Discussion in '1726-1735' started by FRISCO4503, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. FRISCO4503

    FRISCO4503 FRISCO4503 Supporter

    I looked through the forum and am wondering if anyone has any more good images of FRISCO's Bay window Cabooses series 1726-1735. I just received 2 of the Athearn RTR in HO scale and am going to attempt to make them more prototypical. I already know the rear ladders will be tossed in the scrap box as I have not seen a BW with ladders or even why they would be on there. I have several details to add to them and some light weathering to do, but I am looking for something for reference specifically SLSF 1726 and 1730. I will post before and after pictures as I make progress on them.
  2. FriscoCharlie

    FriscoCharlie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    I am pretty sure we do. I am at work right now and can't look but when I get home I will check and see if we can schedule something for the Frisco Archive soon.

  3. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    To tide you over for the moment, I looked on Mike Condren's website and found two pictures towards the bottom of this page: Catalog/Caboose.htm
    I did a search on the archives and didn't find anything.
    Neither of them are the numbers of the Athearn cabooses, but they reveal a consistent picture. From looking at my 1730 model here's what needs to be done: You need to get rid of the roof walk and end ladder. The entire end railing needs to be changed out for a more accurate one. The stack needs to be changed. And the side windows are not spaced right either. Those are the major details that I caught.

  4. r c h

    r c h Ft Worth - Tulsa Engineer

    I thought about using the Athearn caboose as a starting point, but once I started looking at the differences there was just too much to change. I have one of the Athearn cabooses in my hand and I think I've downloaded every photo online of these bay window cabooses over the years! Here's a page that has photos of both sides (nevermind the BN reporting marks):

    So, here's my rundown on the differences. The Athearn bay window caboose is based on a riveted Southern Pacific prototype; the Frisco caboose is a welded body. Athearn's model has diagonal roof panels and the Frisco prototype has X panels. The windows on the Athearn model are more rectangular while the prototype has more square windows. Other than the windows in the bay, none of the side windows are in the correct location for the Frisco caboose. The end doors are too short, and the door window too low. Also, there is an extra end window that does not exist on the prototype. Athearn's model has the bay centered on the body, the Frisco caboose bay window is offset to the end nearest the axle generator. The sills on the Athearn model have several cutouts and the Frisco prototype has straight sills (other than the cutout for the axle generator on one side). There is one equipment box underneath the sill on the prototype next to the axle generator (possibly containing batteries). Athearn's model has one on each side and they are a different shape. End sills on the model are an angled style compared to straight sills on the prototype.

    As far as I'm concerned, the Walthers caboose, which has a number of details that don't match the Frisco caboose as well, is a better starting point than the Athearn caboose. It's a welded body caboose, the bays are separate (none of them are correct, so you'd have to scratchbuild your own or you could go with the closest one) and it has the correct X panel roof. With all the work you'd have to do to the Athearn model, there is no chance of saving the factory paint. To me, it would be easier to scratchbuild from sheet styrene on an existing underframe and use the roof from the Walthers caboose. But, here's the rub: drawings or overall measurements at the very least are needed, so any attempt would be just a good guess.

    With that said, if anyone can get me some measurements of one of the prototype Frisco bay window cabooses, I would love to collaborate with that person to produce accurate scale drawings.

    Anyway, good luck with your project. I'm certainly interested in seeing how they turn out.
  5. FriscoCharlie

    FriscoCharlie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

  6. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Ditto as to what Ryan has said about the Athearn version of this Bay Window outfit. No hope for it as I see it as well, but I did buy 2 of them. And made some modifications to the product...

    I tried this approach with the Walthers version.

    Again, not my best effort. The window frames were a little heavy for the project, the White was not on all the step wells, and a couple other issues. But OK for me.
    Will upload an Athearn bay window update soon.
    Thanks guys
  7. r c h

    r c h Ft Worth - Tulsa Engineer


    That caboose still looks awesome. When I finish my Frisco 1237 and the next three cabooses that follow it, I'm hoping to finally get started on a Frisco bay window.
  8. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Am I remembering correctly that the bay window cabooses were also constructed from surplus PS-1 boxcars by the Consolidated Mechanical shops?

    If so, it would be fun to see a scale version kitbashed, using a scale PS-1 as a starting point.

    Best Regards,
  9. tmfrisco

    tmfrisco Member Supporter

    You remember correctly, Chris. On page 127 of Marre's Frisco in Color caboose number 1726 is pictured with that bit of information. On page 125 two pictures of PS-1 boxcars in the "throes of conversion" as well as a line of pre-fabricated cupolas in the construction of the 1400/1700 series cabooses are shown. With some plans and these pictures to work from, this cupola type caboose would also be a great kit bash project.
  10. r c h

    r c h Ft Worth - Tulsa Engineer

    I was under the impression that the bay window cabooses were built by the Consolidated Mechanical Shops from kits. The homebuilt cabooses converted from PS-1 boxcars were the long extended vision cupola cabooses 1700-1725.
  11. paul slavens

    paul slavens Member

    I thought the same as R C H just mentioned, and if you look at the pics the baywindow cabooses they look nice and have good geometry whereas the 1400/1700 boxcar conversion caboosess look gangly and out of proportion.
  12. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Thats a great idea Terry. Which PS-1 would be the best to cut up you think? I agree these PS-1 Caboose conversions are a whole nother animal. They are somewhat longer than other cabooses, but a project I can see myself wasting time on :)

