Union Pacific Cabooses

Index For This Page

This page was last updated on January 13, 2022.

(The intent of these pages is to have a place to make needed corrections and additions to the book "Cabooses of the Union Pacific Railroad," published in December 2002 by the Union Pacific Historical Society.)

Caboose Update -- What's new on these caboose pages.

Overview and Introduction

Wooden Cabooses

UP Wooden Cabooses -- Narrative text for all of UP's wooden cabooses.

UP Wooden Caboose Rosters -- An index page for an edited and updated version of the wooden caboose rosters from the UP caboose book, plus additional information that didn't make it into the book.

Wooden Caboose Trucks -- Notes about ther styles of trucks used on Union Pacific wooden cabooses.

Wooden Transfer Cabooses -- Narrative text of UP's Transfer Cabooses, including links to rosters. (UP did not own any steel transfer cabooses.)

Steel Cabooses

UP Steel Cabooses -- Narrative text for all of UP's steel cabooses.

UP Steel Caboose Retirements -- Narrative text about UP retiring its cabooses; includes the last caboose operations across the UP system in 1984.

UP Steel Caboose Rosters -- An index page for an edited and updated version of the steel caboose rosters from the UP caboose book; includes additional information that didn't make it into the book.

Steel Roadway MoW Cabooses -- Information about the steel cabooses that were converted to non-revenue Roadway (maintenance of way) service. Includes information about the MP 7500-series cabooses.

Special Service Cars -- Notes about special cars that started out as cabooses, including UPP 400 and 401, UPP 430, and the MP 7500 series.

Steel Caboose Trucks -- Notes about the styles of trucks used on Union Pacific steel cabooses.

UP Steel Cabooses in 2002 and after -- Information about UP's cabooses fleet after 2002, including former C&NW and SP/D&RGW cabooses.

UP Steel Cabooses as Shoving Platforms -- Information about how UP's cabooses are being used from 2002 to today, used as shoving platforms; compiled by Scott Thomas.

Caboose Data and Drawings

UP Steel Caboose Data and Drawings -- A link to Dick Harley's online collection of data and drawings covering UP's steel cabooses.

Caboose Painting and Lettering

UP Caboose Painting, Lettering & Numbering

Rock Island Cabooses

Rock Island Steel Cabooses -- Union Pacific purchased 130 steel cabooses in 1967-1971 and leased them to Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific; all were returned to UP in 1980.

Merged Roads

Missouri Kansas Texas Steel Cabooses -- Missouri Kansas Texas Railroad was controlled by Union Pacific Railroad after August 12, 1988. At that time, MKT owned 58 cabooses.

Missouri Pacific Steel Cabooses -- Missouri Pacific Railroad was controlled by Union Pacific after December 22, 1982. At that time, MoPac had 651 cabooses, including 407 bay window cabooses, 208 cupola cabooses, and 36 transfer cabooses.

Mount Hood Railway -- Brief summary of the two wooden CA-1 cabooses owned by Mount Hood Railway in Oregon; entire railroad purchased by UP in 1958.

Pacific & Idaho Northern -- Pacific & Idaho Northern Railway was purchased by Oregon Short Line in August 1936, as a condition of UP's 1936 Unification, including five wooden cabooses. The line became OSL's New Meadows Branch.

Spokane International -- Union Pacific acquired control of the Spokane International Railroad on October 6, 1958, including 15 wooden cabooses. UP later added four steel cabooses to the Spokane International's caboose fleet.

St. Joseph & Grand Island -- StJ&GI was controlled by Union Pacific from 1897. The road had 23 wooden cabooses and four drover's cabooses.

Western Pacific -- Western Pacific was controlled by Union Pacific after December 22, 1982. At that time, WP had a fleet of 59 steel cabooses, all built between 1955 and 1980.

Connecting Roads

Southern Pacific -- SP connected with Union Pacific at Ogden, Utah. SP had a total fleet of 265 steel cupola cabooses, and 974 steel bay window cabooses. (Does not include information about SP cabooses after the UP-SP merger in 1996.)

Utah Railway -- Utah Railway connected with Union Pacific at Provo, Utah. Utah Railway had eight CA-1 style cabooses purchased in 1918-1927 through the Union Pacific Equipment Association, along with the two former Union Pacific steel cabooses purchased in 1972.

Competing Roads

AT&SF, Great Northern, Northern Pacific, CB&Q -- Brief summaries of competing roads' cabooses.

Denver & Rio Grande Western -- D&RGW had 91 steel cupola cabooses in the 01400-01490 series, and 25 later wide-vision cupola cabooses in the 01500-01524 series.

Front or Rear?

For Union Pacific's wooden cabooses, the offset cupola end was toward the front. The conductor's desk was at the rear. The caboose was usually placed so the the conductor sat at his desk and faced toward the rear. The rear brakeman was up in the cupola, facing forward, to watch the train. UP's CA class (built 1905-1913) and CA-1 class (built 1914-1925) wooden cabooses had wooden passenger benches ahead of the cupola, two on each side. The toilet was in the right front, and the ice water, wash water and wash basin were in the left front. The stove was on the right side, between the cupola and the conductor's desk.

UP's steel cupola cabooses had centered cupolas, without passenger benches. The first were built in 1942; the last in 1975. The conductor's desk was on the right side, at the rear. The toilet, and its small window and rooftop ventilator, was on the left side, just ahead of the cupola.


Union Pacific Steel CA-3 Caboose Photos -- An album of 67 photos of UP 25007, a CA-3 steel caboose displayed at Lodgepole, Nebraska.

Caboose Book

In December 2002, the Union Pacific Historical Society published "Cabooses of the Union Pacific Railroad", by Don Strack and Jim Ehernberger.



Source Material

Wood Beam 'Q' Trucks -- A 6-page PDF of documents covering the conversion of wooden cabooses to wood beam 'Q' type trucks. (PDF; 6 pages; 2.1MB)

UP CA-1 Wooden Cabooses -- A 4-page PDF of an article about UP's CA-1 wooden cabooses, in the July 1983 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman magazine. (PDF; 4 pages; 3.6MB)

UP CA-11 Steel Cabooses -- An 11-page PDF of articles compiled from Model Railroader and Railroad Model Craftsman magazines.

UP Steel Cabooses in Car Builder's Cyclopedia -- An 8-page PDF of pages from the Car Builder's Cyclopedia issues from 1943 to 1957. (PDF; 8 pages; 7MB)



More Information

UP Caboose Fleet (as of January 2002)

Caboose Builders -- Information about the car builders that built cabooses for Union Pacific.

The Last Car Is Changing -- A PDF of an article in the February 1979 issue of INFO, Union Pacific's employee magazine. The article talks about UP's new CA-11 bay-window cabooses, and includes data about the costs to operate and maintain its caboose fleet.