D&RGW Steel Cabooses
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This page was last updated on October 25, 2015.
Rio Grande's first 10 steel cabooses were built in 1941 by the road itself in its Burnham shops in Denver. These were the first 10 of a total fleet of 91 steel cupola cabooses (not counting the 25 modern wide vision cabooses).
All 91 cupola cars were built by D&RGW in their own Burnham (Denver) shops, in groups of 10 in 1942, 1944, 1944-1945, 1947, 1951, and 1955. A group of 11 was completed in 1959. All were numbered in the 01400 series (01400-01490).
The following comes from John Tudek, by way of an email on May 30, 2013:
- First being the 01400-01409 were built in 1940 in August and September of that year.
- 01450 thru 01459 all had Whitte diesel electric power plant system for the radios and electricity. All originally had the small diesel fuel tank and the screened window.
- Cab 01449 was the very first caboose to have a permanent radio system installed in 1945 and utilized the Onan propane fueled engine generator system.
- Cabooses 014441, 01444, 01447 also used the Onan system.
- 01448 was also powered with the Onan system removed from the 01449 when that caboose was wrecked sometime within the first year or so at Sulphur. The Onan used the huge box hung off the side sill which held the propane bottles.
- The 01446 was the only cab in that series to use the Whitte unit.
- 01440, 01442, 01443, 01445, did not receive radio gear until much later, well after the induction antennas were removed.
The use of cabooses ended on the Utah Division, from Grand Junction to Salt Lake City, on February 5 and 6, 1985. (CTC Board, April 1985, page 3; Pacific Rail News, Issue 258, May 1985, page 25)
The use of cabooses on the Colorado Division ended on October 1, 1985, along both the Moffat Tunnel route and the Royal Gorge route, but not on the Joint Line. Cabooseless operations on coal trains on the Colorado Division, between Craig and Denver, were tested during late July and early August 1985. (CTC Board, August 1985, page 15; CTC Board, September 1985, page 3; CTC Board, October 1985, page 3)
D&RGW adopted the D&SL practice of using raised numbers, and continued the practice up through the last steel cabooses built, numbers 01480-01490 in 1959.
John Tudek wrote that there were two pattern styles for the raised numbers on the 01400-series cabs. The final patterns can be found on Card 18746, File C-373. The numbers on 01400 thru 01419 were made of cast brass and were chromium plated. All later numbers when applied new were cast iron painted white. All the 01400 series cabooses had cast numbers applied. A special order had to be made for caboose 01490 which had been ordered by the Utah Railway and then canceled, as not enough numbers were on hand when the 01480-series was being built at the same time. Through the 1960s and well into the 1970s when the numbers were missing or broken and had to be replaced, the Steel Car Shop at Burnham would cut new numbers on the pantograph in the fabrication shop. The "6" and the "9" were the same casting, with the numeral being inverted. (John Tudek, email dated April 9, 2014)
All of D&RGW's 01400-series cabooses (a total of 91 cars) were built by Rio Grande in their Burnham (Denver) shops. They were equipped with Duryea cushioned underframes and offset cupolas.
D&RGW 01450-01459 were delivered in 1947 with radio equipment, with two yellow stripes to designate the feature. The radio equipment included a rooftop induction antenna, very similar to the design used by Pennsylvania Railroad. D&RGW 01453 was equipped with a screened center window as protection from the generator installed inside at that location. The car also had fuel tank under the car as fuel for the generator, and a rooftop vent for exhaust. The car also had a battery locker mounted underneath, on the right side.
The window layout differed between the right side and the left side, with the left side (cupola to the right) being shifted a bit forward. On the welded-body cars, the rear-most window is more forward than on the riveted-body cars.
D&RGW 01400-01459 (and possibly 01460-01469) were built with four-pane wood sash side windows. Their cupolas had four-pane side widows and two-pane end windows. The windows were later rebuilt to single-pane, and still later to sealed rubber-frames, then later they were completely blanked over. (from Jim Eager)
Photographic evidence shows that few if any of the 01400-01459 series cabooses still in black paint received the modernized window treatment.
