P&SR #1

Introduction and History of CABOOSE 1

Research indicates that the history of P&SR No. 1 started in the Sacramento Shops of the Central Pacific in 1899 when the caboose was first built. The construction drawings that the Society has obtained for a CS-15 style caboose match. We found SP No. 272 on one end and on the frame of the caboose. Records indicate that SP No. 272 was retired in 1932, later reconditioned and sent to SP subsidiary P&SR as their first No. 1 in 1934. The NWPRRHS has pictures of the caboose in service dated from early 1939 through the 1940s. It was retired and taken off the property in January of 1958.

A picture from Frank Maffei shows the caboose in front of Colonial Drive-in in San Mateo. We do not know why it was parked there. It next turned up as an office for a used car lot along the El Camino Real in San Mateo. With CalTrain’s planned elevation of the tracks in the late 1980s, the used car lot was in the way. The caboose was saved and moved to a warehouse in Hunters Point, the home of the Golden Gate Railroad Museum. The museum was forced to leave Hunters Point when the Navy and the City of San Francisco decided to redevelop the area. That’s when the NWPRRHS stepped in and in January of 2005, the caboose was returned to Petaluma.

Upon arrival in Petaluma the NWPRRHS began the process of determining what needed to be done to rehabilitate the caboose. Reconstruction began in April of 2005 with a lot of demolition and removal of many rotten wood parts. What we have today is the result of some 2,500 hours of volunteer time and a considerable amount of donated money.