds similar to what you described. Its in NYC paint now but wouldn't take too much work to update beyond 1968! Looking forward to your project! By the way...did you get those locos painted in the PC scheme you mentioned before The Gauge went down?
  9. TomPM

    TomPM Another Fried Egg Fan

    Great looking caboose!

    I too think the building in the background looks great!
  10. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    These were former AT&SF cabooses.
    Heres a link.

    I did get the locos painted . I have an SD9 and an F7 phase II (with the red P) put back together. I have an F7 A-B-A set I have to install the windows in yet.
    Will get photos soon.
    The next batch are in the early stages of construction. An RS11, RS3, U33C, U33B and a GP7.
  11. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Ralph, your transfer hack looks great. Ray, those are neat photos of the chopped down cupolas. I'd never heard of them. Unique looking and would be a great signature model for a PCer.

  12. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Looks great Ralph. Seems I already said that but I'll say it again. :) FRED
  13. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Ray, those are really unusual! I thought the cupolas might be completely removed but there's obvious evidence of them. I have a couple of cheapie cabooses that I could use to create such a cabin. I'm not sure how I'd make the bay window... hmmmm. Cool link!
  14. MCL_RDG

    MCL_RDG Member


    ...love it!

    Mark :cool:
  15. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Great Caboo' Ralph!!! I love those!

    Eric, I made one by cutting the ends off a scrap caboose and glueing to a flat car. I made the cab about 1/3 the length of the flat car, and filled the seam where the havles were glued with "spot putty" (found in the auto section at Walmart with the body work stuff).

    Also, if you are less inclined to cut up rolling stock, I believe Walthers had a kit to convert a flat to one of these babies. I can't find it on-line, but I can look in my paper catalog later if there is interest.
  16. Ho Modeler

    Ho Modeler Member

    Thanks but your post was so great that it inspired me to make my own Transfer caboose and I am currently working on an interior and lighting system. I guess it is pretty ambitous but for my very first scratchbuilt rolling stock I think it is pretty good. I actually only used the caboose to make the Transfer. Because it fit so well onto its own base I simply pulled off the shell of the caboose trimmed it down to about 2/3 the size and placed some la Belle kit siding as the vertical floor boards.
    I dont know but your post lit a flame under my boiler and i have finished scratchbuilding a silver streak caboose, a wrecking crane, a wrecking crane work crew car an old metal grain hopper and a flat car. Wheeew well i think that is enough for one week. Probably just like to run my new string of rolling stock around the layout.
    I hope to have pictures of the car but as of yet have no digital camera nor the time to get photos developed cause i have finals Yeahhh I guess.
    O well no more school means more train time
    Thanks for helping me get off my butt and doing something
  17. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Wow! That sounds great Eric! Good for you! Good luck with the finals and I do hope you are able to take some pictures of all that modeling work! Cool!

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