D&RGW Long Caboose
Blackstone Models is pleased to announce the anticipated summer 2009 arrival of
these narrow gauge classics. Due to popular demand, the D&RGW
“round roof” Long Caboose will be available in HOn3 in all five
D&RGW road numbers. We proudly offer each road number in your
choice of the 1930s era “Button” Herald, as well as the familiar
1940s-1970s Flying Grande Herald. In addition, we are releasing
a painted, unlettered version for you to adapt this handsome narrow
gauge car to your favorite HOn3 railroad! All of our decoration and
livery styles have been thoughtfully researched to bring you a model
that is remarkably true to the prototype.
Design Update for the D&RGW Long Caboose
Blackstone's engineering team has some exciting new details about the Long Cabooses:
- Each Caboose will have electrical pickup wipers on both
trucks and the wheels are insulated, making it feasible for you to
modify the caboose with interior or marker lamp lighting if you have
the expertise to do so.
- Ladder Safety Extensions are provided as an option for you to add if desired.
- Cabooses come with different ladder designs (4 rung, 5 rung,
and special 0505 narrow ladder) depending on the correct prototype
practice for each road number
- Two “subtly” different paint shades are used to reflect the prototype variances.
- Marker Lamps will be supplied separately for you to add on as desired.
- Window awnings will also be provided separately for you to add
- since a couple of road numbers did not always have the side shades,
this allows you to customize your crummy to the era you are modeling.
- Caboose handrails and hardware are painted in either white,
silver, or black - whichever is correct for the road number and era.
- The number 0503 has special prototypical features which include:
- Unique end windows on its cupola
- Angled foot step design
- The caboose chassis is reversed to make the “A” end where the
“B” end is on other cabooses. The retainer line location has also been
- Siding boards in ABS (painted and molded to fit) will be
included for customers who wish to board up the “A” end side window as
was seen on the car in later years.
A Little History
Between 1912 and 1923, the D&RG(W) Railroad rebuilt five 1880s style
short cabooses in order to help maintain a small fleet of durable
and up to date “crummies”. Eventually consisting of road numbers
0503, 0505, 0517, 0540, and 0574, these “rebuilds” were more or less
new cars that utilized the hardware of the old cabooses. These cabooses
are referred to as “Class 5” by Dr. Robert Sloan in his book “A Century
Plus Ten of D&RGW Narrow Gauge Freight Cars 1871 to 1981”. Favored by
railroad crews, the car bodies were 25 foot in length and sported wider
platforms than their sister long cabooses that were in use at that time. Featuring
the more traditional “round” roof style, these cabooses were seen all over
the D&RGW narrow gauge system up to the end of operations. Interestingly,
the 0540 was the very last caboose to be used by the D&RGW narrow gauge
working out of Durango, Colorado in 1980. Today, all five cabooses of
this class remain and three are currently operable. The Durango and
Silverton Railroad operates the 0505 and 0540, while the Friends of
the C&TS are currently rebuilding the 0503 for continued use on the
Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad. The 0574 is nicely restored and
survives at the Colorado Railroad Museum, while 0517 sits on display
with other narrow gauge railroad equipment in Fairplay, Colorado.
Blackstone Models is releasing different versions of each road number
to ensure you have the caboose that will fit your favorite era.
Five Road Numbers, Eleven Versions