In response to a Federal Railroad Administration safety ruling, beginning in (?), all windows on D&RGW cabooses were blanked over with steel plate. Usually the plates were simply welded in place of the older wooden window frame, or the newer rubber window frame on the newer cars, leaving an obvious weld bead, or other tell-tale of the window covering process. During later shop efforts, the window treatments were ground smooth and the blanked-over windows became less obvious. The program to cover all the windows was apparently completed by January 1986.
D&RGW 01490 was ordered by Utah Railway.
Other modernizing changes included the installation of solid doors on the caboose ends (replacing wood panel doors), roller bearings replacing solid bearings (all 01400 series cabooses were delivered with solid bearings), and the addition of red and clear marker lights on the caboose ends. (from Jim Eager)
01423 - Alamosa yard, local service, 10/98
01447 - Burnham yard, for sale, 10/98
01465 - Burnham yard, owned by ANSCO (Ski Train), 10/98
01480 - Burnham yard, 10/98
01489 - Pueblo yard, local service, 10/98
01503 - Helper yard, local service
01513 - Colorado Springs yard, local service, 10/98
01521 - Burnham yard, for sale, 10/98
01522 - Pueblo yard, local service, 10/98
01524 - Phippsburg yard, local service
Former Denver & Salt Lake Cabooses
The following information comes from John Tudek, via email dated June 10, 2013:
After the 1947 merger of Denver & Salt Lake Railroad and Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad, the following former D&SL cabooses were assigned the following D&RGW numbers:
D&SL Steel Cabooses
Notes 10060 01391 Built in February 1936; renumbered to D&RGW 01391 on July 3, 1948 (from Trainorders.com, June 30, 2014) 10061 01392 Sold to NALCO in March 1951 as their no. 105 and rebuilt to weed spray car; repurchased by the D&RGW and renumbered X-103. (preserved; ML Ranch, Ignacio, Colorado) 10062 01393 Sold to Dubano Metals Ogden, Utah, December 1985. 10063 01390 Carried the number D&SL 10063 for a single day and was immediately renumbered to D&RGW 01390. (preserved)
(Roger Kirkpatrick is the source for most of the information presented below, along with numerous reports from other intertested people)
Four D&RGW cabooses (01481, 01483, 01486, 01490) were leased to the U. S. Navy, lettered as DODX numbers, and were used until 1995 as guard cars for movement of Trident missile stages between Alliant Technical Systems at Bacchus, Utah, and Bellingham, Washington. The cabooses were stored at Bacchus as of July 1999. In August 2005, all four were moved by UP to Cheyenne for storage, for either sale of donation.
As of May 2013, three former D&RGW steel cabooses are stored by UP at Cheyenne, Wyoming, as part of the Heritage Fleet collection. These three cabooses are 01481, 01486, and 01524. Previously, 01483 and 01490 were also stored at Cheyenne; in September 2007, 01483 was sold to Empire Builder Private Cars in Fremont, Nebraska, moved on its own wheels to Fremont; in November 2007, 01490 was moved to Phippsburg, Colorado, for use on UP's Phippsburg Local, in exchange for 01524, which was moved to Cheyenne.
The following comes from John Tudek, via emails dated May 27, 2013:
D&RGW caboose 01490 was donated by the Union Pacific Railroad to the Historical Society of Oak Creek & Phippsburg several years ago, (late 2007 early 2008) through the efforts of W. J. Holtman Jr., Director of Operations and Mr. Louis "Dutch" Ebaugh retired D&SL/D&RGW Equipment Operator. The car was moved to the Phippsburg Railroad Park and was extensively restored and repainted in the single stripe orange and silver scheme through the efforts of Mr. Ebaugh and Mr. M. G. "Marv" McCall retired D&RGW System Car Superintendent.
The 01490 is located on in Phippsburg, Colorado. The park is on 4th between Routt and Forest. It is a small park and only the 01490 and some motor cars were on display besides the Memorial.
