Model railroad opinion ?

Question by : Model railroad opinion ?
I’m planning my HO scale layout and at a local train show, I picked up a handful of rolling stock. Among them was an old Tyco UP caboose. I didn’t notice that it had couplers mounted on the body instead of the trucks. Instead of trying to retrofit normal trucks and couplers onto it, I’m thinking of using it differently. What do you think? Themed diner (End of the Line)? Burned shell in a junkyard? Mobile office at a mine/quarry? Suggestions welcomed!

Best answer:

Answer by Lastdue
All those ideas are fine. I’m doing N scale and all of my freights have an end of train device, I call it a caboose. Anyway you can look around online and see what others are doing. Are running them on your trains? I’ve seen them used as police stations, billboards and yard offices. There was a yard office kit in HO that was around a few years ago, maybe it still is.
I would personally do this a little differently. A caboose with a second life is fairly typical on a layout. It’s actually IMHO a little cliche. If you run cabooses I would put it at the end of siding with some ladders or workers around it. Like you said before, maybe they could be repairing fire damage or even putting new couplers on it.
My philosophy towards layout building is that the railroad runs through the world not that the world runs around the railroad, this means a higher ratio of scenery to track and more scenery that is in no way related to the railroad. It’s easier to do in N than it is in HO due to the size constraints. This means no railroad themed businesses, hobby shops, or junkyards full of railroad stuff.
But that’s just me, I haven’t always been like that. I used to be a modular club. At train shows I have been known to take the overdone and do to the extreme. Like the time I had a whole tank battalion surrounding a blinking UFO or the six foot skyscrapers that dwarfed everyone’s mountains, or the time when I had fire engines and ambulances already in place at a spot in the track prone to derailments or …..

Caboose on the old C&WC Railroad

Port Royal Caboose


Southern Railway Caboose Springfield SC

Here’s a few out of service cabooses I’ve run across.

Just have fun, when you give it too much thought it quites being a hobby.

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