Saturday, August 16, 2014

20k: Daily Trainismo: 1963 Southern Pacific Caboose

I've always said that if it's got wheels, I'll write about it...but a that going a bridge too far?  Of course not, this is the Daily Trainismo and you'd better well like this feature or there will be consequences.  Find this 1963 Southern Pacific Caboose offered for $22,000 in Lodi, CA via craigslist.  Tip from Kaibeezy.

Strictly speaking, the caboose is the last car on a freight train, designed to house crew members and conductors on goods trains.  A stocked caboose was a requirement for all freight trains operating on US railways until those safety regulations were relaxed and the subsequent flood of used cabeese caused the great caboose market crash of 1983.  Caboose prices have rebounded in the intervening years as poor examples have gone to caboose heaven and collectors are starting to value the original and rare models...but they still hover around the price of scrap steel.  This one should hit the scales somewhere in the 30-50 ton range (100,000 lbs being a high estimate) so it is being offered at $0.25 per pound or about the going rate of scrap steel according to my quick math.

The caboose has zero horsepower since it is essentially a big metal box on wheels along for the ride. It does have some kind of brakes, but you'd have to find a trained expert to help you understand how they work.  To all the naysayers who will ask questions like "what am I going to do with a caboose?", get out of the box you've put yourself into and just think of the possibilities.  You could live in it.  Run a hotel/brothel.  Start a restaurant.  Open a microbrewery that serves a brutally potent IPA.

Now, I know you are going to say that there is no way you can buy a caboose and put it in your backyard, and that this is just silly...but...check out this story of a guy who did exactly that here.

See a better way to get your significant other to think the incontinent 24 Hrs of LeMons cars in the driveway aren't that big a deal anymore?


  1. I'm crushed, the listing expired!

  2. I always thought small rail-carts were pretty cool. Unless you have some abandoned rail in mind, they are not too useful. Here is a nice sampling...

  3. You should be able to fix this up and get it pulled around by the regular rail road. I have seen shows where people rent sidings from rail roads for weeks at a time for vacation travels...

  4. I have a family friend that worked with my father for years doing construction. Always a big train guy. Once semi-retired he layed some track in the yard and bought a wooden caboose to restore. Everyone thought he was nuts for buying it, but about 5 years later and that thing was a sight to behold. Keep the wierd stuff coming. Variety is the spice of life!


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