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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Bowie in Prince George's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Bowie Caboose

 
 
The Bowie Caboose Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 21, 2013
1. The Bowie Caboose Marker
Inscription. This is the former Norfolk and Western Railroad's CF Class Caboose #518-303. It was built at the N&W East End Shops in Roanoke, Virginia, in April 1922. The N&W did not serve Bowie but did enter Maryland at Hagerstown. After nearly fifty years of service she was retired to a scrap yard, but rescued, and given to the city of Bowie in 1972. She sat in Allen Pond Park, suffered a fire in the late70s, and was relocated to this museum in 2000, then restored on the exterior.

It would appear that our caboose has a historic connection to the Bowie area and the Pope's Creek Railroad line running from Bowie to Southern Maryland.

While not conclusive, it is interesting that this is the same class caboose as the Bowie Railroad Station Museum's piece, and is very likely the Bowie Caboose after it saw active service on the N&W. By this era, the Pennsylvania Railroad Company controlled the Norfolk and Western.

Did You Know?

A caboose was the accustomed conclusion to any freight train and served many roles. It allowed crewmen to keep a lookout for how the freight cars were functioning as the train moved along. It provided a place for the crew working on a freight train to rest and eat. Also, lanterns call "marker lights" indicated the end of a passing train and served as a warning to approaching trains
The Bowie Caboose Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 21, 2013
2. The Bowie Caboose Marker
that came up the track.

The crew could sit and view the length of a freight train through the windows in the cupola, the raised viewing area on the roof. The interior of the caboose provided a toilet and washbasin, a coal stove for heat and cooking, two oil lamps for light, an ice box, and two sets of upper and lower bunks.
 
Erected by Olde Town Bowie.
 
Location. 39° 0.439′ N, 76° 46.75′ W. Marker is in Bowie, Maryland, in Prince George's County. Marker is on Chestnut Avenue just north of 11th Street (Maryland Route 564). Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bowie MD 20715, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. From Huntington to Bowie - The History (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named The Bowie Caboose (here, next to this marker but has been reported missing); Bowie Railroad Station Museum (here, next to this marker); