By Scott M. Pitman, Restoration Expert, 18 May, 2012 The following information courtesy of UtahRails.net
Rio Grande’s first 10 steel cabooses were built in 1941 by the road itself in its Burnham shops in Denver. These were the first 10 of a total fleet of 91 steel cupola cabooses (not counting the 25 modern wide vision cabooses). All 91 cupola cars were built by D&RGW in their own Burnham (Denver) shops, in groups of 10 in 1942, 1944, 1944-1945, 1947, 1951, and 1955. A group of 11 was completed in 1959. All were numbered in the 01400 series (01400-01490).
Notes on Exterior Features
All of D&RGW’s 01400-series cabooses (a total of 91 cars) were built by Rio Grande in their Burnham (Denver) shops. They were equipped with Duryea cushioned underframes and offset cupolas. D&RGW 01450-01459 were delivered in 1947 with radio equipment, with two yellow stripes to designate the feature. The radio equipment included a rooftop induction antenna, very similar to the design used by Pennsylvania Railroad. D&RGW 01453 was equipped with a screened center window as protection from the generator installed inside at that location. The car also had fuel tank under the car as fuel for the generator, and a rooftop vent for exhaust. The car also had a battery locker mounted underneath, on the right side. The window layout differed between the right side and the left side, with the left side (cupola to the right) being shifted a bit forward. On the welded-body cars, the rear-most window is more forward than on the riveted-body cars.
D&RGW 01400-01459 (and possibly 01460-01469) were built with four-pane wood sash side windows. Their cupolas had four-pane side widows and two-pane end windows. The windows were later rebuilt to single-pane, and still later to sealed rubber-frames, then later they were completely blanked over. (from Jim Eager) Photographic evidence shows that few if any of the 01400-01459 series cabooses still in black paint received the modernized window treatment. In response to a Federal Railroad Administration safety ruling, beginning in (?), all windows on D&RGW cabooses were blanked over with steel plate. Usually the plates were simply welded in place of the older wooden window frame, or the newer rubber window frame on the newer cars, leaving an obvious weld bead, or other tell-tale of the window covering process. During later shop efforts, the window treatments were ground smooth and the blanked-over windows became less obvious. The program to cover all the windows was apparently completed by January 1986.
D&RGW 01490 was ordered by Utah Railway. Other modernizing changes included the installation of solid doors on the caboose ends (replacing wood panel doors), roller bearings replacing solid bearings (all 01400 series cabooses were delivered with solid bearings), and the addition of red and clear marker lights on the caboose ends. (from Jim Eager)
D&RGW CABOOSE NO. 01457 (ALSO KNOWN AS THE “GINGER WALLACE BIRTHDAY CABOOSE” IS IN RELATIVELY GOOD CONDITION.
- The interior floor needs a patch.
- The existing icebox could be refurbished in order to be functional.
- Could hold cake and ice cream for parties.
- The addition of benches and tables as proposed could generate additional revenue.
- Recommend that windows be “unblanked” at this time.
- Doing this after exterior painting would create additional paint repairs.
- Recommend the Gold/Silver/Black paint scheme.
- Although never painted in this scheme, it is very eye catching.