G Scale Model Train Forum banner
61 - 80 of 201 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
69 Posts
Does your caboose have any type of wall/ceiling insulation? 4 halogen lights and a space heater would/should be okay unless there is no insulation. If not, then those big metal walls are a big heat sink!
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
3,010 Posts
Discussion Starter · #63 ·
Posted By jamarti on 01/25/2009 12:44 PM
Does your caboose have any type of wall/ceiling insulation? 4 halogen lights and a space heater would/should be okay unless there is no insulation. If not, then those big metal walls are a big heat sink!


Apparently there is Fiberglas insulation in the walls. I don't know about the ceiling but would guess that since the walls are insulated the ceiling would be also.

Two 1500 watt heaters seem to work OK. Unfortunately we had to switch to oil based paint and the fumes force us to keep the doors partially open.

Jerry
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
3,010 Posts
Discussion Starter · #64 ·
One of the first things that people ask when my wife or I mention that we bought a caboose is "WHY?"

My wife tends to answer that the caboose is her "new kitchen" in that it cost less than many people spend to remodel their kitchens.

I may have come up with a better answer.

I have been curious just how much square footage the caboose has (it is a LARGE caboose). Today I got out the measuring tape and the inside dimensions are about 30 feet by 8 2/3 feet which comes to 250 square feet. By the time we are done we expect to have about $10k in it including the move, electrical, plumbing, septic system etc.

That comes to $40.00 per square foot. Perhaps we should simply say that it was a relatively inexpensive room addition to our home.


Several years ago my mother in law spent $10k just to add a screened porch to her home which added far less space and was of far inferior construction. When she moved to a nursing home (before we could sell her house) we had to spend a few thousand dollars to fix the roof to that porch which leaked from the day it was built.

The next thing folks tend to ask is "What will you do with it?"

The answers we have come up with so far are:

1.It will be used as a playhouse for our granddaughters when they come to visit.
2. It will be a clubhouse for the bi-monthly meetings (and projects) of our Garden Railway Club.
3, it will give us a place for our Garden Railway Club members to hang out, have BBQ's etc. whenever we feel like it.
4. It will give me a place to get on the Internet when my wife is sleeping on weekends.
5. It will give me a place to work on large scale trains (or other stuff) when my wife is sleeping on weekends.
6. it will give me a place to watch TV when I don't want to watch the stuff my wife likes to watch on TV.
7. It will give me a place to spend a lot of my time doing what I want - with the house heat and AC turned way down when my wife is at work.
8. The trailer layout will be moved next to the caboose so I will have a place to run trains when my wife is asleep in the house.
9. The cupola will be a wildlife observation/photography platform (we intend to plant crops to feed and attract wildlife).
10. The cupola will probably be used as a shooting platform for occasional target shooting.

Last but perhaps most important it will be used as an exercise room so I can focus on recovering from diabetes.

Actually I am considering the possibility of a 12th use for the caboose. Weighing 50,000 lbs it should be a pretty good "storm cellar" from which we could probably enjoy watching even severe storms. I would think that it would take a direct hit by a very strong tornado to actually knock the caboose over. It may actually be safer than anywhere in our home should a tornado ever hit. Even though the cupola has a lot of glass we would just be a few steps away from the safety of steel closets with no glass.

All in all it may be the most practical and cost effective thing that we have purchased in many years.

Jerry
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,393 Posts
Jerry

That last use for the caboose, i.e. use as a storm shelter, I don't think that would really be a great idea. While the steel construction would provide a goodly amount of protection from flying debris. The chances for roll-over of the car would I think be pretty great. That much flat area exposed (i.e. the long sides) will provide a great deal of leverage to any wind (think of a sailboat rigged fore & aft). I remember seeing photographs not too far back of in-service rail cars being overturned by heavy winds and there are plenty of pictures of tractor-trailer rigs overturned.

While the protection from direct injury from flying debris is there, I would think the biggest danger would be from the sudden movement of all the unsecured items inside, in the case of a roll-over. Think of all the supplies that may be stored in there for your modeling work, especially all the chemicals that could accidentally get mixed, or the new wood stove breaking loose and shifting. Once again think of a sailing ship and all the securing that must be done as a normal course of events and yet get a bad storm and all bets are off as to just what may or may not break free.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
3,010 Posts
Discussion Starter · #66 ·
Hi Steve,

You are probably correct. For storms short of tornadoes though it should be a nice viewing platform. I will probably sink a ground rod and ground the caboose just to be a bit extra safe even though it is grounded via the circuit panel.

Jerry
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
3,010 Posts
Discussion Starter · #67 ·
We are making slow progress on restoring the inside of the caboose. Actually it probably should not be described as restoring it in that we are not restoring any of the equipment that MoPac removed but instead remodeling(?) it to remove the nasty graffiti vandals had painted all over it. This photo is about the only one that is post-able (the other graffiti is too vulgar).





So far my wife has repainted (inside) the long end and the cupola. It has taken 5 coats of paint to cover the graffiti.

