The first 3 photos show the caboose finished, photos taken 3/30/02 .. the first time we uncovered it this spring and the first time we saw it since Howard Zeller painted and added the logos and printing. He would work on it periodically and then recover it.
My right hand man in the early days with the train, Ray Bennett, is the one shown standing by the caboose. The other photo is of my mother and our grandson Brian.
This past Halloween we had over 100 kids here for a costume party with their parents and did they ever LOVE this caboose!
Below these finished photos you can see how it was constructed.
This is Becky sitting inside .... this car is 18 feet long and this design frame has been very stable for us due to it's very low center of gravity because of it's drop frame construction (initial idea from our train friends in New Zealand) .... these custom things take a very long time to do right in this hobby .... In our case ... everything is 100% custom hand made here in our area (the metal lathe fabrication of wheels and trucks by Mel Harris Locomotive Works ... all with sealed ball bearings ... wheels and trucks). This caboose frame and body is being built by Jay Snavely and Jerry Nash who also built our station and water tower. It took Mel many months to fabricate the trucks, wheels and axles during his other projects as is the same problem with Jay & Jerry as they also build houses too. I have learned to be very patient and do all I can on this hobby .... but since we didn't want the caboose to look like a giant tooth ... I thought it best to wait for these guys .. (grin) as Thorne Stallings would say!
Getting back to the caboose ... It will have proportional electric hydrolic motorcycle disk brakes that I can operate from the engine
The top of the Cupola here is over 8' tall ... the conductor can stand inside and see forward out the cupola's window down the whole train to the engine and with the doors open through the caboose can walk up to the passenger car while moving if necessary.
You will see pics below of the small operational Caboose stove ... we will operate it with BBQ bricks in the winter to warm the caboose whether moving or just to hang out in at the station... and throw on some wet wood chips for smoke when underway.
This car has a sliding side door for passengers (mainly kids) to come in and out of. Jay has found some original mid 1800's hardware we are using to slide the door open and closed on.
The interior is all oak paneling with plank style flooring.
All the window are Tempered Glass custom cut to finish ... the side windows will stay closed and sealed with wood grids so we can have the window visors in place and keep it water tight for winter running. With all doors and the cupola windows open it should stay cool enough.
In other breaking news ... 7/23/01 Jim Berskine HASN'T started our trestle yet ... but he has at least picked up all the steel beams we need for it ... It will be about 70' long and 20 feet high. He will be welding it in 3 sections at his place and building it here.
Below are photos of the caboose ... some in large but small jpeg file sizes to show the detail of the fine workmanship going into a car like this and our adult passenger club car already finished a couple of years ago.
This is our solar outlet to keep the caboose batterys fully charged ... we have full interior, cupola and marker lighting.
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