Catawissa Railroad Company

 

Book Your Caboose reservation early,  For 2015
CLICK HERE FOR
Reservations Form
 

 

 

 

Keeping local railroad history alive in any small town is very expensive, hard work & Fun

 

 

This year we will be repainting a couple of our cabooses.
 



We are just minutes from Knoebel's Amusement in Elysburg.
Free admission, free parking, free picnicking and free entertainment.
The Pioneer Tunnel Mine tour is within 35 minutes.
 

 

Make your reservation early for the 2015 (April to October).
Walter Gosciminski  (Owner)
Any Questions you can Email  at

Email


Where The Heck Is Catawissa



"Preserving Our Local Railroad Heritage Since 1979"

Bring your camera & children they will love it. all the cabooses are displayed outside for great picture taking.

No admission charge (FREE TO THE PUBLIC TO VISIT).

 We have 14 cabooses that has been completely restored and painted in authentic company colors

You can look back on the days when cabooses were common on railroads across North America.

In the early days of railroading, each crew was assigned its own caboose, which served as home for days at a time.
They could watch the cars ahead, sleep, cook and eat their meals. It was a place where the conductor and rear brakeman would do their paperwork.


n823378.gif (61199 bytes)

 


 

Keeping local railroad history alive in any small town is very expensive, hard work & Fun

wpe1A.jpg (15364 bytes)

2000 Photo

Last year I had a bird's eye view, when I was finishing the upper deck on the station, I saw three locomotives pulling the mile-long Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus train, with four circus cars hauling animals.
This line to Sunbury, Penn., (Wilkes-Barre to Sunbury) was an old Pennsy line and came to the D&H on April 1, 1976. The Delaware and Hudson is presently owned by Canadian Pacific Railway.

Opening night of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the Wachovia Arena was on Wednesday, June 1, 2005

 


 

Update: We built 4 enclosed picnic shelters 12X16 next to each caboose and one large 10X20.

Great    animationcar.GIF (2908 bytes)   Vacation
Caboose Lodging In 
Pennsylvania
Retreat from the noise, the concerns, the hustle and bustle of the city.

My younger days

Our 14 Railroad Cabooses are next to the scenic Susquehanna River
 


 

 

 

If you like the outdoors you will love our location here at the Catawissa Railway
 The perfect get-away with family and friends, 8 cabooses available.

 


"Your Destination for Family Fun"
Treat yourself to a fresh, fun weekend away.
Our Season is April to October / Caboose Rental
Kids Love Trains!
wpe7.jpg (10265 bytes)
UPDATE 
           June 07, 2003
We just Finished 8 of our 14 cabooses, with TV/VCR No Cable/, Free movies, electricity, running water,  bathrooms and  3 with showers. 
Our Private His & Her Bathrooms includes two large 42"x42" neo-angle shower
Also our Penn Central caboose has a large neo-angle shower. 
Note:
Remember to bring your own bath towels, shampoo and soap

On our  Reservations Form  page you can see photos of each caboose inside and outside

 



Make your reservations early. Each year our rentals double. 
Family & friends are returning, renting up to eight cabooses a day!
Advance reservations are highly recommended particularly during the summer. Why not make yours today?


PLAN AHEAD. If you're considering a Friday or Saturday stay in the next week or so, we MIGHT still have something available, but keep in mind that we often fill up Friday and Saturday night reservations as much as six weeks in advance. Weekday nights are usually a little easier to get on shorter notice. But if you want to get a specific room on a specific night, try to plan as far ahead as you possibly can, just to be sure. 

(Closed during the winter months)

Take a look at what our guests have to say about staying at our caboose lodge

Reservations Form 

CLICK HERE FOR  Reservations Form

Great Nearby Places to Visit

If you like the outdoors, camping, fishing, biking, etc.
  We are just minutes from Knoebel's Amusement in Elysburg. Old Fashioned Family Fun. Knoebels Amusement Resort is a great place for families. Admission to the park is free. Also available are free picnic facilities, offers free parking. The park has a swimming pool and waterslide. Called the Crystal Pool, it's open Memorial Day through Labor Day. Knoebel’s is a wonderful park with something for everyone. They also have a great assortment of coasters and other grown up rides. 50 + rides. Total Distance: 7.71 miles
  
