The Caboose Page 2

(More Cabeese!)

 Please click on pictures below for larger, 600 pixel, images

Freshly restored GN cupola caboose This immaculately restored former Great Northern caboose, "Rocky", is owned in part by Bruce Carswell, Assistant General Manager of the Willamette & Pacific Railroad.  I was fortunate to be invited to ride "Rocky" with some other Sumpter Valley volunteer train crew behind WPRR's Toledo Hauler in June of 1994.
Interior of ex-GN caboose The interior of Rocky demonstrates the same high quality of restoration as the exterior.  Barely visible on the left wall is the ladder to the cupola.  Also note the handhold running the length of the car. 
Willamette & Pacific Bay Window Caboose In 1994 the WP had yet to convert many of it's detectors to "talkers" and required the conductor to ride in a caboose and watch for rotating red beacons that would activate in the event a defect was found.  This ex-Southern Pacific caboose carried the working WP crew just ahead of "Rocky".
Ex-SP bay window cabooses Departing the WP yard we passed a string of retired Southern Pacific cabeese awaiting disposal.  I got the distinct impression that SP had meant for these cars to be scrapped, but now that they were officially "off the property", a different, friendlier fate awaited them.
WP cupola caboose office This caboose, still showing evidence of a mishap, serves as an office for WP crews in Toledo, OR.  Sitting on a spur track and connected to land based utilities it no longer sees service in trains.
Sacramento Southern Excursion Caboose. Note the extended vision cupola on this caboose.  It escaped the scrapper's torch by having a series of windows cut into it and providing transportation for passengers on the Sacramento Southern.  This excursion railroad operates south from Old Sacramento along the Sacramento River.
Transfer caboose at Valley Jct. Operated by the Terminal Railway Association of St. Louis this former Missouri Pacific transfer caboose is now called a "shoving platform".  It's purpose is to give a crew a safe place to ride during long shoves or backup moves.  This train has just cleared the Gateway Western crossing and is starting its shove into the GWWR yard.  This point marks milepost 0 on the old St. Louis & Southwestern (SSW).
Sumpter Valley Cabose 3 Sumpter Valley caboose no. 4 looks rather sad in this picture without her trucks.  She'd led a rough life after being retired by the railroad but at least she was back on her home turf and further deterioration had been arrested.  Soon skilled, caring hands would begin work on her.  Today, although still resting on the ground, she has regained much of the look and feel of her former glory and serves as quarters for the volunteer train crew.

All pictures and descriptions Copyright  1999, 2000 by Larry Tuttle

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