Do You Move a
20-Ton Caboose 1,000 Miles?
By Rail of Course
Poplar Bluff Cab is prepped for Rail Trip to Maryland Owner
Photos courtesy of Craig Meador
Written by Todd Greuter
Information provided by Elvin Klepzig
So you just bought
a genuine "wide vision" caboose once owned by the
MoPac RR, you'd like to restore to it's former granduer, but
you need advice... Who you gonna call? Why, the Missouri Pacific
Historical Society's Restorations Information Committee, a team of dedicated
volunteers interested in such matters, of course!
Such was the case
for old #13577, a forgotten cab located in Poplar Bluff, Missouri.
The town of Poplar Bluff (a.k.a. "PB") just so happens
to also be home rails to MPHS members Elvin Klepzig (on the
MPHS restorations team) and Craig Meador. MP 13577 had been
purchased by a private interest in Maryland, and the new owner
worked with these two Society members who were there to assist
in the weighty task of it's initial move to Maryland and hopefully
its future restoration.
On a bright Wednesday, July 31, four sets
of rusty wheels were set in motion and the old caboose, slowly
but surely, began the first leg of its journey.
After being loaded
and tranported by flatbed, the caboose was placed for the first
time in years on active rails. After being inspected by the
Union Pacific RR for road-worthiness, the 13577 waited two weeks
to take to the rails one more time to its new Maryland home.
On August 25 the
caboose finally rolled out of Poplar Bluff headed for Chicago
on the UP. It should be in Chicago by 5 on the 27th. It then
goes to CSX on the 28th and its on through Willard, Ohio, crosses
over into Cumberland, Maryland and onto the nearest yard by
By the 29 it was
in Proviso, Illinois, where it was tagged a "Bad Order"
(meaning in RR-speak that it wasn't going anywhere while awaiting
repairs) for a bent or broken uncoupling rod. This wasn't the
railroad's fault, the crews have to maintain strict regulations
for safety's sake in a hazardous job.
Finally, on September
19th, Bob Herbert of Rockville MD called to let everyone know
that CSX finally delivered the goods.
They put up one more
block but Bob was on top of it before they could foil him. CSX
was to deliver the caboose Monday evening on the local but of
course it didn't arrive. Bob called the next day to find out
that it was on hold because the shipping hadn't been paid. Bob's
response was of course not, I haven't received a bill. They
talked a while and Bob got a phone number of a person to call
to take care of it. He came to find out he was transferred to
a voice mail box of an employee that had left back in February. Bob
made more calls until he finally found someone to take his money. After
a wire transfer on Tuesday, the caboose was delivered Wednesday
evening about 8:30.
He's been dragging
his feet on getting the track down to set it on so it may not
be in position for a week or two. His excuse was something about
"earning enough money to pay for this". Go figure . Barring
a crane collapse or CSX jumping the tracks and running over
the caboose, this should have a happy ending after all.
2002 - The #13577 was set at it's new location in Rockville,
MD today. The move
went off without a hitch and cost less than expected.
The story caught some press attention and was featured in the
Post on November 21st and 25th.
April 4, 2003
- More on the successful caboose adoption and the impression
it can have on others, as emailed to Screaming Eagles:
to look at what was on the "team track" in Rockville. We rolled
up to the lot, and...wow. A big red Missouri Pacific caboose.
I had never seen such a thing. I had my camera on me, and took
a whole roll. I figured that this would be the last time I would
see this caboose..."
"I noticed a
local contractor had placed track in his facility. I made the
connection at once, and sure enough, the big day came. It was
in the papers, and I saved the article. Now, everytime I take
a picture of a train in Washington Grove, the caboose is always
in the cornor of my picture. I have the pleasure of passing
the caboose daily, and I am happpy to report, the owner decked
it up with lights, out lining the caboose's shape. Any way,
the oddity of a MP caboose here in CSX territory has sparked
an intrest with me, and the MP. (But CSX is better!!!)"