For those who may not know, this car was originally ordered by the Utah Railway in 1959 under AFE 5107 at the same time the Grande was in the process of constructing 01480 thru 01489 under AFE 4995. Before the car was finished, the order was canceled and assigned the number 01490.
To clear up a misconception, 01490 is not the last 01400-series caboose built. That honor goes to the 01489 which was released from the Burnham Steel Car Shop 9-9-1959. The 01490 was released 8-31-1959.
Originally, when the 01490 was ordered by the Utah Railway, it was to be numbered the 70. And yes, there is a D&RGW painting and lettering drawing for the Utah Railway paint scheme.
|01401||Displayed at Anschutz Eagle Ranch, Weld County, Colorado|
|01402||Displayed at Burger King, Canon City, Colorado; moved to Canon Supply, 312 S. 10th St., Canon City, Colorado|
|01405||Displayed at Anschutz Eagle Ranch, Weld County, Colorado|
|01407||Sold to Jim Dobbas Equipment & Scrap, Citrus Heights, California|
|01408||Displayed at Pine River Ranch, Bayfield, Colorado|
|01409||Sold to Jim Dobbas Equipment & Scrap, Citrus Heights, California|
|01414||Displayed at Portola Railroad Museum, Portola, California|
|01416||Displayed at Denver & New Orleans Model Railroad Club, Parker, Colorado; moved to vicinity of Dr. D's Dental in Parker, Colorado (11027 S Pikes Peak Dr), east of Goodwill and McDonalds on Parker Road (Colorado 83), as of June 2014.|
|01417||Sold to Black River & Western Railroad, Ringoes, New Jersey|
|01418||Displayed at Spanish Fork, Utah, at 160 North 900 East; moved to Heber Valley Railroad in August 2011. (photo at RailPictures.net)|
|01422||Sold to Black River & Western Railroad, Ringoes, New Jersey|
|01427||Owned by private individual in Parker, Colorado|
|01428||Sold to Jim Dobbas Equipment & Scrap, Citrus Heights, California|
|01431||Displayed at Train Mountain Park, Chiloquin, Oregon|
|01432||Donated to Pueblo Locomotive & Rail Historical Society, Pueblo Depot, Pueblo, Colorado|
|01433||Owned by private individual, Strasburg, Colorado (along with 01501); sold in (?) and as of early March 2006, moved to Tucson, Arizona for display at the Gadsden-Pacific Division Toy Train Operating Museum.|
|01435||Displayed at Westcliffe, Colorado|
|01438||Sold to Iron & Scrap Metal, Denver, Colorado|
|01440||Sold to Santa Fe Southern Railroad, Santa Fe, New Mexico|
|01441||Displayed at Walsenburg, Colorado|
|01444||Sold to Santa Fe Southern Railroad, Santa Fe, New Mexico|
|01447||Sold in Denver; owned by the Greeley Freight House Museum and still stored in Denver, as of March 2005; as of February 2013, sold to a private party (date?) due to cost of projected restoration, stored on UP tracks near Burnham shops in Denver. (2005 update from Rick Bacon, via D&RGW Yahoo group; 2013 update from Rick Bacon via email dated February 27, 2013)|
|01448||Donated to Grand County Historical Society, Hot Sulphur Springs, Colorado|
|01450||Assigned to SP Railroad Police (painted white, with large windows added); sold by UP to private individual in Texas. (information from William Martin, Roger Kirkpatrick, and Allen Milewicz)|
|01457||Donated to Ogden Union Station, Ogden, Utah (along with 01504)|
|01459||Owned by private individual, Roseville, California|
|01461||Displayed at Eagle, Colorado|
|01465||Sold to ANSCO (Ski Train), Denver, Colorado|
|01466||Displayed at Anschutz Eagle Ranch, Weld County, Colorado (displayed as SP 01466)|
|01468||Sold to Jim Dobbas Equipment & Scrap, Citrus Heights, California|
|01469||Donated to Arizona Railway Museum, Chandler, Arizona|
|01476||Displayed at TriStates Power, Craig, Colorado|
|01477||Displayed at Anschutz Eagle Ranch, Weld County, Colorado (displayed as SSW 01477)|
