Tuesday, July 31, 2012

BNSF Caboose 12622

There's something very nostalgic about a caboose. I love to watch trains and miss those unique final cars. The caboose was a required for safety until the 1980s. It provided shelter for the crew, gave easy access to the rails for switching, and was a place for the conductor to complete travel records.

With the advent of modern technology, companies convinced officials that cabooses were non-essential. Their elimination was mainly for cost savings.

I've seen two old Burlington Northern Santa Fe cabooses here in Bellingham. The first was BNSF 10792 on September 10, 2011. It's been sitting on a side rail for quite some time. On July 24, 2012, I saw BNSF Caboose 12622 on a siding along Marine Drive just north of Downtown Bellingham.

Online I've been able to research a bit of her history. She was built in 1969 for the Great Northern Railway as caboose GN X-142. After the merger in 1970 to create Burlington Northern, she became BN 10062, and with the creation Burlington Northern Santa Fe in 1996, she became BNSF 12622. Here's some of her rolling history.

1/1981 in St. Louis MO as BN 10062.
3/1972 in Auburn WA as BN 10062.
8/1996 in La Crosee WI looking fresh and clean.
9/2006 in Spokane WA with, only a little graffiti.
12/2007 in Tacoma WA with history info.
5/2008 in Tacoma WA with new paint.
6/2008 in Seattle WA still working.
11/2008 in Martin WA still working, more graffiti.

The history of Bellingham is linked with trains. At the end of the 19th Century, regional lines were built to encourage economic development and to transport natural resources to market. Head on over to the Bellingham Railway Museum for more information. -- Margy

6 comments:

  1. They should have a caboose museum.

    Cheers from Bohol, Philippines. Visiting from SKYWATCH.

    http://turningboholano.blogspot.com/2012/08/weather-report-howling-winds-at-panglao.html

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  2. Interesting history. I didn't know what had happened to cabooses. We do have a caboose in a museum here in Selma, and there was a caboose museum in the small town where I grew up.

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  3. Tito - I agree with you. It appears from Rambling's post that there is one somewhere in the States. I know some have been convered into unique homes. I would love that too. - Margy

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  4. I, too, have always had a soft spot for cabooses. I guess practicality wins every time, but I miss that romantic charm. Very interesting post!

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  5. Cabooses are a new concept for me, not something we have over here. But they look great and full of character xxx

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