The Little Giant issue on P&LE bay window cabooses

Larry Kline

The latest 48 page issue of "The Little Giant," the magazine of the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad Historical Society, was mailed today to current members.

This issue covers both series of P&LE bay window cabooses. The first series, P&LE 500-509, was built by the P&LE at the McKees Rocks shops between October 1950 and January 1951. The second series, P&LE 510-519, was built by the International Car Co. There are as-built exterior and interior photos of both series and numerous color photos that show the variety of paint schemes applied to the bay window cabooses. There is an interesting group of interior photos that show the clothes, papers and equipment in the caboose 511 when it was in service.

Frank Stingone drawings for the 500-509 series are included along with International Car Co. drawings for the 510-519 series. Both sets of drawings have interior and exterior views. The car cards for cabooses 501 and 514 are also included.

There were a number of upgrades to these caboose. Upgrades to the bay window cabooses that increased their value are documented on the car cards. Other modifications were made that apparently did not increase the value of these cabooses since they are not listed on the car cards. The results of these modifications can be seen in photographs of the cabooses.

Cabooses 500-509 and 512 were rebuilt starting in 1978. The rebuilding program was stopped in late 1982, probably for financial reasons. Almost every piece of interior equipment was replaced during this rebuilding program. The equipment that was replaced is listed and illustrated by photos.

The disposition of the bay window cabooses is summarized in a table. Many have been preserved and two of them are in tourist train service.

The only prototypically accurate, commercially available models of P&LE bay window cabooses are the HO and O scale models of the 510-519 series cabooses imported by Alco models. A number of available N, HO and O scale models that can be used as standins are described. Several approaches to kitbashing more accurate models are also described.

Larry Kline
Pittsburgh, PA
VP and Editor, P&LERRHS

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