model railroads of michigan
c&o caboose marker light
As mentioned on the main C&O page, this massive Class 1 railroad was a major interchange partner and competitor of the Ann Arbor. The "Ann-Pere" junction east of Howell dates back to a time when armed members of the competing railroads actually exchanged gunfire and fought over which railroad had the right to cross the other. There was no love lost and no shortage of chicanery involved back in the day!
Fast forward to the latter stages of the 20th century, and both railroads had cross-lake car ferries that serviced Manitowoc and Kewaunee, Wisconsin. The railroads also shared trackage rights near Mt. Pleasant and had multiple interchanges. So if you were rail-fanning the Annie, you probably also got a big dose of the C&O/Chessie.
As I began amassing a large variety of C&O rolling stock to assure a proportional blend of road names on my Ann Arbor layout, I wanted to make some of the equipment stand out, so that it just wasn't all off-the-shelf stuff that you could see on any layout.
Fortunately, and quite by accident, I stumbled across a sale for battery-powered N Scale rear-end marker lights. The lights are turned on/off by use of a magnetic reed switch, which makes it very simple to control. You can find these marker lights at GATR Works. I snapped up a couple of sets and decided that C&O caboose #3289 was going to get an upgrade.
Installation was easy: remove the end ladders and body shell, then drill a small hole through the top of the end wall over the doorway and just under the roof line. The battery holder mounts inside the car body floor along with the reed switch. Route the marker LED up to the interior caboose roof and through the small hole drilled in the first step. I also cut a very slight channel into the underside of the extended caboose roof, and put a light bead of epoxy in place to help hold the wire/LED unit in place. The last step is to carefully make a cut in the top of the end ladder molding, to allow the LED to tuck up flush with the roofline. This was a quick and easy project that really adds interest and value to an otherwise standard Atlas caboose.