Meanwhile I've been busy replacing most of the wiring and added multiple circuits to handle future anticipated electrical requirements.

It turned out that the wire in the caboose was actually rated at 600 volts and is stranded #12 AWG. The wire was all black insulated and very flexible. I pulled the wire and it was clearly marked but the markings were not visible in the small lengths in the electrical boxes.

I am replacing it with #12 THHN which will at least give me color coding (black & white) so I will know hot from neutral.

While I could have left the wiring in the caboose and used it I found that there had been a fire at some time in the caboose's past (in the short end) so rather than risk using unknown (potentially damaged) wiring I've elected to replace it all.

It also turned out that the light fixture and switches were also rated for 120 - 250 volts so I could have used them but they were in such a condition that I elected to replace them anyway.

I could not remove the circuit breaker panel because it is welded to the caboose but I was able to find a Homeline 125 amp 6 breaker panel that I could fit into the old panel box shell with some modifications to the new breaker panel will much more readily handle the new 120 VAC circuits that I am installing.

Jerry
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,393 Posts
Sounds like you're making progress, and having an enjoyable time between the two of you. Can't ask for better than that.

The decision to remove all the old wiring and receptacles was most likely the best route to take. Like you have said, this way you're working with known quantities.

One step at a time and before you know it, it'll all be done.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
389 Posts
Jerry, thanks for posting that directory of the move photos.
From what I saw, looks like you got you're money's worth from the move crew; had a chance to watch some heavy equipment riggers in action myself the years I worked in the machine tool industry, looked like your crew knew what they were doing.


Good luck on your restoration efforts
, keep us posted on your progress. Don't envy your having to remove the "tagger
art (!
!)" , something they've been fighting here in town for the last year or so.
(On buildings rather than railroad equipment). Glad I'm not modeling modern-era equipment!
Tom
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
3,010 Posts
Discussion Starter · #70 ·
Posted By SteveC on 02/01/2009 4:43 AM
Sounds like you're making progress, and having an enjoyable time between the two of you. Can't ask for better than that.

The decision to remove all the old wiring and receptacles was most likely the best route to take. Like you have said, this way you're working with known quantities.

One step at a time and before you know it, it'll all be done.




Hi Steve,

My wife and I had a laugh regarding "having an enjoyable time" but in truth the caboose has given us the greatest mutual project we have had in many years. Typically Marilyn and I have very different projects such as I worked on the layouts and she worked on the garden. With the caboose our projects were different (I do the electrical etc. while she does the painting) but we are doing most of it together.

We are approaching the point of not wanting to face yet another day of working on the caboose but we can't start on actually using it until the painting, electrical and windows have been completed.

Jerry
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
3,010 Posts
Discussion Starter · #71 ·
Posted By Tom Lapointe on 02/01/2009 8:37 PM
Jerry, thanks for posting that directory of the move photos.
From what I saw, looks like you got you're money's worth from the move crew; had a chance to watch some heavy equipment riggers in action myself the years I worked in the machine tool industry, looked like your crew knew what they were doing.


Good luck on your restoration efforts
, keep us posted on your progress. Don't envy your having to remove the "tagger
art (!
!)" , something they've been fighting here in town for the last year or so.
(On buildings rather than railroad equipment). Glad I'm not modeling modern-era equipment!
Tom



Hi Tom,

Just watching the movers at work was real education for me. Time and again I would wonder how they could do something only to be amazed at their simple but efficient way of doing it.

I will never understand how anyone could describe graffiti as "art." Some have described it as such on TV etc. To me it is nothing less than pure malicious destruction of the property of others whether the other involved is a city, company or individual. I made my sentiments clear when I posted signs on the caboose offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest, FELONY CONVICTION and imprisonment of the BURGLARS and VANDALS causing the destruction of the caboose. I gave a copy of the poster to the police chief and told him that I would be happy to pay the $1,000 reward to any police officer as well as to any citizen. No reports were forthcoming.

What annoyed me further was when the caboose was yet again broken into and when I filed a criminal report with the police and asked that an officer investigate the break in and damage, the female officer who responded said she did not see any damage! She never looked inside to see the damage to the door that they had tried to kick in and did not even notice that every single window had been kicked out (again).

I did more than my share of dumb things when I was a kid but I never was inclined to vandalize or try to destroy the property of others.

Covering the graffiti took 5 coats of paint including 4 coats of stain blockers (the black and red graffiti kept bleeding or showing through). Even now if one looks closely some of the damage that was done with knives etc. still shows through slightly.

Most municipal cabooses we have looked at have had major damage done to them by vandals. Many now have bars welded across the (broken or missing) windows and some are totally welded up including all windows and doors.

As we work on the caboose we keep discovering further damage caused by water that has been leaking into the caboose over many years. It is hard to tell if this damage was done before it was given to the school or since. In places the metal interior walls have rusted through at the base. The interior metal walls are actually quite thin.

