CHESAPEAKE & OHIO RAILWAY
This classic eastern "little red caboose" typifies those used throughout North America in the first half of the 20th century.
Built by Standard Steel Car Company; November 18, 1924
Built to C&O Specification 2-CCA, and part of its last series with archbar trucks (#90700-90799, reclassified as K3-3 from 1926-35), C&O #90751 has a wood body, & cupola in the center of the car. It has its original potbelly stove, coal bin, sink, icebox, cabinets, conductor's desk, antique mirror, and brass coat hooks, and is equipped with four kerosene lamps and a pair of C&O marker lights. C&O #90751 has two small, sliding windows on each side (which formerly had sunshades), unusual window casings, sunshades on the cupola's side windows, and extra windows in the centers of its cupola ends for train identification signs (which were never used for that purpose). Its archbar trucks were later replaced with C&O single-piece sideframe trucks.
It has Miner draft gear, is 32' 1 1/4" long over couplers, 8' 10 3/8" wide over eaves, 13' 6 9/16" high, and weighs 40,300 lbs. (20.15 tons). For many years it had braces from the cupola roof corners to the carbody roof. It was painted Caboose (or Target) red with white lettering until 1957, when the C&O changed to a yellow paint scheme with blue lettering and "C & O for Progress" logos stenciled on the caboose sides.
C&O #90751 served 56 years on the C&O, which ran from tidewater Virginia to the midwest, with many branches in mountainous coal-mining areas. The C&O claimed it was the oldest railroad company in the USA, because predecessor Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company pre-dated all railroads. It's now part of the CSX Corporation.
Following conversations and correspondence with C&O Chairman and President Hays Watkins, George F.Thagard III purchased retired C&O #90751 from the railway on January 28, 1980 for its scrap price, and California sales tax. Not operable under the FRA's regulations, it was sent from Huntington, WV to Thagard's private Greater Pacific Railroad & Navigation Company in South Gate, CA in C&O gondola #365377. Thagard did considerable rehabilitation work on it. Following a Museum visit, on December 13, 1983 he donated C&O #90751 to the PSRMA, plus the cost of trucking it to Campo and for additional restoration work.
Using authentic information provided by the C&0 Historical Society in Alderson, WV, Museum volunteers restored the caboose in 1984. It was repainted in its 1930s scheme, with red exterior and lettering in the style used on the C&O between 1930 and 1957. The interior was repainted in forest green and reddish brown, per old C&O paint specifications. Further restoration work was done in 1987-89,which included replacement of rotted wood with new custom-milled siding, new window casings, and exterior repainting. C&O #90751, referred to simply as "751" by many Museum members, is currently on display in operating condition, the Museum's only non-western caboose!
1993 Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association. W. Schneider