  13. r c h

    r c h Ft Worth - Tulsa Engineer

    Here is a link to the thread with the caboose diagrams in PDF format:

    The 1700-1725 ex-boxcar cabooses aren't covered and neither are the bay window cabooses, but there is an interesting renumbering spreadsheet toward the end of the document. It gives overall length and total cost of each caboose, among other details. The overall length of 45'-2" for the former PS-1 cabooses seems about right for a 40' boxcar underframe with steps/crossover ends and cushioning added. The bay window cabooses come out to a total length of 41'-5", which would indicate a shortened frame since the truck centers are set in quite a bit on cabooses. Also, the cost of each seems about right for the homebuilt cabooses coming in at $25,621.10 and the bay window cabooses at $40,650.00. Not much of a bargain at over 40 grand if Frisco built them from spare boxcars.
  14. tmfrisco

    tmfrisco Member Supporter

    Well, it would seem that there is a potential contradiction in the text of Marre's book I mentioned and the roster list that
    Ryan pointed out. In the roster list the 1400 series and 1700-1725 series cabooses are clearly labeled ex-boxcars whereas the bay window cabooses are listed as only bay window--no explanation as to the builder or the company supplying the kits if that is what happened. I also noticed that the 1400s and 1700s were slightly different in length: 1400-44'4" and the 1700-45'2". The weight was also different with the 1400s weighing 57,100 lbs. and the 1700s 57,800 lbs. Both classes were started at the same time with both the 1400 and 1700 being built in 2-73. The 1700s were completed in 11-74 with the 1400s were completed in 10-76. One side note: The crews who rode these cabooses did not care for them because they were not cushioned. They much preferred the International cushioned cabooses. I must say that I can understand their thoughts on these cabooses.

    Tom, the text only says surplus Pullman Standard PS-1 40' box cars. If you have Marre's book, the picture on 125 gives a good shot of one of the boxcars after being cut up with the following car having the cupola mounted. With your modeling skills, I know that you could come up with this caboose.

  15. r c h

    r c h Ft Worth - Tulsa Engineer

    Wow, I'd hate to imagine the ride in a caboose without cushioning. That would be terrible. No student engineers allowed!
  16. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Yea man, if you didn't keep it stretched out tight everybody on that caboose would be headed to the head end with all the brake clubs they could find :):):) On the other hand those unit coil steel cars have like what seems like two feet of cushioning on each end, and can be a nightmare too, of course you cant use air on them either to keep them stretched.
    Was giving one a "roll-by" and noticed a couple coils were laying on their sides, on the rear of their train, I told the conductor about it. Not missing a beat he replied "No problem, we will have them stood back up by the time we get to *****) :):):)
  17. mark

    mark Member

    In 1979 the Frisco's Consolidated Freight Car Shops (West Shops) built 10 new bay window cabooses SLSF 1726-1735.

    These cabooses were constructed from the ground up using all new components. This series of cabooses were not rebuilt form former boxcars.

    Most major components were fabricated from scratch in the shops including the cushioned underframe, wood floors, sides, ends, bays, handrails, grab irons and seat cushions.

    New commercial components were used for the trucks, brake system components, x-panel roofs, windows, lights, radios, stoves, step and end grates, etc. Construction was done using fabrication jugs in an assembly line process. The cabooses were built in the Consolidated Car Shops on track three.

    Hope this helps.


  18. tmfrisco

    tmfrisco Member Supporter

    Hmmm. Mark, this information brings into question the accuracy of all the books we have on the Frisco. I know one mistake doesn't mean everything is wrong, but it is a little disconcerting to find that such a misstatement was entered into one of our books. I completely accept the accuracy of the text or captions under pictures of our books as I have no way of knowing if the statement is correct or not. I am not trying to make a mountain out of an ant hill (as they say), but being able to be comfortable with the accuracy of our books is important to me. I do appreciate the books we have on the Frisco, and I want to see more. I only hope that a better job of fact checking and editing will prevent errors again. Thanks, by the way, for your information on this topic.

  19. r c h

    r c h Ft Worth - Tulsa Engineer


    If I could "like" your post I certainly would. Thanks for the information. Would you happen to know if any shop drawings used to construct these cabooses survived?
  20. mark

    mark Member


    Authors and publishers attempt to provide accurate information in publications. However, through incorrect assumptions, faulty research, editorial changes, information that surfaces later and other errors mistakes happen. Once many forms of communication are sent to print the information is set in time.

    One of the advantages of a “living” format such as is we have the opportunity to add to, correct and improve on our knowledge base. The prior post is not the first time I have shared and attempted to correct the information on the construction of Frisco’s bay window cabooses in this forum.

    We all agree with you in our desire for more articles and books on the Frisco. In addition, we all hope for a better job of fact checking and editing to prevent errors.

    Hope this helps.



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