2001 Caboose #13 Archives


By Bruce Evans
Chair, Preservation Steering Committee

We put in over 800 hours on the caboose this year. That doesn’t count all the travel time for all the work crew. That’s probably another 300 hours. We’re making great progress on the caboose. The roof’s now solid and rain tight, we’ve got windows in and a door on, the stove’s in, and a lot of the wood rot is history.

But we’ve still got a long way to go. There are quite a few repairs to be made to the inside walls, we need track and slider windows in the cupola, and there’s lots of work to be done to the cabinetry below the cupola.

The trucks need to be rebuilt, interior furniture built, trim to install on the windows, sanding and painting to be done everywhere.

Even after our December 8th workday, work on the caboose has continued.

On December 15th, the stove was moved through the A-end door and into the caboose. The prior week, the Millerick brothers had made a visit to PLA’s caboose 30 in Oakland to determine how to make the floor pan and metal wall guards that will protect the woodwork from the heat of the stove. They learned that the wall plates are simple air gaps that sit out about 1-1/4″. And during the Christmas holiday, they got the metalwork done, including the stovepipe, and set the stove in place. So if we can figure out how to fire a coal stove, we’ll have heat in #13!

Also on December 15th, Bruce Evans tracked down a pair of door striker plates and a handle for the stove lids. The existing door striker doesn’t match the style of door latch we have. With the originals long gone, we’re fortunate that Jeff Millerick was able to come up with a pair from another NWP caboose. So matching the strikers up with the latches is a pretty good deal considering.

Don Cabrall visited the caboose a few times after the December workday, and was able to make some modifications to the door latches that will make them work better. One problem with the A-end door latch was that the keyhole was drilled a little off from the latch, so Don drilled it so that the key will work better. The latch mechanisms had worn during their careers, and Don did some machine work and made a new wider spacer for the other latch set so that the lock bolt moves more accurately and freely within the latch.

On December 19th, Bruce spent two hours at the caboose cleaning up and moving things around. The result was more room to work on the next set of projects – most of which will be inside.

The November and December work crews had some projects underway, and some of those will continue while a couple of other new projects will get started.

David Lightfoot, Jim Gray, Don Brewer and others have been working on sanding, scraping and priming the outside – mostly the right side. Denni Chambers and Jim Gray followed up with primer so that we wouldn’t have bare wood exposed. As weather permits, this work will continue. We need to take advantage of the scaffolding as long as we’ve got it, as it really makes the work on the sides and the roof much easier, and we don’t know how long we’ll be able to keep it. Hopefully we can continue on this work during the winter, and really get into it come summer and get the finish coats on the outside.

On the inside, Cliff Baumer and Gary Anderson got the old pocket door stuff off the A-end in November, and got the new doorjamb up. Don Cabrall, Mike Holland and Hugh Metcalf followed up in December and got the door and hardware installed. It’s great having a real door on the caboose for a change, and it sure helps make it look a lot better too.

A couple of critical projects that we need to get started on inside the caboose will start in January. First is to figure out how to re-apply T&G material to fill in the void on the forward right-side wall where we removed the wood that had been scabbed on incorrectly. We’ll try to fur out with felt (from the roofing project) and use wide boards about every third row – much the same as we did on the roof repairs. This should hopefully space the new boards so that they will line up with the old ones. If we can accomplish this successfully, then we can get the last downstairs window in, and probably use the same technique for the wall repairs in the rear conductor’s compartment.

The other interior project is to repair the left main upper header over the conductor’s desk (left side, rear) where it was cut into. We’ve got a piece of wood for the repair, but the scabbed-in piece needs to be taken out, a new filler piece cut to fit, and then glued in and sanded down.

Of course, there’s lots more to do, but these – and some other structural repairs – need to be completed before we can do much finish work on the inside.


By Bruce Evans
Chair, Preservation Steering Committee

We had some good rains in November, and careful examination of the interior indicated that our roof job was good and things were dry inside.

There was only one work day in November – the 10th – due to the holidays.

On that workday, Gary Anderson and Cliff Baumer got the new door jamb in the A-end opening after removing all the old pocket door material.