You may also want to visit. The Bloomsburg Fair, the largest in the state, late September. Total Distance: 5.00 miles
   Also the only national park solely dedicated to railroad history, Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton. It is a museum dedicated to the history of trains. Total Distance: 69.25 miles

Bird's Eye View of The Cabooses
You can even see driving directions with real images
 

 

So, you are thinking about buying a 25 ton caboose and moving to your back yard?
Below is a break down of what it cost me.


fox1.gif (18234 bytes)                                               7gator.gif (17313 bytes)



I made this page, because of all the E-mail I received about this subject.
Moving expense is what cost the most, but seeing the Happy Smiles on Little Children faces is worth more to me! Then all the money in the world!

n8crane.gif (34431 bytes)

 

Note 
I'll be adding more information, plus photos on buying and moving a caboose as time permits!


Can't say it any better then the sign in photo!

nhwelcome.jpg (30514 bytes)

 

A Little About Myself
Before I get in the Cost of a Caboose

I was raised in Catawissa, Northeast Penna. and lived between both the Pennsy & Reading Lines (Catawissa Branch), the tracks where only a block apart from each other. My parent's house was closer to the Reading Lines, So close that I remember my mother putting the knicknacks back where they belong every month. At that time it was nothing to see freight trains four times a day pass by. The Railroad Station was only a couple blocks away, but in my younger days, I wasn't allowed to hang out there!

Anyhow, I'm self employed since I was 18 and never stopped buying and restoring antique cars, horse draw wagons, potbelly stoves, one arm bandit, etc. I have this thing with the past that I enjoy doing. There's not too much of anything that's old, I didn't have my hands on onetime or another.

That's one reason I ended up with the Catawissa Train Station in 1979. I was only 28 years old then and it was in very bad state when I purchased it, I put up all my other properties for a Bank loan to restore it back to its original shape, Little did I know that the prime rate was going up to 22% in a couple years. Which put things on hold. In time I had to sell all my other property to keep this old Station from being ripped down or burned like other great landmarks of our time. To me it was worth all the hard time that went with holding on to the station. I'm glad to say things are a little better now.


wpe5.jpg (44882 bytes)

 Cost of a Caboose

In the late 80's some railroads were offering cabooses for $500 to $1200 and they offered to deliver it to your nearest railroad siding free of charge. In my case I was paying 2% above 20% prime rate and just mortgaged everything for the Catawissa Train Station. It seems almost every time you find a good opportunity like this, it's at the wrong time!!

  It took nearly took 12 years before I could think of buying one, in 1996 that changed. I spent a lot of time looking and taking pictures of cabooses meanwhile. I found a lot of them in upstate New York being used for campsites, cabins, back-yard fun-houses, etc. Most of them were wooden cabooses with no trucks.  Some were FREE others could be had for a couple hundred. Trying to move a wooden caboose is very hard and expensive work.

Remember me telling you about steel cabooses for $500? I was told of a person who bought 90 of them for $350 each!  I don't know if it was a rumor, but I think if you could buy 90 cabooses in late 198? it probably is true. So I give the guy a call, he said he really had 90 but only has 40 left at $4500 each, this was in 1996.
And they where only 100 miles from me, after calling about moving them. I found out it would cost about the same to move one or four with a 50 ton crane and low bed trucks.

So I called the guy back and asked  what he would sell 8 of them for, after a couple days horse trading and talking, I ended up with all 8 of them for $3200 each. Below is a cost breakdown to move them to the station.

Purchase Price for 8  cabooses  $3200.00@ Sub-Total = $25600.00
Laid Rail, Ties and Stone for 8   $1550.00@ Sub-Total = $12400.00
Had to move 103 miles by  2 railroad Co.   
$678.00@
Sub-Total = $  5424.00
Move them 1 mile crane/trucks   $1000.00@ Sub-Total = $  8000.00
Painting exterior & interior      
$2800.00@
Sub-Total = $22400.00
Total for one caboose             $9,228.00@

You should add  $4000 to this to be safe!

