25ft Caboose - HO Scale

25' Wood Caboose

Regular price $52.95 $0.00 Unit price per

This model represents GN 25-foot cabooses X 330-446, X 447-626, and X 637-749 after their 1940s modernization. The model features 100% laser cut components with custom laser scribed side and end walls, Tab & Slot and Peel & Stick construction, laser cut underframe, end platforms, ladders, end railing, and brake wheels, with cast resin platform steps, white metal smoke jack, and cast resin brake gear. Fully illustrated instructions provide information on painting and decaling the assembled model and several fixtures to aid the modeler in creating all the hand brakes and ladders to match the prototype. The manufacturer recommends Microscale GN decal set No. 87-757, Kadee No. 581 Bettendorf T-section caboose trucks, and Kadee No. 5 couplers and draft gear boxes to complete the model.

Cabooses served several important functions. They were the conductor’s office. The conductor made a list of cars set out at each station, which he left, along with the associated waybills, at agency stations. He also picked up a switch list from agency stations, along with the waybills for loaded cars. He made a list of all cars handled, where they came from and where they were set out that went to the car accounting clerks in St. Paul. Switching of local trains was done by the swing brakeman, or rear brakeman if no swing man. Those brakemen rode the caboose so that they and the conductor could plan the switching at the stations they would serve. Both brakemen kept a watch on the train for hotboxes, while the conductor watched the track behind the train for drag marks or cut ties which indicated some problem with the train. The caboose was equipped with a brake valve so the conductor could stop the train if necessary. The rear brakeman acted as the flagman who walked behind the train to flag down a following train if his train stopped on the main track. Finally, the caboose carried the markers, which were lanterns, flags, or lights that indicated the rear of the train.

Twenty-five-foot cabooses X 330 – X 626 and X 637 – X 749, a total of 410 cars, were built between 1907 and 1930. The first 147, X 330 – X 446, originally built as four wheel ‘bobber’ style cars, were converted to 25-foot long cars 32’ 10” long over the strikers starting in 1911 to meet length requirements imposed by various states. Some time, likely in the 1920's, these cars were retrofitted with 9 inch tall steel underframes, and built up bolsters.

The following cars were 33’ 5” over the strikers, all built by the GN at St. Cloud.

X 447 through X 576 were built 1920 – 1924 and X 577 through X 601 were built in 1925. These cars had 9 inch tall steel underframes with built up bolsters

X 602 through X 626 were built 1926. They had 12 inch tall steel underframes and cast steel bolsters.

X 637 through X 749 were built 1927 – 1930. They had 12 inch tall steel underframes and cast steel bolsters.

Beginning in 1941 all of these cars, except for a few lost in wrecks, were rebuilt at St. Cloud. Externally obvious features were to add a fourth side window on one side only of the cupola end, add three end windows, widen cupola side windows making them two pane sliding windows, shorten cupola end windows making them rectangular rather than square, and replace arch bar truck side frames with Bettendorf T-section cast steel side frames. The K brakes were not replaced with AB until the early 1950's.

The majority of these cars were retired in the 1960’s after working their last years in branch line and local service. One was renumbered to Pacific Coast Railroad X 1 in 1958, and evidently destroyed, since another was renumbered to Pacific Coast Railroad X 1 in 1962. The only one of these cars known to be repainted to Big Sky Blue is X 394.


See Reference Sheet 235 for further details.