Don Cabrall worked on the window lock for the second end door, which had been delivered since the October workday.

New member Denni Chambers worked on cleaning the caboose stove, and got some primer on the bare wood on the outside of the caboose. Turns out the stove has a coat of red paint on it (we thought it was rust) which we will probably remove and repaint black.

Lou Spiros continued working on the AB brake valve piping, and is now ready to run pipe to the retainer valve on the B-end.

Jim Gray and David Lightfoot continued removing the old stick-on lettering on the right side of the caboose, and did some sanding on the right exterior.

There will be only one workday again in December. We’re hoping to be able to work on the stove so that we can get it installed and working. We’ll also continue scraping, sanding and priming the outside to provide protection for the wood.


By Bruce Evans
Chair, Preservation Steering Committee

We had a little work left on the A-end roof, and had the roof buttoned up on October 6th. We came back on October 26th and put some caulk at joints with the cupola that we thought might be a potential for a leak, and caulked the B-end faceboards. These boards had not been replaced, and had some gaps in them. The boards were OK, but they had shrunk over the years.

On October 6th, the first of the end doors was delivered and got some fine sanding by Lou Spiros and Don Brewer. Don Cabrall has manufactured a pair of spring-loaded window locks for the new doors, and was there drilling and fitting the lock on the first door.

The door work slowed down over the summer, but Bruce Evans and Mike Holland got back on it recently and now have both doors completed. There will be some doorjamb work that will need to be completed before the doors can be hung. Jeff Millerick has come up with some original caboose door locks, and we’ll try to get these on appropriately.

On October 26th, Cliff Baumer and Hugh Metcalf worked on the cupola, getting the rest of the front- and rear-facing window glass in. The trim also went on, and Hugh put some primer on all the bare wood in preparation for winter. The primer is a red oxide, very close to what the final caboose color will be, and it really gives us an idea of what the caboose will look like when completed.

Work will slow down a bit in November and December, as we give our work crew a break for the holidays. We will work one day each month, concentrating on sanding, prepping and painting the exterior, and on the end doors. We’re also hoping to get the rest of the stovepipe installation completed so that we can fire up our wood-burning caboose stove.


By Bruce Evans
Chair, Preservation Steering Committee

September was probably one of the hardest work months we’ve had so far, but it was also probably the most gratifying. We got a new roof on the caboose! We modified our original plan, and put down felt with adhesive, then covered that with a rubberized membrane – which is really tough stuff. The adhesive was pretty messy, and we had as much on ourselves as on the roof. But we got the covering on, and can now rest easier when the rains come.

At the same time we were working on the roof, we also installed the new stovepipe and roof jack that Jeff Millerick manufactured. This is all heavy gauge steel, and received a special rust-preventive treatment before being painted glossy black. The design of the stovepipe was taken from caboose #14 at Healdsburg, and really makes the caboose looking good again.

We’ve been working a little on the siding, and hope to be able to get at least one side prepped for primer and paint in the next few months.

Next work will be to get the end doors on and put in some cupola windows. One of the end doors has been delivered to the caboose, and needs only hardware, paint and a jamb to put it into.

As we work toward winter, we’ll be lining up some inside projects, one of which will be to try to get one of our old cast iron caboose stoves cleaned up and installed. That way, we’ll be able to work inside in comfort.


By Bruce Evans
Chair, Preservation Steering Committee

August saw work completed on the cornerpost area of the cupola. This had been a setback for us, but we got everything buttoned up in August and started prepping the roof for covering.

Most of the drip rail was on by the end of August, with only the right side and A-end rails needing to be placed.

Lou Spiros and Jeff Millerick disassembled one of the trucks on August 11th. This was done to determine whether we would be able to use the wheelsets and bearings. It was an interesting project, which we had been looking at for some time – how these things come apart. As it turns out, we compressed the spring, held it compressed with a bolt, and once the spring was removed, the whole thing just sort of fell apart. There are no bolts holding the truck together – it’s all held in place by the tension of the springs.

We did find a pitted journal on one axle, and a rusted journal on the same axle. Fortunately, this was an axle that we were going to probably replace anyway.

