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Caboose Interior

B&O Old Main Line
Modern day photo tour

Accompanying each photo below are:

Click a photo to see a larger view. Please send your comments and corrections to Steve.


Bowie

Bowie
Mile: Date: Nov 2017
Ease: A View: NW
Area: A- IC2:
Map: PG 9 H 7 Topographic Maps

In recognition of its railroad-town history, Bowie, previously known as Huntington City, has gathered together various historic items near its town center. Work on this rail museum complex began during the 1990s after Maryland shifted rail commuter service northeast away from town center to Bowie State University.

Bowie's interlocking tower seen in this photo was preserved by moving it about 200 feet east of its prior trackside location. The tower was originally built in Severn during 1913, then moved to Bowie where it saw active railroad use through 1986.

Visitors can explore the tower operator's desk. Adjacent to the building sit Bowie's former passenger station, waiting shack, and a caboose.


C-3842

C-3842
Mile: Date: Nov 2017
Ease: A- View: E
Area: A- IC2:
Map: PG 9 H 7 Topographic Maps

A Norfolk and Western caboose made way during 2016 for this refurbished model that had spent years on display at Baltimore's B&O Railroad Museum in the light-blue paint of Chessie System safety.

Since Bowie's heritage is with the B&P / Pennsylvania Railroad, it's a bit odd to see a Chessie caboose, but the Pope's Creek Subdivision that connects here is now part of CSX.

Links: in red paint, in blue paint, 2015


Interior

Interior
Mile: Date: Nov 2017
Ease: A- View:
Area: A- IC2:
Map: PG 9 H 7 Topographic Maps

The interior has been restored to operational condition. The museum installed a few extra seats to facilitate small group lectures. Most photos of caboose interiors online show them in either a disheveled or modified condition.


Flippable

Flippable
Mile: Date: Nov 2017
Ease: A- View:
Area: A- IC2:
Map: PG 9 H 7 Topographic Maps

The seat back of each chair can be flipped so the rider can sit facing a preferred direction.


Bay Window

Bay Window
Mile: Date: Nov 2017
Ease: A- View: W
Area: A- IC2:
Map: PG 9 H 7 Topographic Maps

Small forward- and backward-facing bay windows permit crew to visually check each side of the consist. The window wiper is operated manually from the inside.

Those are the ex-Pennsy, now Amtrak Northeast Corridor tracks outside.


Bunks

Bunks
Mile: Date: Nov 2017
Ease: A- View:
Area: A- IC2:
Map: PG 9 H 7 Topographic Maps

A cushion such as this served as a bed. Here the frame of an upper bunk has been folded downward against the side of the car.


Table

Table
Mile: Date: Nov 2017
Ease: A- View:
Area: A- IC2:
Map: PG 9 H 7 Topographic Maps

A general purpose table is mounted opposite the beds.

Sources vary on the origin of this caboose. Most agree it was built during 1975 for either the B&O or RF&P.


Stove

Stove
Mile: Date: Nov 2017
Ease: A- View:
Area: A- IC2:
Map: PG 9 H 7 Topographic Maps

During the 19th century a wood and/or coal fired stove generated heat for warmth and cooking. When diesel locomotives came into general use, kerosene/oil fired stoves such as this Vapor brand Caban model became popular.


Vapor Caban

Vapor Caban
Mile: Date: Nov 2017
Ease: A- View:
Area: A- IC2:
Map: PG 9 H 7 Topographic Maps

Popular with crews the oil stoves were not since getting a fire started on a cold day was not as simple as the directions might imply. Airflow shifting as the train moved would at times push noxious fumes back into the cabin.


Sink

Sink
Mile: Date: Nov 2017
Ease: A- View:
Area: A- IC2:
Map: PG 9 H 7 Topographic Maps

Gravity supplied the water pressure at this small sink adjacent to the stove.


Toilet

Toilet
Mile: Date: Nov 2017
Ease: A- View:
Area: A- IC2:
Map: PG 9 H 7 Topographic Maps

What goes in, must come out. Speaking of air flow, toilets opened to the tracks below.

I have heard the story of a crewmember who enjoyed pranking his crewmates by sticking a steel rod down through the toilet so as to trip track-mounted dragging equipment detectors below their moving train. Supposedly he was finally found out when one day the rod snagged on a switch and just about yanked the toilet out of the bottom of the caboose.


Roof

Roof
Mile: Date: Nov 2017
Ease: A- View: N
Area: A- IC2:
Map: PG 9 H 7 Topographic Maps

Another uncommon online photo: the roof of a caboose, here as seen from the tower.

Bowie's is a gem of a small museum for anyone with an interest in railroading history. In my experience the staff are both cheerful and knowledgable. Though access is free, I suggest being generous when contributing to one of the donation boxes.

Link: Bowie RR Museum's web site


SPAX-8102

SPAX-8102
Mile: 28.8 Date: Nov 2015
Ease: A View: W
Area: B+ IC2:
Map: Ca 35 A 4, Ho 5 A 5 Topographic Maps

More commonly seen are cabooses slowly deteriorating on a siding. This one, known simply as "The Blue Caboose" belongs to the town of Sykesville who it seems has given up on incorporating it into a historical display la Bowie. The now-listing caboose was built during 1944 by the Reading Railroad.


Inside 8102

Inside 8102
Mile: 28.8 Date: Apr 2001
Ease: A- View:
Area: B+ IC2:
Map: Ca 35 A 4, Ho 5 A 5 Topographic Maps

Nothing a fresh coast of paint or, umm, two can't fix, umm, right?

The caboose sat idle since arriving via donation during the early 1990s. During 2014 the Sykesville town council agreed to donate it to the Howard County Farm and Antique Machinery Museum.

Link: HCFAMM web site


C1909

C1909
Mile: 28.8 Date: Nov 2015
Ease: A View: NE
Area: B+ IC2:
Map: Ca 35 A 4, Ho 5 A 5 Topographic Maps

Within sight of the blue caboose is this red one dating to 1925 or 1927 (sources vary) restored by the Sykesville & Patapsco Railway club.


Model

Model
Mile: 28.8 Date: Nov 2015
Ease: A- View:
Area: B+ IC2:
Map: Ca 35 A 4, Ho 5 A 5 Topographic Maps

The caboose houses the S&P's N Scale model layout.

Link: S&P site


You may also enjoy these offsite links:

Photos of B&O M930 cabooses, and Todd's railfan guide to Bowie

Thanks for following along.

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