Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Rutland Ry. Caboose # 45


Rutland Ry. Caboose 
at Center Rutland, Vermont 
Re-post of April 6, 2012

I made a stop by Center Rutland, Vermont to take a look at Rutland Ry. #45. The last time I saw #45 it was in the early 1990's while on a Rutland Railroad Historical Society convention tour of Leicester Jct. At that time it was lettered VTR #3 and owned by a retired VTR conductor who started railroading on the Rutland Ry. Today it is looking tired but there appears to be some effort being made to protect old #45 by the Rutland Railway Association at their museum site.

For the modelers, Bill Badger has done a scale drawing of this caboose for the RRHS back in the late 1980's. There also has been a brass model made that may be found at RR shows or on line.

Rutland Ry. caboose #45 was built in June 1924 as #95 and renumbered as #45 five months later. Rutland #45 saw most of its service on the Ogdensburg Division, the old O&LC. In the early 1950's #45 was assigned to the Alburgh, Vt. to Norwood, NY freight. By 1960 Rutland #45 was assigned to the Alburgh to Rutland freight and could also be seen on the Vergennes, Vermont local.

Rutland Ry. #45 was kept in good repair through the years and was one of the better riding cabooses. In the mid 1960's the VTR had acquired the caboose and repainted and renumbered it VTR #3. In the mid 1970's it was retired with the arrival of newer steel cabooses. If you look in Rails Beyond the Rutland, Carstens Publication you can see #45 in it's last Rutland Ry paint scheme, green and yellow.

On to my next stop...George.

The caboose appears to have been repainted not that long ago. The cupola must be leaking as it is now covered with a tarp. The steps at the cupola end are in bad shape and probably would not hold much weight.


  1. George,
    Thank you stopping by the Rutland Railway Museum in earlier years. Since your last visit,
    our organization went through quite a few changes. We had an administrative change with a positive result. Currently, the 45 is being carefully looked at to preserve what there is to make "her" presentable for visitors in upcoming months. Work is underway with making the cupola weather tight as possible. All the work is being done with a skeleton crew of myself and one of the officers from the Rutland Railway Association. There's a lot
    of good surprises found in the caboose. Lots of the original details are still intact. And yes
    there's some water issues found along the way. The roof needs to be re-covered with something other than a blue tarp. We are looking at roofing membrane to reduce the water seepage to a minimum. The cupola has structural damage. With common sense and
    some level of woodworking sense; 45 could be cosmetically saved in some form or another. We lack volunteers and new "blood" to join our group. 45 is only one of many
    projects that need to be put in place. Funding is always an issue and that area is a sensitive topic with railway preservation in many places. The good news, at the end of this month in April; the Rutland Railway Historical Society will be visiting the depot and #45
    on a private tour of the facilities. #45 will be open for inspection to the members of the
    RRHS. I will be there on call for the day. Along with a few of our members leading a guide
    tour of our complex. The Rutland Railroad Museum is a diamond in the rough.

    1. Hi John:
      Good to hear from you and the update of the caboose and some point I hope to get back to the Rutland area...George

  2. Good news with the Rutland C-45 at Rutland Railway Association, Center Rutland, VT
    The group is in pre-contract with a local roofing company in the area. They've worked
    on several retired wooden caboose roofs in the region. Most of the survivors are either in
    private collections or used as a hunting camp. #45 will have a new rubber membrane covering replacing the aging "blue tarp". We hope to have the caboose stabilized before
    the winter sets in. It will give us a great start to make #45 an adventure for museum visitors to see the interior of a vintage 1924 wooden caboose. John Schaub