|01480||Sold to Don Blansett and used on his Utah Central Railway in Ogden, Utah; moved to Modoc Northern Railroad at Alturas, California when Blansett started MNRR in late 2005; remained on MNRR when the assets of the Blansett family were split in 2007. (photo)|
|01481||Leased to DODX, at Alliant Technologies, Bacchus, Utah, stored at Bacchus as of July 1999; moved from Salt Lake City to UP Heritage Fleet at Cheyenne, Wyoming, in August 2005, stored pending sale or donation.|
|01482||Assigned to SP Railroad Police (painted white)|
|01483||Leased to DODX, at Alliant Technologies, Bacchus, Utah, stored at Bacchus as of July 1999; moved from Salt Lake City to UP Heritage Fleet at Cheyenne, Wyoming, in August 2005, stored pending sale or donation; sold to Empire Builder Private Cars in 2006; moved from Cheyenne, Wyoming in early September 2007 to Fremont, Nebraska for use as an office on the property of Empire Builder Private Cars. (part from David Varilek via email on August 16 and September 14, 2007)|
|01484||Sold to Santa Fe Southern Railroad, Santa Fe, New Mexico; sold (before 2008), to the owner of the La Jara Ranch (private and gated), near Galisteo, New Mexico; listed as for sale on Railswap.com, as of August 3, 2014|
|01486||Leased to DODX, at Alliant Technologies, Bacchus, Utah, stored at Bacchus as of July 1999; moved from Salt Lake City to UP Heritage Fleet at Cheyenne, Wyoming, in August 2005, stored pending sale or donation.|
|01488||Sold to Santa Fe Southern Railroad, Santa Fe, New Mexico|
|01490||Leased to DODX, at Alliant Technologies, Bacchus, Utah, stored at Bacchus as of July 1999; moved from Salt Lake City to UP Heritage Fleet at Cheyenne, Wyoming, in August 2005, stored pending sale or donation; moved from Cheyenne to Phippsburg, Colorado, in November 2007; displayed (as of October 2014) at Railroad Park in Phippsburg, Colorado.|
|01501||Owned by private individual, Strasburg, Colorado (along with 01433) D&RGW 01501 was purchased and relocated from Strasburg to Colorado Springs on 15 April 2002. It is on display on live track at the Colorado Springs Street Railway Foundation Roswell Shops. (2002 update from Gregory Roberts, via email dated March 22, 2005)|
|01502||Displayed at Steamboat Springs, Colorado|
|01504||Donated to Ogden Union Station, Ogden, Utah (along with 01457)|
|01505||Owned by private individual, Strasburg, Colorado (as GREX 01505); sold in (?), and as of early March 2006, moved to Casa Grande, Arizona for display at the Arizona Railway Museum, Chandler, Arizona|
|01508||Displayed at Salem, Utah, at 500 East 800 South; moved by owner to private "caboose camp" near Big Rock Candy Mountain in central Utah, along with SP 1933 and SSW 72.|
|01510||Owned by private individual, Pueblo, Colorado|
|01512||Sold to a private individual and moved to a site seven miles west of Glendale, Nevada; sold to Dr. L. De Lynn Hansen of Orem, Utah in September 2011; to be moved to a new train park and museum on the grounds of SCERA Center For The Arts in Orem, Utah, behind their movie theater located at 745 South State Street; the move is planned to be completed by the end of 2011. (update from Dr. Hansen, via email dated September 4, 2011)|
|01516||Sold to Canon City & Royal Gorge Railroad, Canon City, Colorado|
|01519||Displayed at Baytown, Texas. (photo)|
|01521||Sold to Denver & Intermountain Railroad, Denver, Colorado|
|01523||Owned by private individual, Clovis, California (as C&S 01523)|
|01524||In service on UP's Phippsburg Local in Colorado; moved to UP Heritage Fleet at Cheyenne, Wyoming, in November 2007 in exchange for 01490, which was moved to Phippsburg for use on the local.|