Jeff Millerick manufactured a stovepipe in August, using caboose 14 at Healdsburg as a template. It’s heavy gauge steel, with a spacer at the bottom where it goes through the roof. Jeff also made the roof jacks for the top and bottom. By the end of the month, we had completed all roof repair work, had prepped and sealed the roof, and were ready to start putting down new roofing in September.

Work continues every second and fourth Saturday by Society members. If you’re interested in this restoration project, e-mail preservation@nwprrhs.org.


By Bruce P. Evans
Chair, Preservation Steering Committee

Back on the June 23rd work day, we ran into a pocket of wood rot in the main beam and two other structural members that all come together at the right rear of the cupola. We cut out a portion of the main header beam, and of the carlin behind the cupola, and completely removed the cornerpost. In July, we worked to apply splices with lap joints to the main beam and the carlin, and re-milled the corner post and got all these parts installed. This work set us back a bit, but it was essential that we get it done.

The rotted boards in the roof sheathing have been replaced with the exception of four short boards behind the right rear of the cupola where we had to make repairs to the beams below.

The air brake valve, cylinder and reservoir will need service, and Lou Spiros has arranged that with an old friend who works with the Union Pacific. Lou has been looking into how to take the trucks apart for inspection and service.

Our plan had been to replace the friction bearing wheelsets in the trucks with roller bearing wheelsets. A talk with Mike Mangini, chief mechanical officer with Golden Gate Railroad Museum – may have changed that plan. Mike says that we’re heading into lots of problems changing out the wheelsets (two wheels mounted on an axle.) The bearings on our existing trucks are 5×9 inches. The bearings on roller bearing trucks are 5-1/2 x 10 inches. This difference would necessitate spreading the side frames of the trucks to accommodate the wider bearings and axles.

An alternate would be to purchase trucks that already had roller bearing journals, but we would then have to change the centerplates (where the caboose sits on the trucks) which would be equally difficult.
The best option at this point appears to leave the trucks as is. The caboose can operate on NWP rails (with the permission of the railroad operator, of course) with friction bearings. The caboose could not be interchanged to another railroad (i.e.: California Northern or Union Pacific.) There would be the maintenance issue to deal with – friction bearings require constant attention to assure that there is adequate lubrication, otherwise they overheat and catch fire.

On July 28th, the work crew put up scaffolding on the right side of the caboose. This scaffolding was loaned by a local resident. This will allow us to work on the sides of the caboose (stripping, priming and painting) and apply the new roof covering.

As of early August, we were once again getting close to putting the roof covering on. There were some things that needed to be done first however: the few small roof boards, the remainder of the drip rail, and the right rear cupola window.

Once that is all completed, the roof will get a final cleaning and inspection and be sealed with a preservative. (Throughout the restoration process, we have been sealing all the new wood that was applied to help prevent wood rot in the future.)

It is anticipated that in September, we will have at least started putting the roof covering on. We think this will involve a process that will be slightly modified from our original plan. The original roof covering was Irish felt impregnated with an asphalt-base material, covered with canvas impregnated with several layers of paint. In the best interests of the caboose, we’ve chosen to apply a rubber membrane on the roof, and cover it with the canvas. This will create a roof that will almost certainly never leak.

Once all the work to enclose the caboose is completed, we can then move on to re-finishing the exterior. Unfortunately, about the time we’re ready to tackle that portion of the project, winter will be setting in. We’ll need to evaluate how much work we can do on the exterior without exposing the wood to damage from the elements.
And if we get the caboose enclosed and can’t work on the exterior this winter, there’s always plenty of work to do on the inside. The inside was stripped, so we’re starting from scratch in there. There is some known wood rot at the base of the cabinetry below the cupola which will need attention. The icebox and its door will need to be rebuilt.

Work continues every second and fourth Saturday by Society members. If you’re interested in this restoration project, e-mail preservation@nwprrhs.org.


By Bruce P. Evans
Chair, Preservation Steering Committee

The work on the caboose progresses slowly and meaningfully. We continue to encounter situations that require us to stop, look and think. Much of our pondering is why the NWP craftsmen did what they did, and the rest of the pondering is how they did what they did.

