This 100-year-old caboose is now an Airbnb on a Maine mountain
I’ve loved trains since I was a kid and would walk down the level crossing at the end of my street in southern Paris to watch the local switchboard deliver cars to Paris Manufacturing. I was so much at the crossing watching the train that one day the engineer asked me if I wanted to take a ride and I was able to sit in the cabin of the locomotive as it went up and down the paths. I will never forget this day.
Back then, there was always a caboose at the end of the train, even for those switchmen. But since then technology has taken over and everything that used to be monitored from the caboose is now done with a computerized device mounted at the end of the last carriage. I miss seeing those vans. They may not be used anymore, but they haven’t completely disappeared. Look at this.
This is a former Maine Central Railroad wooden caboose. Back when it was still on the rails it looked like this, which is an HO scale model of a Central Maine wooden caboose.
This caboose has been converted into an Airbnb that sits on Sugarloaf Mountain. It took seven years to restore and disguise and although it may be intimate inside, it still has the look and feel of a caboose.
The caboose now reads “Sugarloaf Railway” rather than Maine Central. I don’t believe there was ever a Sugarloaf Railroad, but there was a narrow gauge railroad called the Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad that had a station near the base of the mountain.
The interior is cozy, but there is a double bed, a single bed and a sofa bed. So it can sleep five.
There is a small kitchen with a microwave, which is much better than the wood-burning stove the crew used for heating and cooking during the day.
The cupola is still intact and offers seating from above. This is where a crew member would sit and have a view of the train where he could watch for cars that might shift their loads, damaged equipment, and overheating axles. Everything is now done electronically. This pressure gauge you see here was used to monitor train brake pressure.
If you are looking for a truly neat place to stay in Sugarloaf and an experience you will never forget, book a stay with Airbnb host Johanna. I don’t ski, but spending a night or two in a caboose sounds like an adventure to me.
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