Howard Ameling photo May 1963
Howard Ameling photo July 25, 1963
Howard Ameling photo May 29, 1960
Howard Ameling photo July 25, 1963
Howard Ameling photo July 1963
The story of caboose on the BC&G is a pretty simple one. As for the traditional "little red caboose", there was really only one during the entire 60 year life of the railroad, and that one didn't come until just a few years before the line closed. Up until then, ex-Pennsy coaches #16 and #17 served as cabooses. Before the arrival of #16 and #17, it's likely that the ex-Reading coach, later numbered X-6, may have served the caboose role. Before that, maybe #13. See ROLLING STOCK - Passenger Cars for information on X-6 and #13.
Photographer and date unknown
This is the oldest photo I've found that shows what must be a caboose, in this case ex-Pennsy coach #17. This photo shows an engine and the coach at Widen. The stone wall and the multi-cupola building behind #17 give the location away. Based on the Buick in the foreground, the date must be sometime in the mid-1950's. Whether this was some kind of caboose hop or just the daily coal train before being turned on the wye and picking up cars for departure we can't know. The engine is facing the tipple at this point, however.
Here's the "other" caboose of the early to mid fifies, ex-Pennsy coach #16. Here the coach is clearly on the end of train out on the 'high iron'.
David Marqis photo circa 1958
The first and only traditional caboose that the BC&G ever had in service was obtained from the B&O in 1959. It was numbered, appropriately enough, C1. According to BC&G authority and author of several articles on the road, Bob Withers, the caboose was a B&O I-1a type and was numbered C481 when on the B&O.
Since the diamond logo didn't began to reappear until after 1962, the simpler livery seen to the right appears before that date.
During fan trips C1 sometimes was bedecked with a striped awning. I question whether this added to the appearance of the train!
The BC&G apparently got two cabooses in 1959 from the B&O. It is the writer's speculation that this is the second unit. As can be seen from the photos, it was in good shape in 1960, a year after being acquired, but that by 1963 it was in much rougher shape. Ed Kirstatter indicates that Dwight Jone's book on B&O cabooses confirms this car was never put into service on the BC&G.
For information about Caboose C-2, which served on the line in the Majestic Mining years, click here.
Dwight Jones book on B&O Cabooses indicates that both C-1 and C-410 were sold by Pittston Coal to Cass Scenic RR in 1970. They were converted to end unit cars and first numbered C111 and C119 by May 1972 and later renumbered to 9 and 14.
The condition of C410 had deteriorated even further by July of 1969 when Richard Bradley took this photo of that car along with coaches #16 and #17. This is one of the few good color photos of the ex-B&O caboose and the coaches, for that matter.
Richard Bradley - July 1969
Richard Bradley took this photo, the only one I've ever seen of the inside of C-1, in July 1969. There may not have been much inside by this time but it makes for an interesting photo.
Look carefully behind engine #14 in this photo by John Phillips taken in October of 1958 and you can see one of the coaches. It would seem that since this photo pre-dates the arrival of caboose C-!, this photo is yet another showing the coaches in service as caboose. Nice portrait of the engine, by the way!
John Phillips photo October 1958