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NYC "Temporary" caboose

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NYC "Temporary" caboose
Posted by tstage on Monday, February 12, 2007 9:16 PM

I was doing some research on New York Central cabooses this evening for a Waterlevel Models NYC Standard 34' wood caboose that I picked up on eBay a couple of months ago.  Sadly, it doesn't appear that WM is in business any longer but I am VERY pleased with the amount of prototype information that is available with the kit.  There are 4 full pages of instructions and 2 pages of "modeler notes".  How many manufactures do you know that actually "welcome your comments and especially your constructuve criticisms"?

Anyhow, while I was poking around on the Internet, I found a web page that had a few photos of the NYC 34' wood cabooses that will come in handy as I build this kit.  To my surprise, one of the pictures included a very unique New York Central caboose that I've included below:

Click picture to enlarge

From what I've been able to surmise, these were converted from wood boxcars and used in temporary service during WWII.  Now that the scratch-build/kitbash bug has bitten, I gotta make one of these.

A few questions are in order:

  1. Does anyone have anymore information on these unusual cabooses?
  2. Did any other railroads use a similar design?
  3. Were they converted from 40' boxcars or shorter?
  4. Were these used in "general" service or a particular service?  (Must have been fun without a cupola...but probably more roomy than a regular caboose.)
  5. Were these taken out of service once the war was over in 1945?

Well, I thought you all might enjoy seeing something a bit different.  Thanks for the help. Smile [:)]

Tom

https://tstage9.wixsite.com/nyc-modeling

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Posted by dknelson on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 7:56 AM

That side sill is certainly eye catching but did you notice the arched doors!  Those were the days ....

Dave Nelson

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Posted by tstage on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 8:23 AM

Yes, I did, Dave! Thumbs Up [tup] That...and the view from the front terrace. Smile [:)]  It's the front end portion of the caboose that really intrigues me.

I'll be curious if 1) these were actually used "on the road" or not, and 2) whether the back end was identical to the front end.  I've never seen a picture of one before, nor knew they even existed...

Tom 

https://tstage9.wixsite.com/nyc-modeling

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Posted by Sperandeo on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 11:30 AM
The Santa Fe converted some wooden boxcars to way cars (cabooses) during WWII and kept them in service for several years afterward. Some had all-steel fishbelly underframes and some had truss rods, but all had side-door entrances rather than end platforms like the NYC car. They were used in mainline service, but perhaps mainly on locals and pickup trains. None of them received cupolas, but some had seats installed on the roof and grab-iron ladders up the sides for access. The cars with rooftop seats were known as "Hollywood" way cars, maybe because riding up top in Southern California allowed railroaders to work on their tans. There don't seem to be any photos showing crewmen riding up top, however, and none of the veteran railroaders I've been able to talk to remembers using those rooftop benches.

I think the Southern Pacific had similar boxcar cabooses, but none with rooftop seating.

So long,

Andy

Andy Sperandeo MODEL RAILROADER Magazine

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Posted by GN-Rick on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 4:06 PM
From your picture, that 'caboose' looks like a rebuild of a U.S.R.A. single sheathed, steel side re-sheathed boxcar. Tichy has that model available which would be an excellent starting point. Look for their model #4028. From research, I know that NYC had that type of boxcar, so it would be natural for them to rework some surplus ones into 'War-emergency' cabooses. Hope this helps.
Rick Bolger Great Northern Railway Cascade Division-Lines West
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Posted by orsonroy on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 11:27 PM

 GN-Rick wrote:
From your picture, that 'caboose' looks like a rebuild of a U.S.R.A. single sheathed, steel side re-sheathed boxcar. Tichy has that model available which would be an excellent starting point. Look for their model #4028. From research, I know that NYC had that type of boxcar, so it would be natural for them to rework some surplus ones into 'War-emergency' cabooses. Hope this helps.

Rick,

I looked into the car for Tom, and it's probably NOT a USRA car. The ends are wrong, for one thing, being 7/7 reverse (inward) rib, a trademark of NYC-designed cars. Likewise, the side chammel is completely wrong for any USRA cars built.

I wasn't able to find a class diagram for the caboose, but I was able to find almost identical emergency cabooses built by the NKP, right down to the same ends and odd hole cutout in them. Those cars were built out of NYC-designed 38 foot DS boxcars built in 1916 (the NKP was owned by the NYC for a time, and they got a lot of NYC-designed equipment. Their mechanical department was full of NYC-influenced people, even after the AMC consortium took over). So what we probably have here is a 36'-38' pre-USRA WOOD sided emergency caboose. At least, if I were to scratchbuild one, that's the assumption that I'd be starting with.

Ray Breyer

Modeling the NKP's Peoria Division, circa 1943

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Posted by Hudsonmike on Sunday, February 18, 2007 4:51 AM

This is what I found out about converted box car cabooses,  It seams their where a lot of 36 foot box cars used to make cabooses, The 20100 -20149,  10 in all where made from 36 foot cars according to my caboose data book no.1A by N.J. International book of New York and New Haven cabooses. Their are 9 pages of them including pace maker cabooses. Now if you look at the bottom edge of the cars you will see an I beam running the lenght of the car and this is the give away,  it is the beam of a 36 foot box car and all the converted cabooses from the East Buffalo Shops on and before 1944, seem to have them , Also they have only one that matches the photo and it is on fire on page 45,   but the photo is of poor quality and I only make out NYC 15675 but not sure about the last three numbers. The pace makers #  were 20112,20117,20129,20132,and 20133 were wood box cars covered with plywood sheating.

All the convered cars measured 41 feet 4 and 5/8  inches long and were on 35 foot steel underframes. That is all I could find out .

Mike

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Posted by 1019x on Friday, February 23, 2007 4:23 PM
A couple years ago Westerfield was offering HO kits for Southern Railway wartime cabooses that were also converted boxcars.

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