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
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)
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)
Based on the D&RGW car tally cards at the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden, Colorado, John Tudek shared the following information:
As of January 31, 1950, there were 59 all-steel cabooses (01400-series) in service.
Eight cabooses of all-wood construction including three converted boxcar cabooses, and 81 wood cabooses listed with steel underframes from various series. Of this latter type, 38 cabs in the 01140 thru 01189 series made up the largest group with 17 listed from the 01120 thru 01139 group being the second.
Total former Denver & Salt Lake cabooses are shown as a total of 16 with four being the all-steel 01390 thru 01393
Five years later, by January 1955, there were only two all-wood cabooses, one of which was converted boxcar (014294) and 53 total wood with steel underframes, compared to 69 examples of the 01400 series. Former D&SL cabooses were down to five (two wood and thre steel).
The cards for January 1960 show only 11 wood cabooses with steel underframes and 89 all steel cars in the 01400 series. Only three all-steel examples remain from the D&SL. Those 01100-series cabooses lasted a lot longer than many give them credit for. (John Tudek, email message to D&RGW discussion group, March 2, 2013)