Shortening of the caboose used for passenger trains on the Tropical Pizza HO scale micro layout makes car movements easier.

In the previous post I described a 22 scale feet flat car that I converted from a 22 foot ore hopper that suffered a mishap. I also mentioned that I had an ex-Southern Pacific caboose on the layout that could also be shorted. After some brooding over how best to approach the task of shortening that caboose, I finally settled on a plan of attack, and commenced to shorten it. It started off looking like this.

I cut at one end of the bay window and close to the end of the caboose, discarding the section between, and then glued the two body parts together. I also had to shorten the weight attached to the floor, then shorten the chassis. By the end of the conversion, with some weathering and painting to enhance how it looked, it looked like this.

To change the chassis to the same length as the shortened caboose body I had to cut the floor in a similar fashion to how I cut the body, then cut the chassis so that where it would join would be offset compared to where the floor was cut so that there was not a weak point with the floor and chassis needing joining in the same place.

After all the sections were shortened, the weight was screwed onto the floor, then the chassis glued under the floor, and the end result is a fairly strong and very short (approximately 22 scale feet) caboose / passenger car for the Bamboo Island railways passenger trains between Harbour and Plantation.

Short train of NSWGR X200 class rail tractor, short flat car and short caboose leaving the Harbour

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out, and after operating it for the first time I was impressed with how the shortened caboose enhanced operations.


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