It’s been a learning experience for all those who have worked on the caboose. And while it seems that we’re moving very slowly, in retrospect, we’ve really accomplish quite a lot.

Our whole focus to this point has been enclosing the caboose – doors, windows and a weatherproof roof. In the process of accomplishing this, we’ve encountered the expected roadblocks of wood rot and non-NWP modifications. But we persevere.

Throughout the repair process, we continue to be faced with the question of just how far we should go in replacing parts and materials. Some items – rotten wood – obviously need to get replaced. But how far back do you cut off a piece of wood? How much rot do you accept in determining which boards stay and which get replaced? How far do you go in trying to accurately reproduce a missing part?

All these questions require answers. The work crew has been great about facing these challenges, and both making and accepting decisions. There have been times when it would have been easier to replace something with new wood, but we would have sacrificed original “NWP wood.”

All this work wouldn’t be getting done, one way or the other, without the time invested by our restoration crew. We seem to be down to a few consistent workers who are there almost every time: Mike Holland, Hugh Metcalf, Jeff Millerick, Lou Spiros, David Lightfoot. Others have made workdays when they can, and we would love to have them back more often.

The September-October issue of the Headlight will be a special issue dedicated to the Caboose 13 Restoration Project. We will have extra articles and as many photos as the editor will permit.

We have spent the last six months on the roof, first taking everything off, then assessing the needs, and finally making repairs. The crew has been great is spotting rot and problems that need attention, then diving in and taking care of those needs.

We were getting close on June 23rd, to having work completed on the roof. This would have let us move on to the next step – preparing and applying the new roof covering. Unfortunately, we ran into a problem which is not insurmountable, but which will set us back a little bit.

We had replaced all the exposed rotted roof boards on all three roofs (A-end, B-end and cupola) and were about to install the right rear cupola window base and frame when David Lightfoot ran into a pocket of rot. With his excellent probing vision he dug into the bottom of the cornerpost of the cupola, and just kept going.

After we had removed a couple of short pieced of roof board at that location, we started to see that the rot was in fact in the main horizontal header beam that runs the full length along the upper corner of the caboose on each side. This beam is 2-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ and is a major structural component!

The further we dug, the further the rot went. We were able to access some of the rot from inside the cupola, and determined that the carlin at the rear of the cupola, which connected to the header beam, was also rotted off, as was the vertical post of the cupola.

When we got done digging, we had determined that the main header beam was rotted through over 80% of its dimension – from the top down. Only about an inch of good wood remained at the bottom. The only thing that had been holding up the roof and the carlin – which held up the right rear of the cupola – was the plywood wall of the cabinet below!

By the time we quit for the day, we had cut out a piece of the header beam about 14 inches long, and a piece of the carlin about 9 inches long. But we left with a plan. We’re going to cut a notch in each end of the header so that we can install a new piece of fir where the rot was, and connect the header together again with a lap joint, and lots of glue and screws. Hopefully, we will be able to create a splice with enough structural integrity to hold that area together.

We will still have the issue of connecting the carlin and vertical post to the header, and all this will take extra time.
So we’ve experienced our first major setback, which may delay the re-roofing a little. But the crew has been very creative in overcoming all these matters, and we won’t give up until we see all the repairs made and this caboose back in better shape than ever.

The door frames are now together, and have been face-sanded. We thank Jim Mulheren and the crew at Ukiah Custom Cabinets for this sanding work. We’ve had the glass cut for both doors, and are now in the process of milling the trim. Some of this trim is unique, in that it has the “S” cut on one corner, a rabbit cut on the back corner, a quarter-round cut on the opposite corner, then another rabbit cut on the remaining corner – all four corners have cuts! Then, on the other (outside) side of the door, is a piece of trim than acts to hold the upper window in. This piece is a half-round with a square lip on each side and measures 1″ x 1-1/2″.

All of this molding has presented a challenge in providing an authentic reproduction of the original. The tooling and machines that were once used in the NWP shops to produce this material are long gone.

We were, however, able to find some router bits that almost exactly reproduce the original designs, and with the inclusion of some tricky cuts on the jointer, we’ve been able to duplicate almost exactly what was originally on these doors.

