• Train car identification

  • Discussion related to BNSF operations. Official site: BNSF.COM
Discussion related to BNSF operations. Official site: BNSF.COM

Moderator: Komachi

  by traumnovell
Hey guys, I had a question I was hoping somebody would help me out with. There's an old train car (I think it's a caboose) that has been on the tracks in Watertown, S.D., for a few weeks now. It seems to be older and I've never seen anything like it out there before. How would I go about identifying it and finding out when and where it was made? I took a few photos, but they're too large to post here, but I can email them if someone is interested in seeing it. Does anyone have any suggestions?
  by Komachi

Assumning your camera is digital, it should have come with an editing program that you can utilize to reduce the size of your pictures. If not, then you should be able to download the program from the manufacturer. Or, if they're on actual film, just scan your shots and download them on your computer.

Join photobucket or another site that allows you to post pictures FOR FREE online. I'm a member and that's where I keep the pictures of the Preston Historical Society's Interpretive Center project online. I keep the pictures there and they give you an "img" url that you can copy and paste onto an online blog or forum (like rr.net). Photobucket also gives you the ability to edit your photographs as needed.

Once you've done that, then post your shots here and we can all get a better view of what you're talking about.


If you give a description of the car and/or if you have the car number we can also help you in that respect as well.
  by traumnovell
I just realized I had pictures of this thing posted on my blog.

Here is a link to the pictures http://speedthepilgrim.wordpress.com/20 ... -solitary/

There is a number, "12030" stamped in large white letters on the body. I think there was another set of numbers on the wheels or undercarriage. Is there a number somewhere else on the train that I should be looking for?
  by Komachi

Would be a caboose, yes.

According to the BNSF Caboose List compiled by Stan Lytle, as of 07/21/1998 (the last time the list was updated), the car was in Vancouver, Washington.

Go here, and scroll down, it's near the middle of the BN caboose list...

Here's a photo of it on the Caboose Photo Archive, taken by Robert D. Ulberg, Feb. 2, 2002 in Longview, WA...

... and at the RR Picture Archives...

Unfortunately, my research hasn't turned up any other information on the caboose, other than what I've uncovered thus far.

Maybe one of our "insiders" can give a more detailed history, or someone who keeps closer tabs on rolling stock than I?
  by Xponder
It is probably being used as a shoving platform. Cabooses have been relegated to lesser duties since their phaseout in the eighties. Most all of the remaining cabooses have been grafitied beyond recognition. We use them now when working industries and have cars that need to come back to the yard. We don't want to ride the point hanging on the side of a car but instead use a safer mode on a platform that the caboose provides. We may end up many miles from the yard and need the caboose to ride on the way back. It seems as if this particular caboose is a long way from home.

By riding the point I mean that the engine is going to be shoving multiple cars on one end and the caboose in the lead so the conductor and/or brakeman can man it and watch the rail, signals, and crossings giving instructions to the engineer via radio. Or, we may be using RCO (Remote Control Operator) equipment to control the locomotive while we run the "box" on the shoving platform.

Perhaps this caboose was destined to another yard where they are in need one or to a repair facility. I'm in the SouthWest so I can't speak for what goes on up North.