Grab Your Own Spot on the South Carolina Party Train

  • Bar


  • Cockaboose


  • Steps to the Roof Deck

    Steps to the Roof Deck

You've heard of tailgating -- consuming copious adult beverages and bountiful amounts of barbecue in the parking lot before your team plays. That's the low-rent option.

At the University of South Carolina, in Columbia, serious Gamecock fans can board a spruced-up caboose specifically designed for game day "railgating." The 22 connected rail-bound "Cockaboose" cars are privately owned condos for South Carolina football superfans.

Unit 11, now on the market, is 270 square feet of party central.

According to listing agent Susie Carlson, the origin of the train name is a portmanteau of "caboose" and "Gamecocks." Thus, the oddball rail car condos just yards from Williams-Brice Stadium are known as the Cockaboose.

"They're just a lot of fun," Carlson says, whose husband is co-owner of the car currently for sale. The cost to be the proud owner of this man cave on wheels? You'll need a boxcar of dough -- it's currently listed for $219,500.

However, for the price, the car comes furnished, along with plenty of other perks. "It's all set up with a bar, heating, air conditioning, TVs. It has a big deck on top. You can sit right there and have your drinks," Carlson says. Talk about fantasy football.

Carlson adds that plenty don't bother to make the short walk to the stadium, since the bar cars with their flat screens are also a great way to watch the game. Not only are the Cockaboose cars made for pre-game partying, they are also a prime place for game-day afterparties. A buyer will become pretty popular around football season.

One thing this choo-choo doesn't have? A bedroom. (There is one bathroom.) So while easily the price of a single-family home, your purchase doesn't come with sleeping quarters. But hey, what self-respecting fan would snooze through a game, anyway?

"They are really not for living. They are for tailgating and fun parties," Carlson says. And only the few, the proud, can be owners of a Cockaboose. With only 22 cars in this party train, "it is pretty rare for them to come available," she adds.

The origins of the party train condos started in 1990 when two enterprising business partners began acquiring decommissioned cabooses for an unused rail line next to the stadium. The cars, offered to the school's biggest donors, were snapped up for around $45,000 each.

And it seems like it was a match made in fandom heaven. The interest in stadium-adjacent real estate has spiked, thanks to former beloved coach Steve Spurrier, claims Carlson. Because in these parts, "it's all about the football. These SEC teams are all about tailgating and having fun."