I’ve spent many of my happiest hours on a train. I loved the elevated subway that ran from New York to Coney Island. I loved waking up in a sleeper car in the middle of the Swiss Alps. I reveled in the clattering steam train that went up a rickety mountain track in Kyushu, Japan. Before AMTRAK lost its charm and comfortable accommodations, I loved rolling along the rails from Chicago across the plains and Rockies to California. I could easily see myself living aboard a snug railroad car.

So can the people who have modified rolling railroad architecture into unique, stationary homes. We’ve all seen roadside cafes converted into diners. But these people loved railroad coach designs enough to convert them or add them to existing dwellings.

Off the beaten tracks


This converted train car in Portland is for sale and comes with a full-electric kitchen, DSL and what the owners describe as an “incinerator toilet.” (Sure hope it never activates while in use!) The rent on the siding where the car is parked is a scant $125 a month. Hard to pass by, isn’t it? Get more details at Web Urbanist.

Unique home delivery


This German couple bought two postal cars retired from a Swiss railroad and shipped them home for $37,600 – a price that topped the $29,000 asking price for the pair at the online store where they purchased them. An architect planned the portion of the house that connects the cars. The cars open into the home via the original sliding doors. Read more at Fun Portion.

Old #41


In 1889, this car went into service on the San Francisco and Northern Pacific Railway and was retired in the 1930s. It languished as a converted duplex until 1979, when it was further converted into a houseboat moored at Richardson Bay’s upscale town of Sausalito. Hope floats!

The house of spirits


In Russia, it seems, converting railroad cars into orthodox churches is totally in vogue. English Russia has a startling array of photos of many cars transformed into functional, well-designed churches.  Have a look at this cool interior:

russian conversion

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Recent Comments

  • Kid's stuff:Bedroom furniture for dreamers

    Hey Woodrow,

    You've put together a great post here. Hardwearing and long-lasting bedroom furniture is so important when you have young children, and choosing pieces which can handle the rough-and-tumble that comes with having little ones is key!

    Best wishes, Alex.

  • Awesomely Oddball Lawn and Garden Accessories

    I plan to do this. What was your process in painting the bottom...outside portion of the tub?

  • Poor staging can crush your home sale

    Woodrow, you have once again 'nailed' the essence of the issue of staging your home for sale with easy to understand pics and words. These are definitely rules to live by, oh wise one! I know I"m soaking up the knowledge you share--- now excuse me while I wring myself out. Can't wait for the next issue.

  • To everyone, a room of one's own

    We've recently bought a house which needs A LOT of work and I'm trying to convince my other half to let me build a "room of my own" for the house, one where I can put my games console and beer fridge. She's not gone for it yet though. The most I've managed to get is an office I can work out of ... not quite the same ... LoL.

    Mine would certainly be like the car boot room in the first image :)


  • Home designs you haven’t seen before

    I wonder how far the folks in the Rock House are able to drive in their car? Maybe down to their boat? It's so true that home is where you are at the moment.