• Something strange on the Charlotte branch (1966)

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by BR&P
Crappy pic, interesting story.

Back in spring 1966 the NYC First Belt went north past Barnards one morning. I soon got a call from forumite C2629, whose house had a view of the tracks. Either he, or another of our friends, had seen the train and said there was some strange car just ahead of the caboose, possibly a green snow flanger.

The third guy had a car and picked us up and we headed north, knowing the Belt would be stopped to switch Folding Box. Sure enough, just about at the end of Boxart Street sat the rear of the train. We walked up and looked at the thing. It was shiny and brand new, but it had no flanger blades and there was no indication of what its purpose was.

I looked at the number...18046...and suddenly it hit me. "I'll tell you what it is - it's a ******* caboose!" We stared in disbelief - a caboose should be wood, or at least steel and LOOK LIKE a caboose. This strange thing had platforms you could put a picnic bench on! And deep down I think at that moment we knew the time was running out for the classic old wood NYC cabooses we were used to.

That caboose was apparently being sent around for the crews to check out and maybe give input on, in case the union had objections or something. It did not go into service here, and for a few more years the wooden cabs held on. But the handwriting was on the wall.

As I study the photo, it does not look like the Box Shop to me. It suggests Kodak and I'm guessing they had the new caboose again the next day and one of us went up and took the picture. Maybe C2629 recalls which of us took the shot, and where?
NYC 18046.jpg
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