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 Post subject: Help with Colors of US NAVY Caboose, Bureau of Aeronautics
PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:24 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 2:38 pm
Posts: 214
Location: Roanoke VA
Group,

Particularly those of you around the Baltimore and DC area...

I'm presently working on researching the details and colors for the Ex-Norfolk & Western CF Class Caboose that was sold to the US Navy's Bureau of Aeronautics in Sept. of 1945. This caboose was operated on the Rail line feeding the "Patuxent Air Station" and the line was referred to as Brandywine and Cedar Point Railroad...The Naval Air Stations Railroad. From 1942 to 1953 the US Navy rain this line and served customers other than the Naval Air Station as well.

Below is the only image I presently have of the specific caboose I'm looking for details on. I can tell from the image that the end sills are more than likely Yellow and Black Safety striped, and the end railings and steps appear to be yellow or white but not sure. Question is what color is the body and how is it lettered and what was the road number? An article in the March 1953 copy of Trains & Travel mention a red caboose, though the little line had two cabooses for their 80+ miles of track so I just want to make sure.

What are the colors of the caboose?
How is it lettered? "United States Navy"?
What was it's road number?

Obviously a better picture would be worth a thousand words so I'm reaching out to anyone who might have an image or know where one could be found. I'd be very happy to have leads to others who might know more about military railroads and more specifically this Maryland line.

Image

Thank you a head of time for your time and help.

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Steven Smith
Roanoke / Salem VA


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 Post subject: Re: Help with Colors of US NAVY Caboose, Bureau of Aeronauti
PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:43 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:05 pm
Posts: 1096
Starting in 1948 or 49 the Navy went to a uniform numbering system for its railroad equipment. The cabooses were all in the #63-00000 number block. Before that each base used its own numbers. Not much help I know but it is all I have.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with Colors of US NAVY Caboose, Bureau of Aeronauti
PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 8:24 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9898
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
It ain't much, but considering there's a choo-choo on the "purported" cover:

https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/003494996

Digitized:

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id= ... 1up;seq=23

Go to page 56.

I wonder if the base has more on file.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with Colors of US NAVY Caboose, Bureau of Aeronauti
PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:59 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 2:38 pm
Posts: 214
Location: Roanoke VA
Alex,

Thank you for providing the link to the book, unfortunately the one image they have in the book on page 56 is of the very odd Dual Sliding Baggage door caboose with windows that they had, looks very home made or highly modified for local use. I had a picture of it when on the Navy's MofW train that they used on the line.

Unfortunately I'm trying to locate a better image of the Former N&W Class CF wood Caboose that is in my original post to see how it was painted and lettered. I'm really hoping someone in the Maryland area would have the old Family Photo Album with images of the Ex-N&W Caboose when it was in it's prime on the Navy Railroad between 1945 and 1953...

Below is the image as used in the book that you provided, of the last train to run on the Navy Line though not with the caboose I'm looking for data on...
Image

The other view here is of the baggage door caboose when on the MofW train that I had a view of already.
Image

Really looking for another view of the Ex-N&W caboose the Navy had on the line as seen below, Any help would be appreciated!
Image

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Steven Smith
Roanoke / Salem VA


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 Post subject: Re: Help with Colors of US NAVY Caboose, Bureau of Aeronauti
PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:13 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 1372
Not sure if this will help, but here are two photos of a different USN caboose, USN 63-00214, preserved coincidentally also in Maryland:

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/rspict ... ?id=160867


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 Post subject: Re: Help with Colors of US NAVY Caboose, Bureau of Aeronauti
PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:25 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3725
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Based on tones in other pictures, I'd go along with PMC and say the caboose is traditional red.

I would have thought it might be Navy grey, like a lot of other Navy equipment, but the tones don't quite suggest that when looking at other photos of other equipment of known colors.

The Navy's grey equipment was also lettered in black; this caboose has lighter lettering, suggesting a darker color, such as the traditional red.