Jeff Millerick has completed work on the door latches he acquired near Fort Bragg, and has found a single SP key that will work the locks. One of the locks had a crack, and Jeff was able to braze it so that it won’t continue to deteriorate.

Jeff has also been working on the stovepipe, which needs to go on before the roofing does. He’s making a heavy-gauge steel reproduction of the stovepipe on Caboose 14. When the caboose project is complete, this pipe will connect to our original cast iron SP wood stove.


By Bruce P. Evans
Chair, Preservation Steering Committee

We had only one workday in May, due to the Memorial Day weekend. But we got a lot accomplished regardless.
We put the drip plate on the A-end cupola roof, which finished repairs on that end of the caboose in preparation for re-roofing. We did however find one remaining small piece on the front left over the porch that will need to be replaced.

Cliff, and Bruce Evans removed the roof covering on the B-end and the cupola. As expected, we found some wood rot on the B-end roof, but not as bad as on the A-end. There were a couple of small areas of roof boards we removed in front of the cupola, and two small pieces over the porch. We will also have to replace two or three face boards on the cupola’s B-end.

When we got to removing the roof covering on the cupola, we found something interesting. The whole caboose had been re-roofed with standard asphalt roll roofing. We removed this layer, and beneath it we found a 30-inch sheet metal plate, directly in the center of the cupola. It was sandwiched between the roll roofing and the original canvas roofing. It was screwed down around the perimeter, and had three stove bolts in the center. There were no holes through the roof. We were taken completely by surprise, since you couldn’t see any part of this circle until the roofing was removed.

At first, we thought maybe it was some new form of crop circle. A check with Frank Buscher, Society member and former installer of radios in NWP cabooses, confirmed that it was in fact the ground plane for the radio antenna. Frank said that a conduit came through the roof away from the ground plane, with a long sweep which ended up at the antenna base. Frank told a story that there was a particular shop employee that was the only one that could put this slow sweep in the conduit for this application. He also mentioned that this employee didn’t do much else.

Also during May, Bruce and Mike Holland worked in Bruce’s shop in Ukiah and got the two end doors assembled. Much work still remains on these doors, as they will have to be run through a drum sander, windows framed and installed, and trim manufactured. Three special router bits have been ordered which will replicate as accurately as possible the trim which held the window frame in.

Bruce duplicated the B-end left cupola window frame, which had considerable wood rot. He also repaired the filler block which when under this window.

Mid-May, Bruce ventured to Floodgate, along the old Albion Branch, and picked up the caboose parts that Bev and Doug Elliott have donated. Included are an oil stove, three high-back seats, sliding windows and the self-contained toilet. We intend to use the toilet, and the windows if they will fit – the rest is trading fodder.

June will see continuing work on repairs to the wood rot in the roof and cupola, and we will start constructing scaffolding so that we can apply the canvas roofing.

As always, the Caboose 13 Restoration Project can use help from Society members. For information, e-mail NWPRRHS secretary or phone 707-568-3540. Or, for information on the caboose project, e-mail Preservation Committee


By Bruce P. Evans
Chair, Preservation Steering Committee

April saw us close to wrapping up roof work on the A-end. Through the diligent efforts of David Lightfoot, Mike Holland, and Cliff Baumer, rotted roof boards have been replaced, as have the faceboards on the front of the cupola.

In the process of replacing all of these components, some other work fell into place. This included placement of copper flashing at the juncture of the roof and the cupola. This flashing was found to be missing, and is largely to blame for the rot that was found.

Also being replaced are the fascia board at the top of the cupola, a filler board over the left window, and the drip board which goes over the fascia board. All of these boards are custom shapes and dimensions, and are being handcrafted or repaired as faithfully as is possible by Bruce Evans.

Mike Holland, Gary Anderson and Bruce Evans continued work on window replacement, and we now have replaced all but one lower level window. The last window is being delayed due to some work that needs to be done on the adjacent wall. When the caboose was modified for the pizza operation, some work was done on the right wall which is “not to code” – anybody’s code!

So Steve Waterfall removed the interior wall covering on April 28th, so that we could see what work awaits us there.

