Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Preparing the Caboose for Moving

A few years ago, the Collection's Committee of the Connecticut Trolley Museum voted to look into acquiring the ex-Bangor & Aroostook Caboose out of Mansfield Depot, CT. The caboose was moved down to Mansfield Depot to be used as part of the Depot Restaurant. The entire interior of the caboose was gutted and refurbished as a restaurant room. Unfortunately, the restaurant suffered a devastating fire in July of 2003. The depot burned to the ground, but the caboose was saved. It has sat vacant since then. The idea behind acquiring this caboose was to use it for birthday parties and other functions.

Xian Clere took on the project of finding the owners of the caboose and leading the acquisition. Early this year, he found out that the caboose and property was owned by Canadian National Railroad. In February, we went to visit the caboose and took measurements and checked it out.

At the end of July, we received word from CN that the caboose was ours for a small sum and that we had to have the caboose removed by the end of August. This put the caboose project on the fast track.

Xian and I were able to get over there to begin cleaning up the area around the caboose to get it moved. We have removed a few small trees that were in the way, weed-whacked, and cleaned up a lot of broken glass and other trash. This week we will be getting a truck to move some of the materials inside the caboose and underneath it. We need to empty the caboose of the tables & chairs, and remove the air conditioning unit, battery box, & step wells. We will also need to disassemble the electrical shack that is attached to the side of the caboose. Luckily, the power has been disconnected so everything is dead.

Once the caboose arrives on the property, it will need the wooden siding replaced and windows replaced. The end that was attached to the depot will need a little more work because it suffered some minor fire damage. It is also missing the end platform, step wells, and ladders.

We still need money to accomplish this. Please consider making a donation to the BAR Mansfield Depot Fund. Donations may be mailed to Connecticut Trolley Museum, PO Box 360, East Windsor, CT, 06088.

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