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Discussion Starter #1
Note: The title should say Why did MoPac remove windows from cabooses? but I am unable to correct it.



Every photo I have seen of the MoPac Extended Vision Cabooses have apparently had their left wall windows removed and steel plates welded over the openings.






Does anyone know why they did that? I intend to remove the welded plates but before I do it I would like to know if there may be a reason why I should not.

Thanks,

Jerry
 

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Probably just for less maintenance..
the crew doesnt "need" to see out the side windows..only the cupola windows..
so thats my guess..they did it simply so they didn't have to maintain all those windows.
(but thats just a guess..I dont know for sure)

are you sure its only the left side?
not both sides?

Scot
 

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Back to the rock throwing days, the glass and lexan got expensive. It got worse when the cabooses were at the last days and used mostly for end of train devices or even switching moves, then even the doors were welded shut.
 

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And for some reason, checking the FEW MoPac WV caboose pix, they did keep one small window on the right, just before the cupola on the long end....
 

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Because people/kids were throwing rocks at the crews and shooting at them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Posted By Spule 4 on 12/24/2008 1:02 PM
And for some reason, checking the FEW MoPac WV caboose pix, they did keep one small window on the right, just before the cupola on the long end....


That is correct. All the cabooses seem to have the window on the right.

In at least one case that window was reduced in size and in another case the windows on the left were left intact. At least this lets me know what the original windows looked like so I can attempt to replace them with similar ones.

Strangely although there were only 29 of this model caboose made for MoPac there were still differences in that some apparently had rectangular front and back cupola windows while others have oval ones.

Thankfully my side window is full size but the glass is missing and I am having a hard time figuring out how to replace it.

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Posted By Spule 4 on 12/24/2008 1:02 PM
Back to the rock throwing days, the glass and lexan got expensive. It got worse when the cabooses were at the last days and used mostly for end of train devices or even switching moves, then even the doors were welded shut.


This brings up another question. The windows are apparently lexan. When MoPac had them would they too have used lexan or glass?

I will be going with glass since I doubt I will have to worry about anyone throwing rocks or shooting at the caboose. In my case the dozer operator is going to clear a path between the cupola to my rifle & pistol ranges. Throwing rocks could be hazardous to their health.

I want to use glass because the caboose will be used for wildlife viewing and photography so I need a transparent surface that will not distort photographs.

One nice thing about a 52,000 pound caboose sitting on steel wheels that are sitting on steel rails is that it should be a rock solid shooting bench as compared to my current shooting bench that is on my upper (wooden) deck supported by tall 4" x 4"s.

Jerry
 

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If I remember correctly, the rounded ones were on the cars with replacement Lexan windows?

I am not sure when the FRA mandated Lexan vs. glass. However, I think you will be OK for a backyard caboose with glass, unless the neighbor kids like chucking rocks.....
 

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Caboose windows have to be FRA part 223 (49 CFR) equipped. They are essentially bulletproof. The plastic windows eventually became fogged and useless. Removing the windows and replacing them with steel reduced the maintenance cost on the caboose.
 

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So Jerry,

A question comes to mind...when are you going to plan out, and when are we going to build the "Mopac Caboose Layout"...???

btw; where are you going to put the caboose? The clearing to the right (Looking from your deck) of the pond down from the shed?

The clearing to the left of the house on the other side of the driveway?

Where is this thing going to sit??
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Posted By Michael Tollett on 12/25/2008 8:10 AM
So Jerry,

A question comes to mind...when are you going to plan out, and when are we going to build the "Mopac Caboose Layout"...???

btw; where are you going to put the caboose? The clearing to the right (Looking from your deck) of the pond down from the shed?

The clearing to the left of the house on the other side of the driveway?

Where is this thing going to sit??



Hi Michael,

We will put the caboose in the large field behind the vehicles.




Regarding the "Mopac Caboose Layout" we have not given any serious thought to it yet but we will be putting the trailer layout between the caboose and the tree line. If we build an additional layout it could be connected to the trailer layout and it could be a test track and/or a live steam layout.

As with the main outdoor layout it will probably end up depending on whether you feel like building another layout. You are hereby nominated as the Chief Construction Engineer for the Arkansas Powered Rails. ; )

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year - we hope to get over to see your Christmas Display before you take it down.