Jerry
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
3,010 Posts
Discussion Starter · #72 ·
We are happy to announce that the caboose has been restored to the point that club meetings can now be held in the caboose.
The inside of the caboose has been repainted, the 12 volt DC circuits have been replaced with 120 volt AC circuits, lighting, heating and telephones have been installed and we are equipping it with furniture, a work bench, a computer work station etc. Plumbing will come later but meanwhile a small refrigerator, water container, microwave, coffee pot and other small appliances for cooking have been installed.
I'll post some photos once we get a bit further along.

Jerry
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,144 Posts
Posted By Jerry McColgan on 02/06/2009 7:50 AM
We are happy to announce that the caboose has been restored to the point that club meetings can now be held in the caboose.
The inside of the caboose has been repainted, the 12 volt DC circuits have been replaced with 120 volt AC circuits, lighting, heating and telephones have been installed and we are equipping it with furniture, a work bench, a computer work station etc. Plumbing will come later but meanwhile a small refrigerator, water container, microwave, coffee pot and other small appliances for cooking have been installed.
I'll post some photos once we get a bit further along.

Jerry



Yo, cous - most important thing there is the coffee pot.

tac
www.ovgrs.org
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
3,010 Posts
Discussion Starter · #75 ·
Posted By Jerry Barnes on 02/06/2009 9:30 AM
Man, that's fast work Jerry.


Hi Jerry,

It may seem fast but it is all I have been working on day after day since we got the caboose. I am really looking forward to reaching the point where I can start to relax and begin enjoying the caboose - which I think will be soon.

Yesterday was a milestone in that I finally installed the glass in the 4 side windows of the cupola. Now both doors and half the cupola have glass windows so I can now see outside of the caboose from inside. One disadvantage of glass compared to the Lexan that was in the window frames is that unlike Lexan the glass requires a perfectly straight channel to install it and the vandals had done a lot of damage to the window frames when they (repeatedly) kicked the windows out.

A big reason for my wanting the caboose was for wildlife watching. There is not all that much wildlife but I did see a couple of deer when I stepped outside the front door of the house Wednesday (doe and fawn) and I will be putting out chops (crushed corn) again to get the deer close to the caboose.

With the windows in the cupola I can now sit up there and watch for deer etc.

Jerry
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
3,010 Posts
Discussion Starter · #76 ·
Posted By tacfoley on 02/06/2009 10:25 AM

Yo, cous - most important thing there is the coffee pot.



tac
http://www.ovgrs.org/




Hi Cousin,

We seem a bit reversed. You're the Brit and want coffee while I'm the Yank and I usually start my day with tea. I'm sitting here with my morning cuppa Tetley's.


I was playing with Google Earth yesterday and was surprised at how clear I could see RAF Alconbury.

Cheers,

Jerry
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
283 Posts
Jerry,

Congrats on the caboose. I'd love to have one for several of the same reasons as yourself. Not to mention the cool factor.

As far as the tornado shelter.....there is a caboose in the town of Comins, MI that after a tornado rolled thru town it was the only thing standing....they rebuilt they town and the caboose remains. Actually the reason it resists blowing over would be because the wind can go under it.

Brian Briggs
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
3,010 Posts
Discussion Starter · #79 ·
Posted By Jerry Barnes on 02/07/2009 1:29 PM
Jerry,
Glad there is light at the end of the tunnel. I sure would not feed the deer though, they can sure mess up track! Now eating them....


Hi Jerry,

In my case most of my outside layout is elevated. The deer tend to stay away from the house and the caboose is far enough from the house and layout that even if they came right up to the caboose there would not be a layout they could harm.

I'll be moving the trailer layout to the side of the caboose but it too is high enough that the deer will leave it alone.

Thanks,

Jerry
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
3,010 Posts
Discussion Starter · #80 ·
Posted By DTI356 on 02/07/2009 1:50 PM
Jerry,

Congrats on the caboose. I'd love to have one for several of the same reasons as yourself. Not to mention the cool factor.

As far as the tornado shelter.....there is a caboose in the town of Comins, MI that after a tornado rolled thru town it was the only thing standing....they rebuilt they town and the caboose remains. Actually the reason it resists blowing over would be because the wind can go under it.

Brian Briggs



Hi Brian,

I appreciate the information. It tends to reinforce my thoughts that it would take a direct hit from a really strong tornado to knock the caboose over. A caboose that is connected to a line of boxcars would seem much more vulnerable to winds.

There is also a line of trees behind the caboose which would possibly tend to lower the winds actually hitting the caboose.

A friend of mine has been annoyed for over 20 years because he stayed home during a tornado alert rather than coming with me when I caught a 8 1/2 lb large mouth bass (and I'm a lousy fisherman).

I once missed a major tornado by about 2 minutes when hail caused me to stop under an overpass. I figure that if a tornado is in my future I'd rather see it coming. Another one hit a motel after I had changed my reservation and one year we had 3 tornadoes within 5 miles of our home.

Cheers,

Jerry
 
61 - 80 of 201 Posts
Top