Restoration Completed!

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.

Being pushed into the carshop

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 the diamond plate on the vestibule had to be replaced.

Stripped and ready for restoration

Fast forward to March of 2017, new window frames were replicated from the originals, the interior wood was in place and the wood on the exterior ends of the car was up 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.

interior nearing completion

This photo was taken on the morning of September 29, 2018 prior to the big reveal.

In shop before 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.

Coming out of the shop

Lehigh and Hudson River Caboose #18 sits resplendent in front of the Centerville and Southwestern ticket booth.

At ticket booth

The cupola is always a favorite spot in any hack. Below some of our guests pose for pictures.

Fun in the cupola

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.

WFMZ interview

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.

Last updated 10-30-19