Cheers,

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Posted By Rayman4449 on 12/25/2008 10:26 AM
That's great you finally got a caboose Jerry! I assume you're going to repaint it up?


Raymond



Hi Raymond,

Yes, you are right. The first two projects will be to first repaint the inside (full of vulgar graffiti) and then to repaint the outside (caboose red of course).

Thankfully it is a steel caboose so there is little rotted wood to deal with but then it is a huge caboose that is going to take a lot of work and paint to repaint it.

We have already given up on the idea of stripping the paint and instead we will just paint over the existing paint except for where it is peeling.

Perhaps we will have a new "guest quarters" the next time you come to visit.

Merry Christmas,

Jerry
 

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Do go after the flaking bits, and do spend some money on some decent paint that will not fade.

A few observations from friends that have restored cabooses.....there may be more rust than you think. A friend that had PRR N5c had to cut out about the bottom three feet of the sides due to internal rot. He also found out that the purchase price of the caboose (scrap value) was pale compared to the shipping costs. Ditto on a friend who had two operational interurbans shipped from the midwest to NY.

The friend with the N5c also has an PRR N6 in the works. He was happy to get the one he got, it had been burned....so no rotten wood to work with, just the metal bits and a set of drawings from the Ft. Wayne shops, and all the wood from scratch! He found another rotting N6 for some wood parts such as windows, doors and to take a few dimensions.
 

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Unless your operating this caboose in regular service it need not comply with 49CFR part 223.3 Also any passenger equipment need not comply if in non revenue service. Later RJD
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Posted By Spule 4 on 12/25/2008 3:01 PM
Do go after the flaking bits, and do spend some money on some decent paint that will not fade.

A few observations from friends that have restored cabooses.....there may be more rust than you think. A friend that had PRR N5c had to cut out about the bottom three feet of the sides due to internal rot. He also found out that the purchase price of the caboose (scrap value) was pale compared to the shipping costs. Ditto on a friend who had two operational interurbans shipped from the midwest to NY.

The friend with the N5c also has an PRR N6 in the works. He was happy to get the one he got, it had been burned....so no rotten wood to work with, just the metal bits and a set of drawings from the Ft. Wayne shops, and all the wood from scratch! He found another rotting N6 for some wood parts such as windows, doors and to take a few dimensions.




I made sure I had a firm quote on shipping the caboose the 6 miles to our house before I put a bid in on it. The shipping quote was $4,000 but upped to $5,500. I then found another mover and he estimated $4,500. I switched to him based on his agreement to stick to the price. The dozer work and gravel will be extra.

Ultimately the amount of restoration will be directly dependent on the cost of that restoration. If it gets too high it won't get done.

While we would like to do as good a job of restoration as possible the caboose has been gutted with all internal equipment removed (which is good for our clubhouse plans) and it will never be able to run on a railroad again so the bottom line is that if it looks good and no one will fall through the floor that is all that really matters.

Thanks,

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Posted By aceinspp on 12/25/2008 4:01 PM
Unless your operating this caboose in regular service it need not comply with 49CFR part 223.3 Also any passenger equipment need not comply if in non revenue service. Later RJD


This caboose will never ride the rails again unless on top of a flatcar. My main concern about glass is that it is clear enough to take good wildlife photos through and to hopefully provide some insulation against heat and cold. The basic exterior seems to be in pretty good condition with some rust on the underside. I don't know what I will find behind the walls as I install 120 volt receptacles but my concern is to work to home safety standards rather than FRA standards.

Thanks,

Jerry
 

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Jerry,
For what ever reason that Mopac removed the windows, so did DRGW on many of its caboose.

RailArc- DRGW- 01501

JimC.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Posted By pimanjc on 12/26/2008 7:04 PM
Jerry,
For what ever reason that Mopac removed the windows, so did DRGW on many of its caboose.

RailArc- DRGW- 01501

JimC.



Hi Jim,

That caboose looks like it came off the same assembly line as ours. It is very similar. The window next to the door is interesting - I don't recall ever seeing a window there.

Jerry
 

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Many removed windows.

Now according to a friend who is an engineer, several CSXT cabooses have the doors even welded up. Glorified brakemen's platforms for switching....
 
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