One of the Santa Fe's earliest steel cabooses that replaced fire-prone wooden ones in mainline service, this car was modernized in California in its later years with many crew-safety features.

Originally built in 1949, this riveted steel car has a radial (rounded) roof, awnings over the cupola side windows, wood rooftop walkways, and handrails on the cupola roof. It originally had Bettendorf Swing Motion trucks, an Integral Box Cast Steel side frame, Ajax brakes, Eagle Estate stove, Giessel water cooler, oil lamps, five left and three right side windows, and was painted Mineral brown with white lettering. It was numbered ATSF # 530.

In early 1970, it was rebuilt into a Class Ce-2 caboose at the Santa Fe shops in San Bernardino, CA. An 18" shock control under- frame made at Santa Fe's Topeka, KS shops and an oil-burning stove were installed. One left and two right side windows were replaced with expensive sealed FRA thermo-pane windows, and the other side windows plated over (keeping costs down), for crew safety. High-back conductor's and cupola seats were also installed, the cupola ones seatbelt-equipped. The car was painted Santa Fe's Indian red with black roof & under frame and white lettering. One of 223 cars rebuilt into the Ce-2 Class (#999315-999537), it was renumbered ATSF #999474. The "999" differentiated it from other cars with similar numbers for computerized reporting. The full number was painted on its sides, and in 1974 "474" without "999" was painted in white on the cupola ends and inside the car. Assigned to Santa Fe's Coast Lines, it may have served in other areas as well.

About 1977, new Gould-Barber-Bettendorf roller-bearing trucks and a 12-volt electrical system (with alternator mounted on the rear truck frame) were installed. The then 28-year-old way car was equipped with an electric refrigerator, interior lights, and red lights on the bottom of the roof at each end. In August 1981, ATSF #999474 was repainted Indian red including its roof at the San Bernardino shops. The under frame remained black, the lettering and railings white. A yellow stripe and a huge Santa Fe emblem were added on each side, along with four small white reflector strips.

In 1989, ATSF # 999474 was retired by the Santa Fe. Later, that year in March, the caboose was purchased by the Chandler Wheel Museum of Oxnard, California, where the caboose was restored. In July 1995, the 999474 was sold to the Ventura County Railway of Oxnard, where it was never used.

In 2002, the caboose was donated to the Santa Clara River Valley Railroad Historical Society of Fillmore, California, after the death of Bud Smith, owner of Ventura County Railway. With the cooperation of Ventura County Railway, Union Pacific Railroad, and the Fillmore & Western Railway, the caboose arrived in Fillmore in October 2002. Jeffrey Trimble

This page was created on July 6, 2004
and was last updated on July 6, 2004