Railway Preservation News

P&LE caboose key
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Author:  G. W. Laepple [ Mon Jun 06, 2022 6:16 pm ]
Post subject:  P&LE caboose key

Anyone have a spare key for a 500-series P&LE caboose? I only need it to open the door on one end of the car in question, and if you'd trust me to lend it to me, I'd return it within a few days.


Author:  Bad Order [ Wed Jun 08, 2022 2:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: P&LE caboose key

A little story.

I've still got the caboose key the MK&T railroad issued me back in 1976. It's brass, but other than that it looks just like any other skeleton key.
There is an MKT diesel locomotive at a local museum. They've got an MKT caboose, too. That key fits doors on both pieces of equipment.
I'm a current employee of the UP. Any more, they're hell on "lock the cabs of engines that you leave out away from a terminal, unattended. They've got a special key that fits the locks they've installed on the front doors. Everyone gets a key.
On the back doors, though, nearly every door is equipped with a sliding deadbolt kinda thing.
But, some of our engines have got an actual lock mechanism in the door handle assembly. It takes a skeleton key. My MKT caboose key fits it. I've actually used it to get in the back doors of engines before, to save me from having to walk all the way back to the rear, drop off and walk up to the front to open that door.

I was up getting a key made at the local locksmith place the other day. They have quite a selection of skelton keys, still, and while I was standing there I mentioned what my caboose key was... and gave it to the lady to compare with the keys they had hanging on the rack. Some were nearly identical.

All this to tell you that it isn't necessarily going to take a railroad specific caboose key to open that lock. Go to a locksmith type place, explain what you're doing and beg them to let you take a selection of keys with you to try... and bring the excess back and buy what fits.

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Author:  G. W. Laepple [ Sun Jun 12, 2022 3:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: P&LE caboose key

Thanks for that suggestion. I have already tried half a dozen caboose/coach keys fro the museum's collection, none of which did the trick. My next step is to call the lock manufacturer and inquire whether they still have the key in stock or can make one -- and at what cost.

Author:  Dave [ Mon Jun 13, 2022 8:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: P&LE caboose key

If it's a rim latch you might be able to remove it and get inside to fit a generic skeleton key with some judicious filing. Mortise latches of course aren't as easy......

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