Total for 8  $73,824.00   Don't forget to add at least 400hrs of your time + many many many wasted phone calls!

caboose8.jpg (23424 bytes)

Since 1996 we added 5 more cabooses, two in 1997 and three in 1998 which we put on the Rupert Train Bridge.

Before After

wpe5.jpg (53956 bytes)

wpe8.jpg (53391 bytes)

wpe9.jpg (9586 bytes)

wpeA.jpg (45925 bytes)

crinspectiontruck.jpg (22284 bytes)

I owe many thanks to Mr. J. Kelley & all the Conrail employee's for the super jobs they did..

 

Adding more photos of them later, being shipped by truck, rail and some of them being lifted with a crane.

Below is from

Forums: misc.transport.rail.americas 

 

This is a copy of Mr. Hall reply on buying & moving  cabooses.

Before you even think of purchasing a caboose, read what Mr. Hall has to say!!!

________________________________________

NIGHTHAWK COMMS wrote in article

__________________________________________________________________

I've been looking for a LVRR caboose for a while now. They are hard to
come by.
Be careful of these web or catalogue agencies...they know where the
cabooses are
and tag on a few $1000s for themself. If you see a bunch of rotting
cabooses
(like in Altoona) just call the RR direct.

___________________________________________________________________

Mr. Hall's reply
Sure some people do tack on a lot of extra $ but most only tack on a
few....this is called commerce.

MOST railroads let bids on their scrap.  Most scrap bids are an annual
contract that requires previous experience in the scrap business and
between $1,000,000 and $10,000,000 in insurance to work on RR property and
a high bid for an entrance ticket. Brokers of cars have to compete with
and/or work with scrapers for large lots of material that may include
wrecked and burned equipment, pure scrap, bridges, re-rolling rail, spikes,
tie plates, etc.  When I USED to broker this stuff I'd have to buy TONS of
junk in  order to get two or three hacks and the negotiate with the guys I
was bidding against to buy the junk I didn't want.  Typically I'd pay the
railroad about $3000.00 for a hack in any shape.  I also usually had to
repair the cars to move by rail (move by rail $1.30/mile)(after working out
getting the job done in a "cloed" union shop by non-union labor because the
union boys wern't allowed to work on them) to the tune of $2300 for a brake
job, $1500 for changing out old plain bearing trucks for new acceptable
roller bearing ones, $300 replacing missing safety appliances, etc. and
then nearly bribe some jerk clerk who couldn't figure out how to get the
car into the railroad's system to get it moved since it's number had been
retired and "the computer says it can't move."  Then the cars were too far
gone to repair to roll on their own had to be hauled by highway at about
$1200 for loading plus $1.10 per mile for each of two trucks, one for the
carbody and one for the trucks.  The railroads that sold the cars wanted
them gone within 5 days of the sale.  My turn around on selling them was
usually 3 to 6 months so I'd move them and store them and protect them from
the vandals and theives, insure myself against lawyers and their clients.
Usually I'd have about $8,000 in a car that I MIGHT be able to sell for
$9,000 and somebody would always want to talk me down in price because,
"Hey, da railroads 'give' them things away just ta get rid of them, I'll
give ya $2,000 fer it."

Buying one from a private party was always fun too!  They either paid
someone like me to do all of the above or paid more to do it themselves
because the had to pay the "tuition" of learning the system.  They wanted
out what they had in and they had pulled it off of live rail, let their
housemover buddy demolish anything that had ever looked like running gear,
moved it 65 miles from the nearest railroad, welded the wheels to a piece
of track, and remodeled it for $10,000.  The best I could sell it for would
be $5,000 and somebody would have to reverse the process to get it to their
place for a total of $13,000.

Sorry to sound a bit angry here but this kind of thing takes A LOT of
heavy, hard work and cold hard cash.  I sold many coaches, diners,
sleepers, lounges, hacks, locomotives, cranes, motorcars, rail, ties,
ballast, track machines and made some good money. I also lost my shirt on a
few of them.  I exported equipment to all kinds of exotic place overseas
including Austrailia, China, India, Indonesia...and even traveled to Osage
City, Kansas where I fell for a local beautiful, blonde, heartbreaker.

