~ Latest Update Thursday, January 07, 2016 ~
~ D&RGW "Short" Caboose ~


A Short History

By John Hugh Coker

The Short Cabeese were most often relegated to branch line service and short trips.. Perhaps this came about because of their diminutive size? Might be.. Maybe it was because they "looked right" behind the small 2-8-0 "C" class locos the branch lines favored.. (Many photos depicting the #361 in the "Black Canyon of the Gunnison" show her with a short caboose in tow..) But photos also reveal that at least one was used on the "Gunbarrel" between Poncha Springs and Alamosa, being pulled behind the likes of "480's" and "490's," all the way up into the fifties...

Although they were "Real Chummy" inside, they garnered much favor with the crews that worked and lived in them because they were easy to heat.. A real consideration given the elevations they were to be found traversing!

An interesting bit of trivia In the old times, an Engineer would be assigned to one particular locomotive. It was "his" to keep and care for, and this showed in how well kept these locomotives were, as can be seen by examining early photos. But this all ended with the advent such things as "reorganization" and "engine pools.."

Not so the caboose.. The cabooses were never "pooled." At least on the D&RG, anyway,, Each caboose was assigned to a specific conductor, FOR LIFE! Old conductors, like Alvie Lyons and Myron Henry literally spent most of their lives in these "Office" cars, which ended up being their "home away from home.." The conductor would generally decorate the inside to suit himself.. Which is one reason there was so much variation between the prototypes. Many short cabooses had the dubious honor of being the very last car to run on a particular very last train, with the last of the shorties being retired in 1953...

Survivors include #0500 and #0501, on the Durango line today; #0524 and #0578 at the Colorado RR'd Museum in Golden; #0573 in Ogden Utah; and #0579 now at the C&TS RR'd.

These interesting cars can almost be described as "the epitome" of the narrow gauge.. They just have "that look and feel" that kind of tells it all. . .

( You can visit John's web site and read more about him by Clicking Here. . . )

These models have an accurately scaled, complete interior in them. Even sliding cupola windows! Decals and Genuine Kadee ® Couplers are included, of course, along with a comprehensive instruction "manual" and "hints" to ensure that your model can end up looking like the one shown above...

Kit comes complete with 3'-7" Arch Bar Trucks ( See Cameo Below); plus correct Decals for building the model either as a 1930's or a 1940's era car. Plus we include Genuine Kadee ® Couplers.

Click on the icons above for other enlarged photos of our Short Caboose.




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