Atlantic Coast Line

 ACL truly set the standard with the M-3 Caboose. In 1925 the first ACL home built cars were out-shopped in Waycross GA. These cabs were wood sheathing with steel underframes. Additional M-3’s were built in 1926 and 1927. The number system had gaps between the dates built, starting with #01up to #0459. Some of the M3’s were built as early as 1882 and rebuilt to a class M3. 

   Class 0-12-A cabs were built from 0-12 ventilated box cars numbers 0463-0494 dating 1916-17.  These cars were converted during WWII with no end platforms or cupola, with the appearance of a camp car rather than caboose.

   Class M-4’s #0495 thru 0579 were built in 1942-43 with much the same appearance as the M-3 with the exception of being rebuilt from the 0-12 box cars underframe.

   Class M-1 cabs built in 1908-1925 numbered 0700 thru 0731 were acquired form AB&C in 1946.

   Class M-1-A cabs built in 1925 numbered 0732 thru 0738 were also acquired with the 1946 AB&C merge. Built for Florida East Coast and rebuilt without side doors and with a centered cupola on express trucks by the AB&C.

   In 1939ACL experimented with building a few Bay-Window Cabs from M-3’s # 051,093, 0147, 0187, & 0343

   In 1957 ACL rostered 375 Cabooses. In later years many of these wood cabs would be rebuilt with plywood siding, receive radios and electric lights, but for the most part they keep their same appearance except M-3 #0268. In 1962 number 0268 received a White paint job for advertisement of their Piggyback service with the new slogan

 “ Thanks For Using Coast Line”. Some of the M-3/ M-4 cabs made the SCL merger but as transfer or local use only.

   In the mid-60’s ACL’s Waycross shops began building their first steel cabooses using 0-25 boxcars. The class M-5’s were placed in service numbered 0600-0786. These cars had a slight offset cupola and were painted Orange with the “Thanks for Using Coast Line” slogan. M-5’s continued into SCL and on until the end of cabooses with CSX in the 80’s. 

Our example of  the M-3 Wood Sheath car is a AMB laser-cut kit  built by SouthEast ScaleModels

Class M-3 Woodside

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Class M-3 Plywood

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Our Example of the M-5 Steel is a SouthEast ScaleModel

Class M-5 Steel

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                                                                                    Florida East Coast  Rwy

  FEC bought 58 cabs from Magor Car Co. in 1926 numbered 702-760. These side door cabs rode on express trucks and were 40’long constructed of wood with steel under frames. They remained unchanged until the 60’s when many were rebuilt with plywood sheeting and the side doors eliminated. These cars had windmill generators on the roof for lighting and radio. At least one car did keep the side door in the modification, #737. The following cars received the upgrade; 720,21,22,28,36,37, 41,42,44,47, 48,53, 55, 56,57,59, &60. The major appearance change was the caboose red gave way to blue with yellow lettering. In 1966 FEC rebuilt a series of ex-express boxes into bay-window 800 series cabs replacing the aging cars.

   The examples of these cars are Laser kits by American Model Builder Inc. Plans call for a rebuilt model of the plywood car in the future.

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Seaboard Air Line 

Over the years Seaboard had a variety of Caboose’s built by several Builders. These wood cars were all similar in appearance giving Seaboard a standard low, slightly offset copula, painted in traditional red with safety slogans. The early cabs were all constructed with steel underframes and wood sheeting on wooden frames.

    In 1912 Mount Vernon Car Company built one of Seaboards earliest cabs, numbered: 49645-49669.

   1916 the Standard Steel Car Co. built car numbers: 49500-49549.

    In 1923 & 1924 Magor built car numbers: 5211-5263.

    American Car & Foundry built cars between 1924-1926 numbers: 5264-5273, 5304-5353, 5360-5371.

     In 1925 Newport News Shipbuilding built cars numbered: 5274-5303.

     In 1925 Seaboard built cars: 5401-5480.

     Many of these cars remained in service into the sixties. In 1966 two of the SSC Co. cars were still on the roster, 20 Magor, 23 AC&F, 9 NNSB, and 22 Seaboard built cars out of the original list of wood cars. A few of these cars received up-grades with plywood sides and one #5241 was rebuilt to steel sides (on display in Hamlet). A few other cars were also owned through mergers and went on in local service into the SCL era.

    In 1949 Seaboard bought its first Steel Cabooses from International Car Company. A total of 48 cars were purchased between 1949-1952 with the addition of two from the MD&S merge. Numbers: 5600-5649 and ex MD&S cars 600-601 to SAL 5481-5482. These cars remained in service through SCL, which rebuilt these cars to the M5 specifications as M6’s.

   The Queen of the fleet was the cushioned International Extended Vision Cabs built in 1963. Numbers: 5700-5760 were the last cars bought by Seaboard new and remained in service until the end of caboose’s on the CSX.

Our example of the early cars is a customized Revell Caboose

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Our example of the International Steel Car is built by SouthEast ScaleModels

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Our example of the Wide Vision Cab is a custom painted Athearn

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Southern Railway 

    Southern, like most large railroads had a variety of cabooses from mergers and acquisitions of smaller rail lines. We will focus on the cabooses of the Southern that ran  the Jacksonville lines both the GS&F (via Valdosta), and the Southern (via ACL Jesup).  

    The first home built cabooses were four wheel cars built in 1880 & 1897. In 1901 Southern built their first eight wheel wooden cabs with a center door and cupola near the end numbered: X704-1093. The second style car was built between 1914-17 numbered: X2026-2425. These cars were built with a center cupola and a door on the end. In 1927 this series of cars were rebuilt to the new standard cabooses that Southern built in 1922 retaining their original numbers. In 1922 Southern built the new standard wood caboose with four windows and a center cupola numbered: X2426-2875.  Some of these cars remained in local service into the early 1960’s.

   During WWII Southern built their first steel Bay Window Cabooses with round roof corners using stock car and drop bottom gondola frames. These cars were built between 1941-42 and were numbered: X2882-2929. Between 1948-51 Southern had built a new standard steel Bay Window caboose with four windows on each side numbered: X3079-3270. Most of these cars were rebuilt between 1968-71 and renumbered in the X600-X793 series. Most of these rebuilt cars had the inner two windows removed and roller bearing trucks applied. The one notable thing about all Southern wood and steel cabooses were the tender style steps on the ends. In 1969 Southern Iron & Metal built Bay Window cabs: X400-402, also in 1969 Gantt  Manufacturing began building  Bay Window cabooses up until 1977. The first numbered: X403-592 (1969-1971). In 1971-72 Gantt Mfg built solar power cabs with yellow bay windows for local service numbered: X200- 250 and again between 1973-74 Number: X260-271. The final group of regular service cabs from Gantt was between 1974-77 numbered: X327-399. The last cabooses Southern purchased was from Fruit Growers Express built in 1980 numbered: X315-326. These cabs were the only cushion cabooses Southern owned.

Our example of Southern’s standard wood caboose is a Funaro & Camerlengo kit built by SouthEast ScaleModels.

Our example of an early Southern Bay Window Caboose is a SouthEast ScaleModels.


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