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Part Two, Pre 1960s
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A scene once common now gone. Caboose #13408 (a T&P-built cab) rounds a rural curve at Omaha, Nebraska. "Schoolhouse Bend" as pictured by reknowned photographer William W. Kratville - © W. W. Kratville photo, used with permission

Cabeese, Crummies & Hacks
Part Two, 1960s
- T&P-built, C&EI-built, and Transfer Cabooses
In earlier times the Missouri Pacific caboose was a rather drab boxcar red color with a small buzzsaw logo and white lettering. During the 1960's, at the same time the locomotive paint scheme was being changed to an overall blue, a new caboose scheme was being expirimented with using the old boxcar red color before the company settled on a final version. The rear of MoPac trains were brightened by a new caboose scheme - an eyecatching vermillion red with large buzzsaws and reflective scotch-lite trim. By the late 1970's the company logo was being replaced by the new eagle/blue buzzsaw decal, a unique color only used for cabooses.

      Texas & Pacific -built Steel Caboose

Texas Pacific steel cabooses were a bit shorter in length than the MoP's standard steel cars, with arched roofs and riveted body - sharing some similarities to those found on the Southern Pacific. Both the Texas Pacific & Missouri Pacific prefered to have the cupolas shoved far off center on their cabooses reminiscent of the older wooden designs, a characteristic that sets them apart from other modern factory built cabs. They had a very well proportioned design and outlasted most other cabooses in years of service, lasting well into the UP era. Many survive today as public displays.

Series 13065--13157 - T&P Steel Cupola Caboose
Plate - AAR Class - RR Class -
Former Series - T&P 2500-2593 Built - 1929, 1949, 1952, 1955 Rebuilt - 1966-69 @ Interntl. Car and M.P. Sedalia
Car Manufacturer Texas & Pacific by T.P. Marshall
Outside Lg. 35' 10-1/8" (over end sills)
Outside Wd. 9' 0-1/4"
Outside Ht. to Cupola 15' 0-13/16"
Inside Lg. 28' 7-1/2" Inside Wd. 8' 3-7/8" Outside Ht. to Roof - 14' 3-13/16"
Cubic feet - Load Limit - Lt. Wt. 47,900 lbs. (IC) & 50,560 lbs. (Sedalia)
Truck Barber Wheel Diameter 33" CSI-IW Hand Brake Ajax
Heating Kerosene (IC rebuilds - Propane) Smokejack Dickinson Radio Motorola

Texas & Pacific 2500 -The first all-steel constructed at T&P's Marshall shops in November 1949. These cabooses were very successful, being among the most long-lived on the railroad. #2500 was the only one to have the high-cupola and triple-window design, and is seen here in it's original appearance at Weatherford, Texas on November 14, 1965. - photo: R. D. Ross, John C. La Rue, Jr. collection, used with permission. Contact John for a list of his r.r. photos.

TP 2558 - The date is April 10, 1966 at Weatherford, Texas. The home-built is shown here in its final full Texas & Pacific scheme before the MoPac rebuilding program. - R. D. Ross Photo/courtesy John C. La Rue, Jr. Collection, Contact: John for his list of r.r. photos for sale.

TP 13103 - Sublettered for Texas & Pacific, #13103 is parked on the college campus at Lincoln, Nebraska in October 1975. This evening it will be headed back east to Union, then it or a sister will make the return back again to Lincoln around midnight - © copyright Glen Beans, used with permission. Note: this is a high-res file (260 kb) with excellent image detail.

MP 12124 - resides in Union, Nebraska preserved along side its home rails - the Omaha to Kansas City mainline in the background. A halfmile north the line branches off west to Weeping Water. The former #13124 was renumbered from the road service 13000-series into the local 12000's - T. Greuter Photo
MP 12124 - straight-on photo-combined image for lots of detail. 5/10/97 - T. Greuter Photo

Most recent shot of caboose MP 12124. 4/28/01 - T. Greuter Photo

MoPac caboose #12124 - Union, Nebraska; 5/10/97 - T. Greuter Photo

MP 12124 - stands guard near the grain silos alongside the former MP mainline to Omaha from Kansas City. The Lincoln Branch took a sharp lefthand turn from here as the MoPac set it's sites westward. 5/10/97 - T. Greuter Photo

MP 12124 -
Union, Nebraska; 6/8/96 - T. Greuter Photo ·

MP 12124
- Union, Nebraska; 6/8/96 - T. Greuter Photo ·

MP 12124 -
Union, Nebraska; 6/8/96 - T. Greuter Photo ·

MP 12124
- Union, Nebraska; 6/8/96 - T. Greuter Photo ·

MP 12124
- The former Texas & Pacific #2561 joined MoPac's roster originally as road caboose MP 13124 with the merger of the two rail lines. Built by T&P in May, 1952, then rebuilt again in 1969, the sturdy all-steel caboose finally was renumbered for local service as #12124. The TP designed cabooses outlived many of their MoPac counterparts. 6/8/96 - T. Greuter Photo ·

MP 12124
- Union, Nebraska, 6/8/96 - T. Greuter Photo ·
MP 12136 - Another display caboose, this one is found at Talmage, Nebraska; 7/4/00 - T. Greuter Photo ·

* 9/3/2003 Update: The MP 12136 caboose was moved from Talmage to Nebraska City, NE. after being vandalized - it was sold/given away to take away the liability.

