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04.09.2015
To All: The second operating session on my layout featured three trains run by Dave Larson and Jeff Barker, with yours truly as the dispatcher issuing Train Orders and Switch Lists.
At first, it appeared that Santa Fe had just one "shack on a flat" style transfer caboose (#1001) but following our initial announcement, a photo was posted by the Baltimore Chapter of the NRHS on their facebook page of a second car numbered 1007 so now it appears Santa Fe had definitely at least two, and probably at least seven of these cars. In the early months of Conrail, equipment was quickly patched with the Conrail name before official stencils and new paint could be supplied.
CSX inherited their short body bay window caboose fleet from Louisville & Nashville and Clinchfield by way of Seaboard System. In January, 1983 all of the Family Lines railroads were merged together to form Seaboard System. Frisco began converting old flat cars into transfer cabooses in 1967 in their Springfield Shops. For most of its history, Indiana Harbor Belt was controlled by the New York Central System and their successors Penn Central and Conrail. The Indiana Rail Road runs 552 miles of route with mainlines connecting Chicago with Louisville and Indianapolis with the junction town of Effingham, Illinois.
In 1972, after a generation of red paint, Missouri-Kansas-Texas changed to green and yellow.


The Ohio Central Railroad System was launched in 1988 and grew into a network of ten shortlines, totaling 500 miles of line in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
The final caboose built by Missouri Pacific in their extensive fleet of Short Body Bay Window cabooses was actually delivered to Texas Mexican Railway as their #316. Lettering stencils were often cobbled together from old Penn Central and Erie Lackawanna stencils.
Although the parent companies of Seaboard and Chessie had merged several years before, it was 1987 before there was serious progress in combining the operations of the railroads. Equipment began to be renumbered with SBD reporting marks including a number of these cabooses inherited from both L&N and Clinchfield.
So when IHB was in the market for transfer cabooses, Penn Central’s Despatch Shops stepped in to fill the need. It was controlled by Big Four which in turn was part of the New York Central System which became Penn Central in 1968. It was inherited from Missouri Pacific and was renumbered into the MP 7500 series along with many other former MP cabooses re-assigned to moving MOW crews to remote locations. They were known for their handsome 2-10-2’s and their Christmas-y green and red diesel fleet.


This car, #MP 7504, found itself in desperate need of a repaint when no MOW green was available.
I painted, lettered, weathered and dullcoated the model.I still run this locomotive on the layout. When EMD made the high hood GP-30s, the upper styling brow that houses the headlights on the low hood version was shorter on the high hoof version.
Photo #2--The Cotton Belt Blue Streak Merchandise (BSM) leaving Gateway Yard West Bound for hand off to the SP in West Texas.On the way a hot car will be picked up at Pacific.
This was also the period when caboose operations as it had been known for a century was about to end. Because this group of cabooses was only a few years old, CSX tended to hold onto these for the remaining caboose assignments and sell or scrap older cars.
I painted, lettered and weathered the unit from a photo on the rail pictures archives website.



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