Living in a life size caboose

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by roch, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. roch

    roch Member

    Any Idea what it would cost to buy an old caboose to live in?
    I was surfing for train pics and saw one of a caboose all decked out with christmas lights parked on a short section of track with a train speeding by behind it.
    I would link to it, but it leads to another forum. Not a model train forum, but still.

  2. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    There is a rancher about 30 miles south of me that has several BN caboose for sale. One of our club members bought 2 of them for use as cabins at his lakeside resort. They look pretty nice now that he has them all fixed up. I'll ask how much he paid for them.
  3. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

  4. roch

    roch Member

    Thank you for the link. That is definately doable. I wonder how much it would cost to ship one here and rent a crane. I'll just freak out the neighbors and plop one in the backyard. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

  5. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Now wouldn't one of those make a fine N scale train room? Cheaper than adding a room on to the house too, just that the "where-is, as-is" thing makes it a bit difficult and expensive to get it here. Also, I would think my HOA would get just a bit out of sorts seeing that in my backyard.:eek:
  6. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    That would be incredibly cool for sure. I'm sure you are not the only RR nut to think about this idea too. Cause I know I have! You'd be the neighbourhood train wacko with the caboose in his backyard that all the kids love to come over and see.

    Like Don says though its the getting it home part which would not be easy. Then there is whole gotta have it on ties and rails part. Because come on! You don't honestly want the wheels and trucks sinking into the dirt do you?

    Of course there is the variable spouse calculation to factor into the equation as well.

    I can see it now...

    Look what I bought hun! Isn't it cool! See, I told you that life sized section of track I built in the yard last year would come in handy like I said it would!

    You want a what? (Sound of large crane muffles out words as caboose is lifted into backyard...) What was that ...a divorce?


    All humour aside...I wonder if you'd need a special permit from the city in order to have something like this on your property. Especially in a large urban city with large communities. I'd be willing to bet that there are few nieghbours in my area who'd have a coniption seeing something like this in a backyard. The whole..."It's an eye sore"..."its not safe"...or "its blocking out sun to my garden" nonsense. In a rural area I don't think people would give a rats behind. However I live in a large city. I can see this getting shot down in a hurry.

    I love the internet...I found this story as your idea has me intrigued.

    Pssst! ... hey kid, Wanna Buy a caboose?
  7. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    The biggest expense wouldn't be in buying the car but rather in getting it where you need it to be. Back in the 1980s railroads were practically giving the cars away, often times at less then scrap value. They've regained some value sinc then, but are still rather reasonably priced.

    Once a suitable car is located it'll be your job to move it. If it's still allowed in interchange service you can get it to a location in your own town for transloadng to a low body truck for movement to your property.

    Once you have possession then the real fun begins. Any caboose you would want to buy would be of all-steel construction. As such it'll need to be thoroughly insulated on the inside and repainted on the outside. The electrical systems would need to be entirely rebuilt and plumbing added. In the end you'd end up with a space probably slightly smaller than a typical studio apartment, even figuring in the area in the cupola.

    Why anybody would consider going to all this trouble is beyond me. For the price of all this, however, and in the current housing market, you could easily snag a nice three bedroom home with a garage and nice basement for a model railroad.
  8. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    You know...I was thinking the same thing. It would may be cheaper to fabricate your own frame (a wood caboose I think would be easier to build) and et all and buy the parts you needed or couldn't make yourself. If you had the know how and the right tools it could be done...however I don't imagine this would be cheap either. Time and materials all add up.

    You have any pictures of the caboose the guy built?
  9. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    Here is a fix er up special for you. :thumb:

  10. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    That's great! It's already heated (in summer) and cooled (in winter), with a roof over your head. What more could you want...! :eek:

    If you ever happen to get to Smiths Falls, the Railway Museum will put you up in one of their cabooses, provided you lay enough 1:1 track and ballast, or other suitable chores...! ;)

  11. roch

    roch Member

    Aha, I know all about t he cost. Mainly that it would not be cheap.
    I never thought about building one myself. I would use wood. Got all the tools for that.
    And the whole permit thing and upset neighbors. Been there done that, I won. One stupid neighbor got his business shut down after he called in the complaint.:twisted:

    I guesse it's time to look for a design for my new backyard project. I will check into permits for a storage shed. That is what I'll call it. A really groovy shed indeed. :mrgreen:

  12. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    My grandfather bought an insulated boxcar in Tucson and turned it into a workshop. I think all said and done he only had about $3k into it. That thing was great and I used to crawl all over and under it. Even in the middle of summer when the temperature was in the 100 and teens, you could crack the door open on that thing and feel the cool air rush out at you. He has since passed on and the box car still sits where he had used it for so many years.
  13. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    in the towm down the road from me (Bloomfield , IA) someone has a santa fe caboose in there yard. looking in great shape, i dont know who has it or what it looks like in the inside, but you sure can see it from the street. been there for as long as i can remember.
  14. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

  15. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    That Motel is just awesome! I love it!
  16. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I had the opportunity several years ago to acquire, free of charge, an 80 ton Whitcomb centre-cab diesel, and managed to work out most of the transportation details before discovering that local zoning bylaws (we owned a small fruit farm at the time) specifically prohibited any used railway equipment such as boxcars, cabooses, or locomotives.

  17. Bones

    Bones Member

    We actually had a discussion about the actual (estimated) costs of relocating some cabeese from Pennsylvania to Maryland, for personal use, about 6 weeks ago.

    Just before Christmas, 4-5 previously un-advertised cabeese popped up on eBay with starting bids at $7500 and $10000. Pricing depended on condition.
    One of the members was actually allocating funds for the purchase, placement, and shipping. Of course, he ran into problems.
    The biggest hold up for these particular cars was the fact that they were no longer acceptable for interchange. Transportation would have been via truck only, or flat car and truck. Even with volunteer labor, and donated services... it pushed the cost of the purchase up into the $30,000 range, before ANY work is even considered to freshen up / restore the body.

    As stated.... you might as well build it yourself.
  18. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

  19. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    $30,000 dollars????
    Can you imagine that layout you could build with that kinda cash?
    For that kinda money, instead of buying a caboose...I think I'd opt for the layout......
  20. myltlpny

    myltlpny Member

    I actually ate lunch there a couple of years ago. The cabooses were pretty neat, all nicely repainted. After lunch we hit up the train museum next door (NMRA if I remember correctly) and the following day was spent in the full size train museum.

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