I also agree the safety appliances seem to be highlighted in white. We know the diesel is in black and white, and the tones on the safety appliances, compared with the safety stripes, suggest this as well as the guessed color of yellow for those stripes.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with Colors of US NAVY Caboose, Bureau of Aeronauti
PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 3:02 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 12:12 pm
Posts: 123
Location: Bremerton, WA
I'm pretty sure the markings are in accordance with TM 55-203 as far as font and location even though that's an Army manual. If you can't find it to download, PM me.

As to color, I can't find my photos of USN cabeese. I think I'm remembering them being red. Current DODX cabooses I've seen are red, yellow or green. You may want to write to the following and see if they can access an old copy of or predecessor to NAVFAC P-301, Navy Railway Operating Handbook. The copy I have from 1999 doesn't address cabooses.

Naval Facilities Engineering Command
Washington Navy Yard
c/o Command Historian
1322 Patterson Avenue, Southeast, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20374-5065

If they can't help you, ask them to get you a contact at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane, IN. They have a huge rail system and likely old manuals.

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 Post subject: Re: Help with Colors of US NAVY Caboose, Bureau of Aeronauti
PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 3:41 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 2:38 pm
Posts: 214
Location: Roanoke VA
Adam,

Thank you for the information you provided. I will start the process to reach out to them this weekend.

As of right now this is what we know of the caboose of interest.

-The Caboose was bought by the Navy's Bureau of Aeronautics in Sept 1945 directly from the Norfolk & Western Railway.
-The Caboose is an Ex-N&W CF Class caboose with former Road number 518104 built in August of 1915.
-The Caboose is equipped with Staff Hand Brake and the N&W style Kick-bar Coupler release, early style wooden cupola windows that can open. Full Gutters and a single sliding door toolbox.
-I have located a picture (Poor B&W image) of the caboose in service in March 1953 at the wye in Brandywine Maryland, it is the image that's posted as part of this listing coupled to a US Navy Baldwin switcher.
-Best collective findings on the paint job is Red Body, Black roof, Black and either Yellow or white Safety stripes on end sill and white or yellow lettering.

Right now what we are still looking for is definitive proof of the body colors, how the caboose was lettered, and what number it carried. As well The End Rock Guards and Railing are another question as to color as they look too light to be black. The only image we have of the caboose looks as though it could almost still be lettered for the Norfolk & Western with the 6-diget number below it. I would like to think it's lettered for the United States Navy as the Locomotive is but can't tell for sure. Road number? is it a road number of Military serial number? not sure.

So as mentioned before we are really looking for a better picture of this specific caboose and how it was painted and lettered as apposed to what the military or Navy standard was. Being former Navy I'm reaching out to tap my resources as well to see what can be found.

Presently reaching out to the Patuxent River Air Station Museum to see what they might have as well as Historical Societies for Railroads in the general area like B&O and PRR. As well I'm hitting up the chat boards related to the B&O, PRR and Military Railroading. We'll see what we can come up with.

Thank you for both your time and contribution!

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Steven Smith
Roanoke / Salem VA


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 Post subject: Re: Help with Colors of US NAVY Caboose, Bureau of Aeronauti
PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 3:38 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3725
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Tried looking for Navy cabooses and couldn't find any, but did find this interesting car at Fort Eustis. Of note is that it is painted red, and its overall appearance suggests a rebuild of some kind, perhaps from a box car.

https://lionelllc.files.wordpress.com/2 ... aboose.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: Help with Colors of US NAVY Caboose, Bureau of Aeronauti
PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 12:23 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 4:25 pm
Posts: 311
Reactivating this thread to provide an answer, I've only come across one Navy caboose and that's the one at the former Naval Submarine Base Bangor, WA. (NSB Bangor merged with Naval Station Bremerton to become Naval Base Kitsap in 2004.) It was an upper cupola caboose and, at the time of my visit in 2014, it was painted red and used as a spacer car.

