At first it felt like this day would never come. What started out as a minor roof stabilization project in 2010 turned into a complete restoration. As our volunteers started removing the rotting wood from the roof it quickly became apparent that most of the wood on the caboose was shot. Even the wood floor was so far gone that the workers were afraid to walk on it.
The picture below shows the caboose being put into the carshop in the fall of 2010.
The hack was pretty much stripped down to the metal frame. Care was taken to salvage any original parts or wood whenever possible.
Below is a photo taken when the caboose was pulled out of the shop in 2015 to move some other equipment around. As you can see the rotten wood was removed, the metal structure was primed and new wood was starting to be attached. Even some of the diamond plate on the vestibule had to be replaced.
Fast forward to March of 2017, new window frames were replicated from the originals, the interior and exterior wood (on the end of the car) was in place and painted. Finally after years of deconstructing the car and taking careful measurements the crew was in the construction phase and could begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
This photo was taken on the morning of September 29, 2018 prior to the big reveal.
We couldn't have asked for a better day to bring the hack back out into the sunlight! Below, 2 of the crew ride the caboose out of the shop.
Photo courtesy of James Benetzky.
Lehigh and Hudson River Caboose #18 sits resplendent in front of the Centerville and Southwestern ticket Booth.
The cupola is always a favorite spot in any hack. Below some of our guests pose for pictures.
The TV news source for the Lehigh Valley is WFMZ channel 69.
They sent a crew to report on this event. Here, two of our crew are getting ready to be interviewed by WFMZ reporter Holly Harrar.
If you would like to see their report here is a link: WWII Caboose
Caboose #18 will be stored in the carshop and brought out for open house events when the museum is open. A deck is planned for the north side of our museum building when we get the necessary approvals from the town. Easy access to the caboose will be made from the deck. Please check back for updates.