Caboose University

Classes, workshops and resources to deepen your knowledge of and passion for trains!

Course schedule subject to change and weather cancellation.

Build-A-Layout Degree

Observe Caboose’s HO and HOn3 layouts being built from start to finish by CU faculty. No exams but earn credit for attendance applicable to in-store discount at the end of the academic year. All classes are free of charge.

The Caboose faculty will build a 10x11 foot HO layout and a 5.5 x 8 foot HOn3 layout from start to finish over the course of an academic year. As the layouts progress each month, a new topic will be featured. If you miss a class, it will be repeated in the same month. Attendance is taken and at the end of the academic year, those with high attendance will receive a diploma with an in-store discount coupon.

Description of Classes

More Scenery
Dec 1 / Dec 15 @ 11AM

Bushes, trees, roads.

Finishing Touches
Jan 12 / Jan 19 @ 11AM

Bring your layout to life with figures and evidence of human habitation.

Feb 2 / Feb 16 @ 11AM

Styrene and laser cut structures demonstrated. Glues and paints discussed.

Rolling Stock
Mar 2 / Mar 16 @ 11AM

How to select your locos and cars by era and value.

Layout Command Control
Mar 9 @ 1PM

How to select your locos and cars by era and value.

Apr 6 / Apr 20 @ 11AM

How to make your train run like a real railroad and enhance the enjoyment.

Elecrticity for Model R.R.'s
Apr 13 @ 1PM

Understanding electricity to improve layout construction.

Advanced Degree Courses

Expert faculty from Caboose and our community instructing on all aspects of model railroading. Latest and greatest technologies explained. Several hands-on classes, most are free of charge, some with a modest materials fee.

Description of Classes

History of N Scale
Dec 1 @ 1PM

Upkeep and techniques for keeping your pike rolling.

R.R. Industries & Freight Traffic
Dec 8 @ 11AM

Develop a working understanding of freight traffic, car types and how it moves. Kevin Ruble teaches you the ropes.

Dec 15 @ 1PM

What is it? How can this open source electronics platform help you? Detlef Kurpanek explains how.

Dec 22 @ 11AM

Rodney Black shows how to connect your computer to your layout for enhanced operations.

Scenery Module
Jan 26 @ 11AM

Get your hands dirty as our expert faculty guide you through making a small scenery module. Great for kids.

Resin Cars/Contest
Feb 9 @ 11AM

Denny Krausmann shows how to get the best result from a resin kit and make it contest worthy in the process.

Painting Figures
Feb 16 @ 1PM

Bring your paint brushes and figures as expert modeler Gerald Styles shows how you enhance them for ultra realism.

Laser Kit Construction
Feb 23 @ 11AM

Build a small wood laser cut structure under Kris Blackmarr’s expert guidance.
* modest fee for materials

Interior Detailing
Mar 2 @ 1PM

Contest winner Duncan Harvey shows you the fine points of interior detailing including lighting.

Hand Lay Track/Turnouts
Mar 9 @ 11AM

Tom George gives you the "how to" and takes the intimidation factor out of this subject.

Agricultural Fields
Mar 16 @ 1PM

Ever wonder how to make a convincing corn or wheat field? Pat Lana shows you how. Attend and you get to go to see Pat's Crandic Route N-scale layout directly afterward!

Weathering with Chalks
Mar 23 @ 11AM

Kris Blackmarr demonstrates that making things look old and worn actually brings them to life. Bring a small building or piece of rolling stock and see for yourself.

Wood Trestle
Mar 30 @ 11AM

Gerry Glancy and Gary Myers team up to live build a wood frame trestle with video projection so all can see.

Advanced Operations
Apr 13 @ 11AM

TT and TO. CTC, car cards and switch lists. Craig Schwabauer explains it all to make your operations more fun and realistic.

Apr 27 @ 11AM

Now that you understand operations, wouldn’t signals be fun? Rodney Black describes installation.

May 11 @ 11AM

Craig Schwabauer explains the subject.

May 18 @ 1PM

Whether prototype or model, Gary Ratay lends his talents to improving your shots.

A Colorado Railroad Summer Vacation
May 25 @ 11AM

Tour Colorado's railroad history with the guidance of Duncan Harvey.

Open Forum & Graduation Awards
June 1 @ 12PM

1. Open Forum
2. Graduation Awards
INSTRUCTOR: Kevin Ruble is a fourth-generation professional railroader and lifelong modeler. He is the founder of Caboose (successor to Caboose Hobbies) and previously Marquette Rail.


Stay tuned for a comprehensive list of resources for you to browse, learn and be entertained.