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Union Pacific Caboose Numbering

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System 1915 Renumbering

Similar to the general 1885 renumbering of equipment for all of Union Pacific and its, subsidiaries, in 1915 the railroad also completed a general renumbering effort. The cabooses of Union Pacific itself remained in their same 2000-2524 series. Oregon Short Line cabooses were renumbered from OSL 608-793 to OSL 3000-3143. The OWR&N cabooses were renumbered from OWR&N 200-330 to OWR&N, 3500-3618.

LA&SL (still SPLA&SL at this time) was still semi-independent and retained its, original 4200-series numbers for their caboose fleet as SPLA&SL 4212-4279. With full UP control of LA&SL in 1921, these cabooses were renumbered to, LA&SL 3300-3363. The SPLA&SL 4200-series cabooses were originally, SPLA&SL 200-series, so 4200-series may have been assigned during the 1915, renumbering, but as yet no documentation has come to light to support this.

Steel Caboose Renumbering to 25000 series

The plan, for renumbering all cabooses into the 25000-series was adopted on December 30, 1958. The exact number of the first caboose renumbered to the 25000-series is, not known, but 17 cabooses were renumbered during the month of January 1959. There were 395 steel cabooses to be renumbered, including 97 remaining CA-3s in, the 3700-series, 99 remaining CA-4s in the 3800-series, and the 100 CA-5s in, the 3900-series. All were renumbered to the 25000-series during 1959 and 1960, with the last eight cars being completed during June 1960. There were 99 CA-6s, remaining in the 2700-series and these cabooses were renumbered to the, 25000-series during 1959 through 1962, with the last steel caboose to be, renumbered, UP 25306, being renumbered from UP 2706 in July 1962. Only those, cabooses in the CA-3 to CA-6 classes were renumbered. The 100 cabooses in the, new CA-7 class all received their 25000-series in 1959 as they were completed, by the railroad's Omaha Shops.

The following table shows the steel cabooses involved in the 1959 renumbering:

New, Numbers Class Previous, Numbers Quantity Notes
25000-25099 CA-3 3700-3799 97 UP, 3710, 3746, 3757 retired due to wrecks
25100-25199 CA-4 3800-3899 99 UP 3849, retired due to wreck
25200-25299 CA-5 3900-3999 100  
25300-25399 CA-6 2700-2799 99 UP 2721, retired due to wreck

Wooden Caboose Renumbering to 25000 series

In addition to the 395 remaining steel CA-3 through CA-6 cabooses, the remaining wooden cars were also part of the 1959 renumbering. The steel cabooses were completed quickly, between January 1959 and July 1962. Of the 256 wooden cabooses (199 CA-1, 39 CA , and 18 N.C.S.) still on the railroad's roster in January 1959, only 103 cars were actually renumbered to the new 25000-series numbers. For reasons not known today, the wooden caboose fleet was to wait until 1962 to be renumbered. The first wooden cabooses to be renumbered to the 25000-series were 30 cabooses renumbered in August 1962. The last wooden caboose to be renumbered was 3409, renumbered to 25844 in March 1965. Seventy-seven cabooses were renumbered in 1962; 26 in 1963; six in 1964 and five in 1965.

The plan to renumber all cabooses to the 25000 series came in December 1958. The steel, cabooses were renumbered in January 1959 to July 1962, and the wooden cabooses, were renumbered in August 1962 to March 1965. Although the reason for the delay, in renumbering of the wooden cabooses is not currently known, one possible, explanation may have been in anticipation of a ruling by the California Public, Utilities Commission. Beginning in 1963, this ruling brought an end to the use, of wooden cabooses by railroads in California. After 1963, although the wooden, caboose fleet was slated for early retirement, UP would have needed a larger, pool of cabooses to support the exclusive use of steel cabooses in California.

The number series from 25700 to 25899 were assigned to the remaining 256 wooden, cars. Eighteen older N.C.S. (Non-Common Standard) cars on OWR&N (built between 1882, and 1891), and the 39 remaining CA-class cabooses on OWR&N, all built, between 1905 and 1913, were assigned to the 25700-25739 number series, but of, the 57 cars still in operation, and 40 potential numbers, only 27 cabooses were, actually renumbered.

The grouping of the CA-1s from UP, and from the three subsidiary roads (OSL, LA&SL, OWR&N), together in the 25740 through 25899 number series (160, potential car numbers; 79 cabooses actually renumbered) indicates that not all, of the 199 remaining CA-1 wooden cars were to be renumbered, perhaps due to, whether of not they had been equipped with the better riding wood beam trucks.

Wooden Caboose 25000 Series Numbers:

New, Number Class Previous, Number Notes
25700-25708 N.C.S. OWR&N, 3500-3537 18 cars, still in service, 9 potential numbers, 8 cars renumbered
25709-25739 CA OWR&N, 3545-3617 39 cars, still in service, 31 potential numbers, 19 cars renumbered
25740-25799 CA-1 UP, 2525-2699 112, cars still in service, 160 potential numbers, 49 cars renumbered
25800-25809 CA-1 OSL, 3150-3192 18 cars, still in service, 10 potential numbers, 7 cars renumbered
25810-25839 CA-1 UP, 3201-3274 40 cars, still in service, 30 potential numbers, 16 cars renumbered
25840-25849 CA-1 LA&SL, 3373-3420 21 cars, still in service; 10 potential numbers, 3 cars renumbered
25850-25853 CA-1 OWR&N, 3619-3631 8 cars, still in service; four potential numbers, 4 cars renumbered

(Roster listing of wooden cabooses numbered in the 25000 series)

Transfer Caboose Renumbering to 25000 series

The 22 remaining transfer cabooses were also renumbered into the new 25000-series. There were 17 UP transfer cabooses still in service working their assignments, in Omaha-Council Bluffs, Kansas City, and Denver, while the LA&SL cars were, working in and around Los Angeles (some photos show LA&SL transfer cabooses, in both the Omaha area and the Kansas City area, suggesting that they had been, transferred). Although the 25000 renumbering plan was finalized in late, December 1958, the UP transfer cabooses didn't receive their new numbers until, August 1962 through September 1963, and the LA&SL cars weren't renumbered, until October 1962 through March 1965.

Transfer Caboose 25000 Series Numbers:

New Numbers Previous Number Quantity
25900-25916 UP, 3283-3299 17
25917-25921 LA&SL, 3300-3304 5

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