Special Projects

Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines

N-11e Transfer Caboose



This project started with an all-wood caboose I bought at a yard sale for $!5. The only original part left is the frame from stairwell to stair well. I made that the starting point and added the 2 end pieces. The stairwells are plastic and were apparently cut off of a Bachmann passenger car and glued on. I had to re-glue them. I left part of the original cabin structure walls for support of the new styrene sides. Ii don't know the scale, it was all done according to the base size and by eye. I cut in the windows and doors and made end doors. Then the sides were installed on the base frame and braced inside for durability. The awnings were made out of thin styrene, and the door vents from house shutters.


The toughest part were all of  the platform  railings and grab irons. They are made to look exactly like the prototypes. The brake wheel assembly was scratch built from styrene and a clothing snap. I'm not sure what the thing is next to the door,< possibly a horn. I made it from welding rod soldered to supports and shaped wood for the horn. I fashioned 2 pieces of drywall sander paper (not shown)  for the end platforms so they will replicate the open grid decking. Holes are also drilled for handrail/grab irons on both sides of the doors and on the end plates. I made the 2 pipes on the side (for kerosene?) from coat hanger and welding rod. Also fabricated were 2 types of vents on the top, side corners. a special cut piece of styrene was cut for each of the 4 corners where the one railing is bottom mounted, as it has to dip down at and angle. I also scribed ribs on the sides.
Inside is placed a battery operated light. The windows, when finished, will be frosted. In this photo you can see some of the original wood cabin. Unfortunately, I sprayed it once with the wrong color paint and had to remove it all, which is why the white styrene looks the way it does. It also caused me to rebuilt all the end railing again. it took months of research to get the right color paint, and with the help of the PRSL society and several books and photos settled on oxide red. 
On the bottom, I had to relocate the truck bolsters, add the switch and 9-volt battery holder and the 4 ribs that will show their ends on the side. Also added was an air tank. 

The roof has been cut and fitted, with four small counter-sunk holes to screw it onto the body. It still needs the appropriate ribbing to be glued on top of it next. Then painting the body oxide red and the roof silver. 


Pipes formed from nails Made of styrene
Made of styrene Finished- Deck made of drywall sander pad and painted
The roof was difficult to locate photos of. I searched for hours and hours thru the internet and could not locate a photo from the top. Nor could I find anyone who knew. (Someday I get to the Reading's historical Museum and try for permission to climb the real 252 and take a photo). Till then, judging from my research, it appears the N-11's made for PRSL were done at a different time than the Penn Central's were. Therefore, their roof design is different. Based on side views, PRSL's channels and re-enforcing beams were straight and evenly spaced, with 3 sections having no channels at all.
Finished Finished
Finished Finished
Finished Finished

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