Railway Preservation News

Wood caboose; D&TSL?
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Author:  Les Beckman [ Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Wood caboose; D&TSL?

Ran across this photo today when looking for something else:


The caboose is described as being Detroit & Toledo Shore Line Railroad #101. That may well be. BUT, the roof of the cupola makes me wonder if the car might not have originally been a Wabash Railroad caboose that was later sold to the D&TSL. Or was it originally built for that line? Anyone know one way or the other? Thanks!


Author:  Bob Milhaupt [ Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Wood caboose; D&TSL?


The excelent D&TSL book "The Detroit & Toledo Shore Line Railroad 'Expressway for Industry' " by Charles H. Geletzke and Wilbur E. Hague gives a few clues.

Here are the bits I've found that seem to relate to this car:

A b&w picture on page 25 shows D&TSL caboose 101, taken at Lang Yard in 1966. It has the same arched cupola roof. The caption states that it was delivered as one of six manufactured by ACF in 1904. A cursory comparison against the picture you linked revealed the following differences:
- the plinthed-caboose picture shows trucks with different details below the bolster.
- the 1966 picture shows bracing rods from the cupola to the main-body roof which are not present on the plinthed-caboose picture.
- the 1966 picture shows a smoke jack - the plinthed-caboose picture does not show evidence of a smoke jack.
- the 1966 picture shows a D&TSL herald below the cupola, a number centerd above the storage box which is just above the truss rods, and some un-decipherable markings on the body above the bolster on the right end (as seen in the pictures).
- the 1966 picture appears to show that there are two storage box doors which are comprised of vertical wood pieces, and they appear to slide horizontally. It is difficult to tell how the storage box doors are made in the plinthed-caboose picture.

FYI - The front flyleaf of the book shows a 1920 Dispatcher's train sheet, which lists caboose 101 as the caboose on a local train working a turn between Lang Yard and Dearoad. The other train sheets in the book are from the '60s and do not list caboose 101.

In the book, some of the cabeese are listed as (2nd) or even (3rd), so it may be difficult to tell solely from a road number whether any one caboose is the same as another. And it doesn't help that the road allowed duplicate numbers on different types of equipment - freight cars, locomotives, and cabeese, so a simple search for numbers may not be particularly helpful.

The book also contains a few pictures of similar cabeese:

On page 54, a b&w picture of caboose 117, taken after 1955, shows a similar arched cupola roof, and was listed as built at the Lang Yard car shop in 1926. This picture is of the opposite side, and shows what appears to be a latch on the car's side which apparantly would hold the storage box door open. The storage box door appears to be made of horizontal wood strips, with hinges along the top edge.

Page 177 shows a b&w picture of a wreck which destroyed caboose 103 (similar arched cupola) in 1917. The caption states that 103 was never rebuilt. This image does not show evidence of the storage box door latch, and does not include any details of the storage box door(s).

Page 211 shows a b&w picture of caboose 108, taken in the late 1940s, showing a mostly similar caboose. The steps and trucks are different, and a storage box door latch is visible. The storage box door is made of several horizontal wood slats with hinges along the top edge.

Page 212 shows a b&w picture of caboose 118, taken in 1968, showing a mostly similar caboose with cupola windows boarded up. The steps and trucks are different, and a storage box door latch is visible. The storage box door appears to be a single steel sheet with hinges along the top edge. The caption states that it was retired in 1954 but was in MOW service in 1968.

A quick look through some obvious parts of the text do not reveal any additional information on the lineage of any of these cars.

I've only read about half of the text, so I may not have reached something relevant.

For those who would like a little more information about the book, see http://members4.boardhost.com/RRHXHisto ... 42250.html . That description neglects to mention the wide variety of first-person stories from a variety of D&TSL employees, which to me justify the purchase price - the rest is just icing on the cake.

The book is assigned ISBN # 978-0-9762831-6-4 and is apparantly self-published. It is available directly from one of the authors, as described at http://members4.boardhost.com/RRHXHisto ... 80201.html .

Full disclosure: I am a satisfied customer. I am also an acquaintance of one of the authors. I do not benefit in any way from sales of this book.


Author:  Les Beckman [ Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wood caboose; D&TSL?