Mike Holland and Bruce Evans have started work on the two end doors. Wood has been purchased – clear dry fir – to the tune of around $200. The wood has been cut to size, and the doors should be put together by the end of May.

In conjunction with these doors, Jeff Millerick has come up with some original door latches. These came from an NWP wooden caboose that had been found East of Fort Bragg, but had been burnt to the ground. Someone had taken the latches off however, and Jeff was able to acquire them. They’re old and used, but we think we can restore them for use on our caboose.

With the completion of work on the windows and the A-end roof, we’ll be moving to the B-end roof and the cupola. We’ve confirmed that there is some rot on that end also, both at the cupola and over the rear porch. The roof covering still needs to be removed and the rotted boards removed, which will occupy our only work day in May, the 12th (no work day Memorial Day Weekend.)

Bill Bradley, Angelo Figone and Bruce Evans ventured to Cloverdale on April 17th to give a presentation on the NWP to the Cloverdale Historical Society. Included was a slide show on NWP wooden cabooses and the Caboose 13 Restoration Project. The fifty in attendance enjoyed the presentation.

As always, the Caboose 13 Restoration Project can use help from Society members. For information, e-mail NWPRRHS Secretary or phone 707-568-3540. Or, for information on the caboose project, e-mail Preservation Committee


By Bruce P. Evans

We managed to get two good workdays in for March, although the 24th was cut an hour short when it started to rain. But good progress was made both days.

The roof boards on the A-end are all now back on, thanks to the efforts of Cliff Baumer and David Lightfoot. The cupola thru-bolts have been tightened and the front center bolt put back in so that we’re ready for new faceboards on the A-end. Before the faceboards go on, we’ll place some copper flashing that Jeff Millerick obtained for us. This is an addition that was not original, but should help to avoid the leakage and rot that has occurred in the past because this flashing was missing.

Hugh Metcalf and Bruce Evans sealed, glazed and primed windows on the 10th, and with the help of Don Brewer and Lou Spiros, four windows were installed on the 24th. We started installing trim, and realized that the sills are not typically NWP. So . . . back to the drawing board for the enth time. We’re going to flush the inside of the sill with the wall, place a flat sill against that with a trim board underneath. Will look much better and be close to prototypical.

Haven’t started the end doors yet- hope to do so in the next month or so.

Saturday the 24th was also a cleanup day in preparation for the caboose open house on March 31st. Jeff Millerick, Don Brewer and Lou Spiros all helped organize and sweep up the interior. We also got rid of a pile of junk outside. The caboose looks better on the inside than it has in years!

An open house was held at the caboose the afternoon of March 31st, with 22 visitors signing the guest book. Everyone showed interest in the project, and seemed to approve of the work completed to date.

A short presentation was made that evening at the Annual Awards Dinner, with a slide show showing our progress.

The photos that Doug Richter has provided in conjunction with the Richard Biermann collection have now been used for a visual display of almost 20 NWP wooden cabooses. This display was presented at the Annual Dinner. In the future, it will be part of a presentation at the Cloverdale Historical Society in April, the Annual NWP Reunion in August, and other events.

Many people have contributed financial donations to keep the caboose project moving. But others have also contributed materials and supplies. Jim Morris of Builders Glass in Ukiah has given us safety window glass at half price. Jeff Millerick continues to find little odds and ends for cabooses, and has manufactured two new conductor’s whistles and marker lamp brackets. Mike Pechner obtained two air hoses from the UP Oakland Maintenance Facility. Lou Spiros also obtained two air hoses, inspection books, air brake gaskets and filters and other small items.

Caboose 13 work days are the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month. NWPRRHS members are invited to participate- no special skills needed. For information, e-mail secretary@nwprrhs.org or phone 707-568-3540. Or, for information on the caboose project, e-mail preservation@nwprrhs.org.


By Bruce P. Evans

The rains came in February, which held up much of the work on the caboose. The caboose is now well covered with tarps, but work on the roof can’t progress when we can’t get to it. We have addressed a situation with the roof sheathing, wherein the original boards are about 1/16″ wider and thicker than standard lumber available today. We cut and spliced some boards to make up the difference in width, and will cut 1/16th out of the groove where new boards adjoin old so that they will sit down even on the underside.

