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New Haven Caboose

New Haven Caboose C-591

Length: 75’-0
Weight: 78 tons
Built: Standard Steel Car Co., 1927

The caboose was once found on the end of every freight train in America. It was the office for the conductor and his paperwork, and also carried the five-man crew then required. The caboose was also “home-away-from-home” for crews on runs that would take them far away from their home terminal. With reductions in crew, the need for cabooses diminished and most were eliminated from American railroads by the end of the 1980s.

New Haven caboose C-591 is a former New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad class NE-5 Caboose. It was built March 10, 1943 at the Pullman-Standard (former Osgood-Bradley) plant in Worcester, MA. At one time during its life, C-591 was assigned to the New Haven’s experimental "Trailiner" piggy-back service and wore a special paint scheme and lettering. Of the two cabooses assigned to that service, C-591 is the last remaining.

After the New Haven Railroad was absorbed into the Penn Central in 1969, the caboose was re-designated as class NE-6 and renumbered 19841. BSRM purchased the caboose from successor Conrail in 1987 and restored to its New Haven appearance by our museum volunteers.

Tour our restored caboose, on display outside Lenox Station. See the conductor’s desk, where he kept track of his train’s paperwork. Climb into the cupola, and imagine you’re the brakeman keeping watch over your train. See the stove that warmed the caboose and kept the coffee pot hot. Sit in the bunks that offered weary workers a precious few hours of rest. All aboard!

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