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Coffee on the go! The Caboose Coffee Shop by Menards

If you want a cup of coffee when you’re on the road, you can stop by the mega-coffee chain and wait until the 18 cars ahead of you are served - or you can swing by Caboose Coffee for quick service and a tasty cup of Joe!

The basics: This is a fully assembled and decorated 11" x 5" structure that features a simulated concrete base, caboose structure for the shop, a vehicle at the drive through window as well as five O gauge figures. The model features interior and exterior illumination as well as Menard®’s water vapor "smoke" system.

Lighting requires a 4.5-volt power supply sold separately (Menards SKU nos. 279-4061/4361, 4062/4362, or 4050). Power may be applied through either a rear table-top plug in, or from below the building with a pigtail connector.

Why you need this: This is another compact building that tells a story: A railroad decommissions a caboose, it is bought by someone wanting to start up a business with a distinctive appearance, and, of course, they need to serve up a full-bodied cup of coffee. What better way to stand out from brick and chrome coffee shops than with a nostalgic bit of railroad history!

The building is well lit, and the red marker-lights on the caboose are as distinctive an "open" sign as you can find! The front entry has a few recently arrived boxes, and a thirsty customer stands next to Jack the German shepherd!

In the drive-through, a flashy vintage Dodge® pickup truck awaits an order! Nearby is small patio. It has three raised flower boxes with greenery in bloom. Two customers sit at a table, protected by a Caboose Coffee canopy! A server is carrying a tray with two fresh, hot brews toward them.

The shop’s 11" x 5" footprint makes this a great choice to place in that hard-to-fill spot on your railroad. The bright lights and distinctive caboose outline will make certain that this catches the eyes on even a well-built-up railroad.

This re-purposed railroad caboose has become a thriving hot spot for mobile caffeine fanatics, so be sure to add this to your O gauge city, where Caboose Coffee is the hometown coffee brand!


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The short order cook is really cooking up a storm by the looks of the steam pouring out of the exhaust stack.

He must have been formally a fireman working on a mallet before he took up cooking.   

Hope those fries aren't fried to a crisp.

The accessory is great looking and definitely different from what others have offered in the past and can be used anywhere on a layout.

Last edited by Allegheny

Until I read the disclaimer about NOT using train smoke fluid (distilled water only), I was going to order it.  I used to own an MTH tanker (Isaly's coffee) that smoked so I bought coffee smelling train smoke fluid.  I sold my collection shortly thereafter and still have  a bunch of that fluid.

Would have been nice to be able to use the fluid,

Still, it's a really nice and different piece


@CAPPilot posted:

The product video shows a lot of steam coming out of it.  Seems like you would need to add water quite often.

@Patrick1544 posted:

Way to much velocity on the water vapor.  Reminds of Old Faithful Geyser.  Otherwise a nice model.

I suspect that, if you craft a restrictor of some sort, both the velocity of the 'smoke' and the water usage will be significantly reduced.

All the momentum of the mist is produced by the transducer's direct action on the water (some of which is transferred to the air molecules that get sucked along) rather than from pressure like a fan- or bellows-driven unit, so restricting the 'target' opening will reduce both the volume (indirectly reducing the water consumption, since any mist not making it through the smaller opening will just condense and fall back into the water supply) and speed of the mist plume. At least that's my takeaway after playing around with such a transducer to generate my campfire smoke simulation. I'd like to hear confirmation from someone with hands-on experience with one of these units, though.

I've considered adding another transducer-powered 'smoke' generator to my layout, using it it to provide 'smoke' to the chimneys on two adjacent Plasticville houses I've had for a while. Dunno if I can get enough useable volume through the necessary splitter and tubing, though -- stay tuned . . .

@jay jay posted:

I really like this, and especially the use of a bay window caboose as a shack. I didn't recall Menards having bay window cabooses in their lineup...maybe I haven't been paying attention. This one's for me...thanks Menards!

I was about to observe that this might mark the first time a piece of Menards rolling stock debuted as a piece of rolling stock before it's body was used as the basis for a scenic accessory. Their FP9 locomotive has only been released as part of an extremely limited beta-test program, the subsequent diner using its shell was a general release item, but I'm not counting that since the locomotive has been in an extended beta-test phase.

The caboose itself has seen a general release as rolling stock in early May.


This thing is great.  I already have the Menard's Starbucks but I prefer this - it's timeless!  I would not worry about the humidity.  When my kid was a baby, he had his trainset on his floor for a year with a humidifier running about 12 hours a day and it was fine.  The track accumulated a lot of the white mineral buildup you get from humidifiers, but that was it.

. . . and, if you use only distilled water, you won't even get the white mineral build-up.

Yes, definitely a good tip. Especially if you’re filling a toy train accessory that barely uses any water. If you have the time, energy, and patience to keep a room humidifier stocked with distilled water, you’re a better man than I!

Well, no room humidifier, but since I use a CPAP machine, the distilled water is already right at hand!

OTOH, the bare cherry wood block I used to hold things in place has imparted a distinct (but pleasant) aroma to the water, and so I'm reasonably sure the once pristine distilled water has picked up a few "hardwood notes" that might leave a bit of residue anyway . . .

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