Wednesday, 18 April 2012


People who model the ATSF during the late steam or early diesel era have been blessed with a number of very fine Santa Fe specific freight cars, notably from Intermountain and Atlas. But one big gap continues to be the lack of a nicely detailed, Santa Fe style cupola waycar (caboose).

Well, a long, long, ... long time ago, about 15 years, I got tired of waiting for the manufacturers to do something, and initiated a program to upgrade my Atlas steel cupola cabooses with Micro-Trains smoke-stacks and end-rails/ladders.  The program got off to a flying start, and I soon had a dozen or so cabooses dismantled, painted and decalled. I also bought and painted a quantity of MTL caboose smoke-stacks and end-rails to mount on the bodies.

But then came the slower part - removing the end rails moulded onto the caboose chassis, and then adding small strips of 0.040" x 0.040" Evergreen styrene to mount the MTL end-rails to. The first batch of these, to meet my immediate caboose needs, was completed fairly quickly. A second batch was finished about five years ago. And now, I am pleased to announce, I have completed the final batch.

Here they are, in all their glory, awaiting assignment at Davis:

Looking back, if I was to start this project over again, I would probably do things a little different. I would certainly pay more attention to matching the car numbers to whichever SF waycar these cars most closely resemble. I could also be tempted to add window glazing, and perhaps even hand railings on the roof of the cupola. But that's all academic because now that I have finally completed this project, it's just a matter of days before Atlas, or Intermountain, announce a better model of this waycar.