An unsold car could run up storage costs at the railroad standard rate of
$45 a month and several cars could get HUGE real fast. There were just too
few customers and too many long nights with union stewards, shop foremen,
yard clerks and superintendents who had hundereds of thousands of tons of
freight to move and not enough time to mess around with one or two old,
condemned, cars. And house movers and equipment movers and heavy haulers
with an axle falling through an old bridge deck at 4:30am, stuck in the
mud, knocking down traffic signals, breaking load tie-downs, willfully
violating load, width, and height limits, getting set out for oversize load
curfews (Kansas requires that all oversize loads be off the highways when
school busses are on the roads and after dark.  That gives you between 9:00
am and 2:10pm to move most days.) sideswiping building, automobiles,
bridges and public utilities, jacking up cars in high winds, on soft ground
or in places so as to create a 'public nusance'.  And then there were the
vandals, arsonists, parts hunters, and transients who found the cars
palacial residential abodes...at least until they could not stand the
mounting collection of their own fecal matter in all of the corners and
moved on.  And there is my personal favorite, graffeti "Artists"...these
ill-concieved vaginal farts could wipe out the value of a car in minutes
and the city would fine ME for not cleaning it up.

This is why I went back into full time employment in railroad operations
after only 3 years away from the job.   I still have to deal with cranky
union stewards, shop foremen, yard clerks and superintendents but on even
turf!  (most of the time).

Now then, I would like to direct you to some fine folks in the brokerage
business:  Anderson Steel Flange Railway Equipment Comapny in Iowa  and D.
F. Barnhardt & Associates in North Carolina and John Clark in Southern
California.  I have done business with all of these folks and found them to
be very honest, very capable, and right nice to deal with.  I would not
recommend them if I didn't know them!  They'll even tell you what the
selling price is and exactly how much they are making on the deal just like
a realestate agent on your house.

Above is a copy of Mr. Hall reply on buying & moving  cabooses.

 

wpe11.jpg (8420 bytes)    She probably thinking??   (Not another one)


 

Also we have a 1910 Reading Railroad Station where the cabooses are!

1910 Photo

 




Reservations

 

Welcome to my railroad hobby.

wpeA.jpg (17832 bytes)

I restore railroad equipment and properties
which includes, 1910 Train Station, 13 cabooses, 2 bridges and a tunnel!


I restored the 1910 Train Station in 1980, it was in very bad shape. It overlooks the Susquehanna River &  St. Lawrence & Hudson Railroad, which you can watch three to six freight trains pass a day, this is a great place for interesting train watching and photo taking. We are catering to people who love seeing trains and want to fall asleep to the sound of trains. Our cabooses are only 200 feet away.

We are also thinking about making the upstairs in the station a B&B.  In 1996 we purchased eight railroad cabooses, 1997 two more and 1998 three. So far we have thirteen of them, which four are completely refurbished with
special accommodations, Full size & Bunkbeds, new knotty pine wood work, AC, heaters, refrigerators and microwaves.

We started renting cabooses late in 1999 and most of the people that stayed over are returning this year.
I'm going to open in April this year, we don't bother opening in the winter, but we received so many request, that I'm thinking about insulating the floors in each caboose and staying open all year.


Looking for Conrail, Norfolk Southern, Erie - Lackawanna, CP, Penn Central, EL, NS, NW, PC, cabooses.

 

mail:

Two of the 13 cabooses are ready for overnight stays, you can call the number below for prices and more information.CataMapDriving.gif (9824 bytes)

THE CATAWISSA RAIL ROAD CO. AND WHISTLE STOP FENCE
119 Pine Street
Catawissa, Pa. 17820
Voice 570-356-2345
Fax  570-356-7876

 

Great Railroad Caboose Video 

See what it takes to move a REAL CABOOSE to your back yard.

Just finished my caboose video! 
TOTAL ONLY $60.00 includes shipping

See what it takes to move 14 REAL CABOOSES to your back yard.

NOTE read this first!

This is not a Hollywood made movie, does not have anywhere near the cinematic quality of
a standard Hollywood movie.
It's only a homespun video tape!
My main objective is to show you what's evolved in moving a caboose, before you buy one.