There are cabooses based at Naval Support Facility Mechanicsburg, PA, but these are marked DODX, not USNX. They are all the same type but come in different colors and they serve as escort cars for trains with nuclear loads. A visit to the base last year revealed that these are scheduled to be replaced in the coming years with other cars. So far I've seen no diagrams and there's no specific date, of which I'm aware, when they'll arrive.

Regarding the Fort Eustis caboose, it has changed a great deal over the years. I first saw it when I reported to the little 1st Railway Detachment right after basic training in late March 1975. It was already quite old then and, when it went down the line, it rocked back and forth and creaked a lot. Around 25 years later, as a member of an Army Reserve railway unit, I was at the post again and what was left of the caboose was inside the enginehouse. All of the wood, I was told, was rotten and had to be removed, so all that was left was the metal frame. When it was rebuilt its new cupola, which had been quite short, was much higher, and it had bay windows added to the sides. I think it ended up in the museum and ex-UP caboose 25556, repainted red and renumbered 001, is used to carry rail students around the post railway, such as locomotive engineers going through recertification training and taking turns in the cab of a locomotive.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with Colors of US NAVY Caboose, Bureau of Aeronauti
PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 12:50 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:28 am
Posts: 461
Location: Ipswich, UK
Tim Moriarty wrote:
Regarding the Fort Eustis caboose, it has changed a great deal over the years. I first saw it when I reported to the little 1st Railway Detachment right after basic training in late March 1975. It was already quite old then and, when it went down the line, it rocked back and forth and creaked a lot. Around 25 years later, as a member of an Army Reserve railway unit, I was at the post again and what was left of the caboose was inside the enginehouse. All of the wood, I was told, was rotten and had to be removed, so all that was left was the metal frame. When it was rebuilt its new cupola, which had been quite short, was much higher, and it had bay windows added to the sides. I think it ended up in the museum and ex-UP caboose 25556, repainted red and renumbered 001, is used to carry rail students around the post railway, such as locomotive engineers going through recertification training and taking turns in the cab of a locomotive.

I visited the Museum at Fort Eustis in early October 1998 and the paintwork on that caboose looked fairly fresh then....
Attachment:
98-960a.JPG
98-960a.JPG [ 203.02 KiB | Viewed 1664 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Help with Colors of US NAVY Caboose, Bureau of Aeronauti
PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 5:38 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 4:25 pm
Posts: 311
Quote:
I visited the Museum at Fort Eustis in early October 1998 and the paintwork on that caboose looked fairly fresh then....


My estimate of 25 years later is really just a "guess-timate" and quite possibly the caboose was completely rebuilt even earlier. I well remember it, however, sitting in the enginehouse, completely stripped down. I attended a locomotive engineer course at the post in the summer of 1998 and I may well have seen it then.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with Colors of US NAVY Caboose, Bureau of Aeronauti
PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 6:37 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 3:51 pm
Posts: 248
Location: Ipswich, Mass., Phoenix, AZ
I spent some time at NAS Patuxent River and tried to trace the railroad route on post. There is still some rail embedded down by the old warehouse area. In the foyer of the PX is a picture of the steam locomotive. It's an Army war standard 0-6-0T just like the one at the California State museum, but lettered for the USN. I was never able to find any other pictures of the railroad or its equipment.
Ned


Last edited by nedsn3 on Thu Dec 24, 2020 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Help with Colors of US NAVY Caboose, Bureau of Aeronauti
PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 8:26 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 4:25 pm
Posts: 311
A guy named Paul Rogers once worked in the base's fire department and collected a massive amount of material on the line with the intention of writing a book. He now lives in Heathsville, VA, but I haven't heard any more about the book effort.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with Colors of US NAVY Caboose, Bureau of Aeronauti
PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2020 10:24 pm 

Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 5:19 pm
Posts: 482
Location: Bowie, MD
Is the caboose in La Plata MD a real Navy caboose. I've been under the impression the La Plata caboose was used on the other US Navy line off the Pope Creek Branch, to the weapons station. Last I saw that caboose, it was solid red with black lettering.

Bob


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