Bob -

Wow! Thanks for all the info! I can understand how caboose details might be different as cabooses changed over their service lives. The most important thing you have told me is that the D&TSL did indeed, have cabooses with the arched type roof. That makes me think that the information that the caboose, although lettered for the Grand Trunk, is indeed an ex-Detroit & Toledo Shore Line caboose and is NOT ex-Wabash.

The book sounds interesting. The D&TSL had a good looking series of Mikado's. I may eventually pick the book up.


Author:  Dennis Storzek [ Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wood caboose; D&TSL?

I might point out that style roof (which needs a descriptive name) was relatively common on cabooses built at the end of the nineteenth century. The Wisconsin Central had a bunch, built by the company shops and also outside builders. All received new cupolas by the 1920's.

Author:  wilkinsd [ Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wood caboose; D&TSL?

I have seen the names "Bombay Roof" and "Duck-Bill Roof" applied to these types of cabooses. I have also seen "Bombay Roof" used to describe the roofs of horse cars, early streetcars and some steam road equipment that has a similar roof curvature.

Author:  Orsonroy [ Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wood caboose; D&TSL?

Hmmm....neither the GTW nor the Clover Leaf had these kinds of cabooses, so it's likely that the D&TSL's chief mechanical officer either added a tack-on order to a Wabash caboose order, or just opened up the 1895 Car Builder's Dictionary, found the page with the Wabash caboose plans on it, and said "Gimmie twelve of these."

Author:  F.N.Kuenzel [ Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Wood caboose; D&TSL?

Years ago in 1995 in the classified ad pages in the back of the old LR&P magazine wich i used to get there were several issues where a person in North Muskegon, MI was selling a old restored wood Grand Trunk RR caboose wich had this same type of cupola roof.In the ad they described it "With roller coaster cupola roof". I still have the magazines with the ad in them.Is that the correct name for those type of cupola roofs or is that just another descriptive name used for them?

At the time on June 26th 1995 a friend told me about a old wood caboose he saw on a farm near Luckey,Ohio in Wood County while on a drive with his wife.He had stopped by to look at the caboose took pictures of it and the owner said it was available for free if anybody wanted it and would move it as it needed work and that he didn't have the time or desire to do so himself.A few weeks later i went there with my friend to look at the caboose,i had just bought a caboose a few months prior to that so i wasn't really in the game for getting another but wanted to see this gem my friend was raving about with a odd cupola roof.

When we pulled in to look at it i was in awe as i had never seen a caboose like it before with that type of cupola roof.I thought it was really neat and the general overall condition wasn't all that bad for a old wood caboose.It did need some work but it really wasn't bad compared to some of the stuff you see now that's been rotting away for the past 30 years.It had no trucks,was blocked up but had sunk to the ground over the years.Some wood needed replacing but it looked pretty solid.All the grab irons,brake wheel,end ladders and some other hardware remained.Some windows remained,a few were missing and the old wood doors were still intact.

The inside was still somewhat original other than a work bench had been constructed along one side wall past the cupola area and somebody had put in some interior lighting at one time.It needed a good cleaning inside as raccoons had been inhabiting it but basically it wasn't a bad old wood caboose.The owner didn't know the RR history.I don't know whatever become of the caboose as my friend told me he drove by there several years later and it was gone.I assumed it was a old Grand Trunk caboose after seeing the ad in LR&P for one like it.Maybe it was from some other RR?

Attached are some photo's my friend took of that old caboose at Luckey, Ohio with the roller coaster cupola roof.Anyone know if this caboose was lucky enough to be rescued and saved?

img034_984x743.jpg [ 66.79 KiB | Viewed 3021 times ]
img033_984x743.jpg [ 108.36 KiB | Viewed 3021 times ]

Author:  Les Beckman [ Fri Aug 25, 2017 5:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wood caboose; D&TSL?

Ran across some photos that pertain to this D&TSL caboose and this 5-1/2 year old thread:

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=2409704

The above photo shows D&TSL #101 marked as a MofW caboose and sitting in Reese, Michigan in 1981

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=1117791

This particular photo shows this same caboose with its "Bombay Roof" showing through the tarp moved to Saginaw, Michigan in 1983.

Pretty certain that this is the same caboose in Saranac, Michigan, restored and lettered for the Grand Trunk. The Saranac photo that led off this thread is from 2001. Any up to date shots?


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