 There are some scenes that are a little grainy, also s little camera shake caused by,
for example, an unsteady hand.
 Most of these clips were shot from inside a crane, heavy pay loader, moving vehicles
 or hanging on the side of a railroad bridge,etc.
Hope you get the idea?
 (Example: Videoing from semi-truck on the interstate)

Which is petty cold.
 You'll see my Penn Central Caboose only 15 feet away going down Interstate
 80 about seventy miles an hour and listen to the other truckers comments on there CB's
 

 These are live action clips, there is no AUCTION, CUT, RETAKE
when you have a 50 ton crane waiting at $700 per hour.

How often do you get to see REAL footage of moving a 
caboose or steam engine.



Here, you get the REAL thing!!
You will not be disappointed if you buy this movie. 

Do not buy it, if your "a movie critic" this is not a Bambi movie. 
Buying & Moving Cabooses nothing other than that!

 

 

animationtrain.GIF (6295 bytes)Home

Our Caboose Information
and Rates
Lots of inside Photos

Take a visual tour of the real thing!
Click Here for index


We are near Bloomsburg, Danville, Berwick, Harrisburg, Sunbury, Williamsport, Reading, Milton, Lewisburg. Also we are close to Knoebel's Park one of the best Family entertainment around. Knoebels coaster, The Phoenix One of the Top 10 Coasters in the World! Train Ride.  Knoebel's Amusement Park in Elysburg, Pennsylvania. This exciting family destination is one of the largest free-admission parks in the country. + Bloomsburg Fair, held annually in September/October, Pennsylvania's biggest fair.

2005 
Park group again names Knoebels top family spot

ELYSBURG Knoebels Amusement Park and Resort was voted "Best Park for Families" by members of the National Amusement Park Historical Association (NAPHA).

Knoebels beat out Walt Disney World and other parks from across the country for the honor, according to a NAPHA press release.

The local park has been voted the top spot for families since 1999.

In other categories:

 The Phoenix roller coaster was voted "Favorite Wooden Coaster" by group members for the second time in three years.

 Knoebels tied for "Favorite Traditional Park" with Kennywood, which is located near Pittsburgh.

 The park tied for second in the "Most Beautiful Park" category; a park in the Netherlands was also voted second. The top choice was Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Va.

NAPHA is the country's largest amusement park enthusiast organization. The results were from its 19th annual Amusement Parks and Attractions survey.


 

Reservations Form 
For your convenience, we have created this simple Email form

We are only a stone throw away from Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg, Pa & The Bloomsburg Fair

Any Questions you can Email  at

Click Here

Information on our rentals: Lots of Photos

  Bird's Eye View of The Cabooses
bullet Reservations Form  For your convenience, we have created this simple Email form + inside photos of each caboose
bullet Inside Caboose Photos  Here's a sneak peek of the inside of the caboose ...
bullet New for 2004  Our family camping picnic area
bullet Take a look at what our guests have to say about staying at our caboose lodge
bullet Caboose Rates    .Rate $95 to $160.00 a day  + Tax
bullet Our New Caboose / 1944 New York Central # 20137 The Ultimate Caboose We supply Everything 
bullet Our Office + Map  Driving directions
bullet Caboose List    14 cabooses on display
bullet Our New Addition Davenport Steam Engine
bullet Have breakfast, lunch or dinner in our 1910 Train Station
bullet Visitors Guide   List Our Area Attractions
bullet Gift Certificate Form  For your convenience, we have created this simple Email form 

UPDATE            June 07, 2003
6 of our 14 cabooses have bathrooms, 5 with showers

 

 



Award Winning Site!

June 21, 1999
PA Destination of the Day

 

 

Gift Certificate Form catcabin1.gif (6171 bytes)

 

Great Railroad Caboose Video 
Price 

TOTAL ONLY $60.00 includes shipping
(2 Hours)

 

"WHAT OUR GUESTS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT STAYING IN OUR CABOOSE"

We have been lucky enough to have GREAT guests over the years. Here is a collection of some of their thoughts. It includes input from honeymooners, families and singles, railroad lovers, train watchers, fishermen and naturalists. They express what it's like better than we ever could.

Take a look at what our guests have to say about staying at our caboose lodge