Regardless, all this work on the roof awaits good weather.

We have removed and replaced the cross-nailer over the front roof joist in the cupola. Jeff Millerick has had some copper flashing made up which will go on under the face boards of the cupola and help preserve that area better in the future. The cross-nailer was made wider than original, so that it would go under two vertical posts in the cupola which had rotted off at the bottom.

After a false start on the windows, we now have nine new frames assembled and ready for glass and installation. We were initially going to set glass into the clear opening of the windows, holding the glass in with wood stops. This is how the caboose was when we acquired it, but after looking at other cabooses, we realized that all these cabooses originally had framed windows. So . . . . we got material and made up frames, which were assembled by Mike Holland and Bruce Evans at the Millerick Shop on the Feb. 14th work day.

With good weather, we should have the “A” end of the roof repaired and the lower windows in by the first of April.

Meanwhile, we’re getting ready to manufacture the two end doors (which were replaced with pocket doors sometime in the past.) Mike Holland and Bruce Evans made a trip to Caboose 14 at Foppiano Winery in Healdsburg, and took complete measurements of those doors�which are original style doors for these cabooses.

Doug Richter continues to conduct research, and in conjunction with Richard Biermann, has now provided additional photographs of NWP wooden cabooses to the Society.

A report on the caboose project will be provided at the Annual Banquet to be held in Santa Rosa on March 31st. For information on the banquet, e-mail secretary@nwprrhs.org or phone 707-568-3540.
For information on the caboose project, e-mail preservation@nwprrhs.org.


By Bruce P. Evans

Work on Caboose started officially on Saturday, January 6th! A crew of 7 started by removing the remainder of the roof covering on the “A” end. (The “A” end is the front, the “B” end is the rear.) This entailed also removing the roofwalk and the ladder. Jeff Millerick had to use a torch to loosen the nuts on the bolts so the ladder could be removed. The roofwalk bolts came off much more easily since they went through the roof and the roof joists and could be removed from the inside.

Upon removing the roofwalk and roof covering, we immediately noticed some conditions with the wood that was removed or uncovered. The roofwalk planks are in good condition and will be re-used. The supports under the roofwalk planks all have some rot and will be replaced. Several roof sheathing boards near the front of the cupola have rot and will be replaced. And the nail strip on the outside edge of the roof was so full of holes that it will need to be replaced.

Don Brewer and Mike Meyer started prepping the windows of the “A” end to receive new sills and glass.

While the rest of the crew were working up above, Lou Spiros was inspecting the undercarriage portion of the caboose. Lou is a retired SP car inspector, and knows his business. He found, in general, that the mechanical portions of the caboose are in good condition, and with some repairs, the caboose should be able to run again with little problem. The draft gear was new in 1956, and the caboose appears to have been retired very shortly after this was installed.

The Jan. 6 crew consisted of Cliff Baumer, Don Brewer, Bruce Evans, David Lightfoot, Mike Meyer, Jeff Millerick and Lou Spiros.

On Jan. 13th, a crew of Gary Anderson, Cliff Baumer, Don Brewer, Bruce Evans, Mike Holland, David Lightfoot, Hugh Metcalf and Jeff Millerick spent the day removing rotted wood from the “A” end roof in front of the cupola, the sheathing on the front of the cupola, and the lower cross brace at the cupola front. Work also continued on prepping the windows, and the “B” end ladder and roofwalk were removed.

Doug Richter has continued working behind the scenes, coming up with new photos of NWP Cabooses 11 and 14, which will be added to the Society archives. Doug has now been able to confirm that the change from the 6000 series numbers on NWP cabooses, to the single-digit system occurred sometime during or immediately prior to 1948.

Donations have continued to trickle in, but much more financial support will be needed so that work can continue on Caboose 13. If you can help with financial or material donations, please e-mail the Preservation Committee.

If you want to work on the Caboose, please e-mail the Preservation Committee. Note: Our Society policy is that you must be a member to participate in work crews.

January 6, 2001 work crew on restoration of Caboose #13

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