Perhaps it’s the lasting effects of watching The Station Agent too many times, but I went looking for a place to buy a caboose. They’re big; as much as 50′ long, 16′ tall, and 11′ feet wide. And they’re heavy, perhaps 30 tons. But they can be moved on roads via big trucks and cranes, but then, they also move brick houses.
Caboose disappeared from the railroads in the 1980s, after about 130 years of service. This story from the 1960s tells the first 100 years of history, before most could see their time was coming to an end. Like most things, they were replaced by technology.
So where to buy one? Rail Merchants International has a bunch of caboose, including a large lot from the SOO Line. JFS Railcar appears to have quite a stock. There’s some information and links here, and a search on Google returns plenty of hits.
Prices? The minimum I’ve seen is $8,500, from an ad in the back of Trains magazine. $10,000 to $20,000 seems more likely, and those SOO Line are going for as much as $65,000 new (where “new” of course, actually means something like “lightly used, 20 or so years old” ). Nowhere have I seen what it would cost to move such a thing.