D&RGW Steel Cabooses

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This page was last updated on July 27, 2023.

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Rio Grande's first 10 steel cabooses were built in 1940 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:

Raised Numbers

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.

Radio Equipment

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.

Window Treatment

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.

Other Information

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)

Caboose Assignments

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; as of 06/20/2020 in service as a shoving platform on UP's South San Francisco switcher in San Francisco, California. (2020 update from Nils Gustavson via email dated June 22, 2020)

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

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)

Caboose Dispositions

In March 1994, SP operated a special "dismantle" train that was moved from Denver to Pueblo, then across Kansas and Missouri to St. Louis. All of the cars had been sold for scrap. The train was made up of 89 cars, mostly Rio Grande cars, and included 39 Rio Grande cabooses. (CTC Board, July 1994, page 11, with photo)

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 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.

(Roger Kirkpatrick is the source for most of the information presented below, along with numerous reports from other interested people)

01401 Repainted in June 1986 as all-black with two silver horizontal stripes; 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 Repainted in June 1986 as Aspen Gold with four black stripes; 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, of June 2014; moved in 2016 to Caboose hobby shop in Lakewood, Colorado; hobby shop closed in December 2020, caboose moved to temporary site on 58th Avenue in northeast Denver; as of July 2023, moved to private property in Carbondale, Colorado.
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.
01420 Located on private property in Mapleton, Utah.
01422 Sold to Black River & Western Railroad, Ringoes, New Jersey
01423 Retired by UP in June 2003 and sold to Rail America's San Luis & Rio Grande, along with the entire Alamosa Subdivision. Used by SLRG until sold to Denver & Rio Grande Historical Foundation (Don Shank) in March 2005 (SLRG sold to Iowa Pacific Holdings in January 2006). Stored at Monte Vista, Colorado, until mid 2016. Moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, still there as of late May 2017.
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 and stored on a siding in Strasburg, Colorado (along with 01501); sold in 2001 to a hobby shop owner in Arizona City, Arizona; sold in 2005 and moved to Tucson, Arizona for display at the Gadsden-Pacific Division Toy Train Operating Museum.
01435 Displayed during 2006 as a Visitor Information Center on Main Street in Westcliffe, Colorado; sold during 2022 and moved to private property in Durango, 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 at the former D&RGW Burnham yard until February 17, 2018; moved for donation (along with D&RGW GP30 3006) to the Forney Museum of Transportation, Denver, Colorado.
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 Donated to the Eagle County Historical Society, Eagle, Colorado, before 1990; displayed at Eagle, Colorado; repainted in July 2023.
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.
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); as of June 2020, still owned by UP and is currently stored out of service on the UP's Lompoc Branch in Lompoc, California. It has been stored there since 2014 and is still in the white SP Police paint. (2020 update from Nils Gustavson email dated June 7, 2020)
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; sold to Empire Builder Private Cars in March 2020 and moved to Fremont, Nebraska; sold in June 2022 and moved to private property in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
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
01503 Donated by UP in early 2020 to Promontory Chapter, National Railway Historical Society; repainted to original orange and silver paint scheme in late November 2020; stored at UTA's Warm Springs shops (former UP Salt Lake City shops); donated to Heber Valley Historic Railroad at Heber, Utah, in September 2021; moved to Heber by truck on September 22-23, 2021. (Based on reports to Rails Through The Wasatch group on Facebook)
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 a private individual in Pueblo, Colorado, until that person passed away around 2000 or 2001. A broker (JFSX) then acquired 01510. The broker subsequently sold it to the Carolina Power and Light Company (Progress Energy Carolinas after 2002; Duke Energy Progress after 2011). Moved to North Carolina in late 2001 or early 2002. Inspected and serviced by CSX in April 2002 upon arrival in North Carolina. Repainted and changed to Carolina Power (CPRX) 10009. The former D&RGW 01510 received extensive modifications and upgrades for use as an "escort caboose" in the Carolina Power's nuclear fuel trains in the Carolinas. The caboose was trapped at the former CP&L Harris Nuclear Plant when the CSX disconnected the plant's siding from their mainline in 2019. Donated by Duke Energy to North Carolina Railway Museum at New Hill, North Carolina. The museum successfully moved the caboose to their museum site in May 2022, along with nine other rail cars using trucks and cranes five miles over public roads. The caboose is currently being restored for operation on the museum's New Hope Valley Railway. (Updates for 2000 to 2023 from Victor Varney, North Carolina Railway Museum, email dated May 12, 2023)
(01511) An ex-AT&SF caboose painted as D&RGW 01511 is part of a display in Silverton, 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)
01513 In service, as of May 2022, as a "shoving platform" in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
01516 Sold to Canon City & Royal Gorge Railroad, Canon City, Colorado
01519 Displayed at Baytown, Texas.
01521 Sold to Denver & Intermountain Railroad, Denver, Colorado
01522 Still in service as of August 2021, assigned to San Francisco Bay area locals.
01523 Owned by private individual, Clovis, California (as C&S 01523); seen in Denver, Colorado, in early September 2023.
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.

Published Source Material

RGM&HS The Prospector

Volume 4, Number 4
Fourth Quarter, 2005
- 01400-Series Caboose Fleet

Volume 5, Number 2
Second Quarter, 2006
- Cabooses 01400-01409

Volume 7, Number 2
Second Quarter, 2008
- D&RGW and D&SL Caboose Comparison
- Cabooses 01410- 01419

Volume 9, Number 1
First Quarter, 2010
- Steel Cabooses 01420-01429

Volume 10, Number 1
First Quarter, 2011
- Steel Cabooses 01430-01439

Volume 12, Number 4
Fourth Quarter, 2013
- Steel Cabooses 01500-01514

Volume 13, Number 1
First Quarter 2014
- Steel Cabooses 01515-01524

Volume 13, Number 2
Second Quarter 2014
- Caboose Addendum

More Information

Caboose Paint Schemes