20 – Moose’s Cabooses

Brian Collins
Utica, New York, USA


Humphrey “Moose” Huntington reconditions and customizes used cabooses for private buyers in a shop called Moose’s Cabooses located at an abandoned mill on the former NBR (Name Brand Railroad) industrial branch. When he first started, the NBR would pick up and deliver cabooses and do the switching in the plant. It would then go down the industrial branch to serve a major customer.

Years later, the bridge just down the line from his location washed out. Since the other customer beyond the bridge no longer used rail service, the NBR decided not to replace the bridge. The track between Moose’s and the bridge became a switching lead, but was too short for the NBR’s engines. To remain in business, Moose obtained a TrackMobile to use as a plant switcher. The part of the extinct industrial line from the junction with the NBR main line became an interchange.

And thus, Moose’s Cabooses Railway was born.

Layout Highlights:

– Moose’s Cabooses is a 12x48in 2-2-3 Inglenook in HO scale that uses Atlas Snap-Track sectional components.
– The curves add visual interest and length.
– The shop hides a fiddle track. A weathered caboose is spotted in the shop, then a freshly painted one is pulled out later on.
– The backstory justifies the need for a modern TrackMobile to switch cars that are 40 feet or less.
– The layout can be extended by adding to the ends.

(NOTE: This layout does not require any alterations to the Trackmobile, which can be used directly from the box.)