Rio Grande Cabooses

This page was last updated on February 15, 2016.

(Return to Rio Grande Index Page)

Rio Grande Wooden Cabooses -- Information about D&RGW's standard-gauge wooden cabooses.

Rio Grande Steel Cabooses -- Information about D&RGW's steel cabooses.

Rio Grande Steel Caboose Paint Schemes -- Information about the various paint schemes that have been used on D&RGW's fleet of steel cabooses, including a listing showing each caboose, its paint scheme and the date of the photo.

D&RGW Cabooseless Operations

February 1985
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)

October 1985
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)

Cabooses continued to be utilized in Utah on branches beyond 1985. The Tintic Branch locals, based out of Provo, used Rio Grande cabooses until July 1986 (after Geneva Steel shut down). The Roper based "Midvale Tramp" used Rio Grande cabooses on both the Bingham Branch and the Garfield Branch until 1993. (James Belmont, email dated February 15, 2016)


As of January 31, 1950, there were 59 all-steel cabooses in the 01400-series in service. There were eight cabooses of all-wood construction including three converted box cabooses, and 81 wood cabooses listed with steel underframes from various series. Of the 38 cabooses with wooden bodies and steel underframes, there were 21 cars in the 01140 to 01189 series, and 17 listed in the 01120 to 01139 group.

Also in January 1950, there were 16 former Denver & Salt Lake cabooses, including 12 of wooden construction and four being all-steel in the 01390 to 01393 group.

By January 1955 there were only two all-wood cabooses, one of which was a converted boxcar (014294) and 53 wood with steel underframes, along with 69 steel cabooses in the 01400 series. There were only five former D&SL cabooses: two of wooden construction and three all-steel.

In January 1960 there were 11 wood cabooses with steel underframes in various number series, and 89 all steel cars in the 01400 series, and only the three all-steel former D&SL cabooses.