Sunday, May 29, 2011

Another Caboose Is on Display

Caboose No. 50 out in California has been restored by the Central Sierra Historical Society museum after years of restoration work.

The caboose once pulled up the rear of the San Joaquin & Eastern Railroad and is 28 feet long and 9 feet wide. It is displayed on 60 feet of track. For now, visitors can only enjoy the exterior. In October, the museum plans to open up the inside to people using steps at all four corners. There's a vintage railroad stove and seating inside.

The restoration project cost about $40,000, which was raised through private donations, fundraising events and small grants

About 75% of the original wood suffered dry-rot or was dried out from excessive sun exposure -- and replaced. Framing was completed. All mortise and tenon construction, with iron reinforcing rods on all sides, top to bottom, compress the framing. Couplers were reinstalled in the end sills. The brake hydraulic reservoir and air-tank assembly were hung, and the brake lines run. The roof was nailed down, and the redwood exterior siding put into place. Windows and doors were made and installed. And a kerosene lantern mounted. The exterior was painted box-car red. The interior was painted dark and light green.

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