Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Cabooses garner the interest of collectors

.Buying A Caboose

You may not find cabooses on everyday rail lines, but they remain a target for collectors. Cabooses fell out of fashion in the 1980s as train companies merged and scaled back to save money. Companies sold the cars for scrap. Over time, the costs soared, but that hasn't stopped the interest of collectors.

Wes Coscia, a general contractor in Dade City, said he bought a 1952 Seaboard caboose for $2,000 in 1998 and spent $20,000 to convert it into an apartment for his daughter. He has been fascinated by trains since childhood and started collecting 10 years ago.

"It starts small and it grows," he said. "It's the nostalgia of it."

Joe Oates of Seffner, president of the Atlantic Coast Line & Seaboard Air Line Railroads Historical Society, said collectors can start with photos, signals or kerosene lanterns and graduate to big purchases.

A caboose today can cost up to $10,000, and transport costs for the 55,000-pound vehicle can double that amount.

"The thing about the cars is it's not so much the purchase," Oates said. "It's the upkeep of the thing, because they just sit there outside. You have to really love trains."

Rich Shopes

Cabooses garner the interest of collectors 12/20/12 [Last modified: Thursday, December 20, 2012 4:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Storm routs Cleveland


    TAMPA — Alvin Ray Jackson intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown, and recovered two fumbles as the Storm routed Cleveland 57-27 Saturday night in its home regular-season finale at Amalie Arena.

  2. Miscue sends Rays to another stinging loss to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays gave away DJ Kitty onesies on Saturday night. Then they gave away the game.

    Centerfielder Mallex Smith misses a drive hit by Adrian Beltre with two outs in the sixth, allowing the tying runs to score. Beltre put Texas ahead 4-3 when he scored after two wild pitches.
  3. Rowdies shut out Charleston


    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rowdies know a thing or two about stalemates, with five of their past 10 games ending in a draw.

    Rowdies in the first half during the game between Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Charleston Battery at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday, Jul 22, 2017.
  4. 13-year-old Janessa's father holds memorial service at Rogers Middle School


    RIVERVIEW — About 100 people sat in the tile-floored multipurpose room Saturday at Rodgers Middle School where Janessa Shannon once sat as a student.

    A mourner embraces Nahshon Shannon after the memorial service for Nahshon’s daughter, Janessa, Saturday at Rodgers Middle School in Riverview.
  5. Trump: Aircraft carrier a symbol of America's might (w/video)


    NORFOLK, Va. — With praise and a blessing for the military, President Donald Trump helped hand over the USS Gerald R. Ford to the Navy on Saturday and said the state-of-the-art aircraft carrier will send a "100,000-ton message to the world" about America's military might when it is ultimately deployed.

    President Donald Trump commissions the USS Gerald R. Ford on Saturday in Norfolk, Va.