It is now at PJ's at the Depot at 725 S 6th Street. Someone told them it was a former BN so the new owners painted it green. The trucks are gone, and the end railings have been cut off one end.

The caboose now serves as a combination office and walk-in cooler. Since the depot is a national historical thing, they had to have something to fit in with the RR theme, they needed a cooler and so here it is.  There's a real BN caboose however just across the tracks from this one. (thanks to Elvin Klepzig)

MP 12136
- was donated to the town of Talmage, Nebraska by the MoPac in celebration of the railtown's centennial in 1982. 7/4/00 - T. Greuter Photo ·

MP 12136
- like 12124 is a former Texas Pacific built caboose. It was rebuilt by the MoPac in 11/65. Talmage, Nebraska; 7/4/00 - T. Greuter Photo ·

MP 12136
- The marker reads:

"By 1881, the Missouri Pacific R.R. had begun constructing its Kansas City - Omaha line through the area. The townsite was platted March 7, 1882, in a former cornfield donated by Clark Puffer, and named for Archibald A. Talmage, Superintendent of the Missouri Pacific Railroad. Talmage's location on the railroad made it a good shipping point for agricultural and mercantile products."

Talmage, Nebraska; 7/4/00 - T. Greuter Photo ·


MP 12136
- The MoPac buzzsaw... showing some wear but still looking crisp. Talmage, Nebraska; 7/4/00 - T. Greuter Photo ·

MP 12124 -
Union, Nebraska; 6/8/96 - T. Greuter Photo ·

MP 12124 -
Cupola and buzzsaw at Union, Nebraska; 6/8/96 - T. Greuter Photo ·

MP 12124
- Up close and personal on the roof. The brackets at one time supported a roofwalk. Roof walks on all railroad equipment were removed in the late '60's and '70's to meet new safety standards. 6/8/96 - T. Greuter Photo ·

MP 12124
- Union, Nebraska; 6/8/96 - T. Greuter Photo ·

MP 12124 -
Brake wheel with spotlight mounted just above; at Union, Nebraska, 6/8/96 - T. Greuter Photo ·

MP 12124 -
Brake wheel, the "plumbing" to the left is what I believe is the caboose's whistle apparatus; at Union, Nebraska, 6/8/96 - T. Greuter Photo ·

MP 12124
- MoPac used kerosene for keeping its caboose occupants warm, something very much needed during the artic-like winters on the railline's northern-most extension. 6/8/96 - T. Greuter Photo ·

MP 12124 -
Union, Nebraska; 6/8/96 - T. Greuter Photo ·

MP 12124
- end frame detail. Union, Nebraska; 6/8/96 - T. Greuter Photo ·

MP 12124 -
Union, Nebraska; 6/8/96 - T. Greuter Photo ·

MP 12124
- battery box and under frame detail. Union, Nebraska; 6/8/96 - T. Greuter Photo ·
MP 12124 - with battery box opened. These batteries depended on the wheel-driven generator for charging. - T. Greuter Photo

MP 12124
- under frame detail. Union, Nebraska; 6/8/96 - T. Greuter Photo ·

MP 12124 -
Union, Nebraska; 6/8/96 - T. Greuter Photo ·

MP 12124 - showing the wheel driven generator used to produce electricity for the caboose. - T. Greuter Photo
MP 12124 - view of underframe - T. Greuter Photo
MP 12124 - opposite view of underframe. - T. Greuter Photo

MP 12124
- truck detail. Union, Nebraska; 6/8/96 - T. Greuter Photo ·

MP 12136
- lube plates, stenciling and Ride Control trucks. Talmage, Nebraska; 7/4/00 - T. Greuter Photo ·

            Interiors of an Office on Rails

MP 12136 -
Much of this caboose's interior has been gutted. Talmage, Nebraska; 7/4/00 - T. Greuter Photo ·

From MP 12124's doorway - conductor's office and oil-burning stove. These photo's were taken after vandals had broken through the cupola windows, although the interior seems to have remained remarkably intact. Union, Nebraska - T. Greuter Photo

MP 12124 - the cupola seats and conductor's office. - T. Greuter Photo
MP 12124 - Emergency braking instructions posted on the wall of cupola. - T. Greuter Photo
MP 12124 - View of the office. - T. Greuter Photo



      Ex-C&EI Streamline Caboose

Added Note on Identifying MoPac Cabooses -- To help clarify this group as an entirely different from those built by the T&P (both groups went on to share basically the same appearance), these are usually described as "Ex- C&EI Streamline Cabooses." Even though they lost their streamline cuploa, it is still used by MoPac buffs to identify this group. It's easier for us to identify this way, but it often causes some confusion for other caboose buffs.

Originally C&EI cabooses #7-21 were steel cars with streamlined cupolas built by the road in 1950. Soon after the merger, the Chicago & Eastern Illinois streamlined caboose fleet were rebuilt to MoPac standards at the Sedalia shops. The most notable of the modified features include the removal of the original streamline cupolas, which were replaced with the conventional MoPac type used on their homebuilts. There is also the standard application of reinforcement strips along the upper sides, just under the roofline for supporting the addition of overhead water tanks, MoPac paint and C&EI Buzzsaw emblems.

At first glance, after having the modified cupola treatment, these cabs look almost identical to MoPac's T&P-built standard cabooses. The easiest spotting difference between the two types is the riveted center strip running horizontally the length of the side, as well as a few less noticable details (bottom sill 'tabs', stove placement, corner marker lamp brackets, end body grabs and oil valve placement, etc.).

The below sequence of photos is arranged in the order of these cabs developing and changing appearance under the C&EI and Missouri Pacific. These cars are often described by MoPac followers as Streamlined even after having the cupolas replaced, to help define their heritage apart from the similar appearing Texas & Pacific Standard Steel cabooses.

C&EI 15 - with original streamlined cupola at Danville, April 1967. #15 would later have the cupola replaced, then go on to join the MoPac caboose fleet as C&EI/MP 13500. - George Elwood photo

C&EI caboose #13502 - in it's transitional scheme from C&EI to MP. Seen at MP yard in Taylor, Texas; May 1977. Originally this car was C&EI #17, a 1950 home-built steel caboose with a streamlined cupola. - Gary Morris Photo

MP 13495 -
is the ex-C&EI #8 streamline cupola caboose in it's final appearance under the MoPac flag. It is seen here at Wichita, Kansas; 11/8/01 - T. Greuter Photo ·

MP 13495 -
was one of the few from this group built in 1950 by C&EI that survived long enough to wear the final eagle/buzzsaw scheme. Wichita, Kansas; 11/8/01 - T. Greuter Photo ·

MP 13495 - The sun has just been up for minutes, opening a bleery eye on the ex-C&EI cab. The original streamline cupola was replaced long ago by a standard MoPac design. Wichita, Kansas; 11/8/01 - T. Greuter Photo

      Homebuilt Transfer Caboose

Sometimes referred to as Dog Houses, these very simple cabs (a square shack centered on top of a 40' underframe) were built mainly to replace the aging wood cabooses now used in yard service. MoPac had a small group built at its Sedalia shops in 1963-65 from old fishbelly underframes from cabs built in the 1920's (MP 13900-13929, TP 13930-13932, TP-MPT 13933-13935, which later was changed from 13xxx to 11xxx as number series were reserved for different assignments; 13000-series for Road service, 12000 for Local, and 11000 for Transfer). Often the transfer cabooses found a home in yards in Illinois, though they could be found spread thinly throughout the system. In the 1970's, when MoPac adopted it's new numbering system, all true transfer cabs were renumbered into the 11000-series by replacing the "3" with "1". By the mid 1980's, all were of the doghouses retired.

C&EI had it's own homebuilt transfer Doghouses built from ACF frames, almost identical in appearance to the MP homebuilts.

MP 11919 - Mo Pac transfer caboose is on display at the Texas Transportation Museum in San Antonio, Texas. - Steve Rude Photo/Jay Glenewinkel Collection

Roger Kirkpatrick's railroad terms defines Transfer Style cabooses as usually have no cupola and often have a small cabin with large platforms on either end. Many have no bay windows. Some confusion arises since this term is also used for cabooses used in transfer service which can be any physical style. 


      International Car Transfer Caboose

Besides the doghouses covered above, C&EI owned another series of Transfer cabs, built in 1963 by International Car. C&EI #511-520 had a similar construction to other steel cabs of the day, only these were just 30' long, had one window per side and without a cupola. All of this series moved-on to join the MoPac fleet as MP 13959-13961, which became 11959-11961 as number series were reserved for different assignments; 13000-series for Road service, 12000 for Local, and 11000 for Transfer. The application of the MoPac buzzsaw logo on the small bodied cabs gave them an appearance of a rolling billboard.


      Ex-Southern Pacific Wood Caboose

Ex-Southern Pacific Wood Cabooses In an effort to alleve the pressure put on it's fleet, in 1964 the caboose hungry MoPac purchased nine Southern Pacific wood cabs built1916 and 1930, numbering these MP 13700-13708, for yard and transfer service. Some may have even saw limited road service until the railroad's caboose rebuilding programs got underway. With the inclusion of additional and newer equipment, all were gone from the system by 1976.

MoPac Cabooses


Featured Photographers:
Glen Beans, Brian Paul Ehni, William W. Kratville, Gary Morris, John C. La Rue, Jr. collection, Lee Berglund, Ronald Estes, Houser, RailArc

Recommended Links:
Elvin Klepzig's Missouri Pacific Archive
Great Plains Rail Gallery Cabooses

"Cabooses of the Missouri Pacific Lines"
by G.J. Michels Jr. (a Must-Have!)

The Eagle, MPHS Newsletter

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 l Last Update to this page: 18 April, 2008
          All images & text © 2000-2008 T. Greuter / Screaming Eagles, unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved.