Dogpatch and Western Railroad - The home of easy-to-build full-size caboose kits.
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Dogpatch and Western Railroad - The home of easy-to-build full-size caboose kits.
Caboose We offer a customized framing kit in whatever size fits your purposes. You can choose to install as many windows and in whatever sizes you prefer. You can choose to build either peaked or arched roof trusses, and you can build your kit to include either a standard cupola, a bay window or a combination cupola/bay window, referred to as an extended vision cupola. The kit includes a lower steel framework which is raised off the ground to allow the wheels to fit underneath. The framework is raised by a number of steel posts, connected to the framework with bolt on Ts so that no welding is required. The bottom of these posts go into holes in the ground and are concreted in place. No slab is required. Our intention is to make our kits as easy to build as possible, and reduce your costs by not shipping anything that you can buy locally. The kits require only basic tools and no special skills.

Our kits are actually buildings that look like real cabooses, but are stronger, better built and less expensive than either a real caboose or a steel building. We will tailor our kits to any width, height and length.

What the Kit Consists Of

  • Two lengths of 2 inch 11 gage steel tubing, the length of your caboose, forming the under frame
  • A number of steel posts depending on the length of your caboose, same steel material
  • Bolt on steel Ts to attach the legs to the under frame
  • Four same steel material end posts to support the roof over the entry platform
  • Eight simulated light-weight wheels and four truck frames
  • All assembly hardware other than nuts, bolts, screws and nails
  • Structural engineering to enable you to obtain a building permit
  • Full assembly instructions and framing plans
  • Email or telephone assistance in building your caboose


Caboose Basic assembly of your caboose replica kit is actually fairly simple. You'll need to start with a concrete foundation. Then you'll fasten the underframe to it, and assemble the frame, add floor joists, flooring, wall studs, roof trusses and roofing.

Once that's done, you'll have a sturdy ready-to-finish frame. At this point, it's just a matter of completing it the way you want, with your choice of interior and exterior finishing, plumbing and electrical, heating and cooling, etc. It will be built to your liking because you choose all the options. Any local plumber, electrician or handyman can help you with anything beyond the basics.

Once you've decided on the specifics of the kit you want, we'll provide you with a list of materials you'll need from your local home improvement store or lumber yard. We provide the basic frame kit and unique add-ons to get you started, let you pick up or have delivered lumber, siding, roofing, etc. locally to save you the cost of shipping materials already near you.

Finishing and Options

Caboose The cupola of your caboose can provide excellent views and is a great place for a relaxing breakfast or romantic dinner. Just install an elevated floor and a conventional or spiral staircase and you’re all set.

Carpet or hardwood flooring will add to the warmth of your caboose, but linoleum will do as well. Oversized windows can provide stunning views.

The interior can be finished in drywall or paneling, and the exterior siding can be steel or plywood, but the best choice for price, appearance, durability and ease of installation would be Oriented Strand Board (OSB) covered with fiberglass, available for less than $8 per 4x8 foot sheet at most decent home improvement stores.

Caboose Roofing can be steel, but an excellent choice would be hardboard for curved roofs, placed underneath rubberized roofing or fiberglass.

We can recommend suppliers of grab rails, outside end railings, steps, and other railroad-like fixtures. You can even build a deck to surround all or part of your caboose, saving the cost of undercarriages.

Remember, you're the boss. Customize to your tastes and needs.
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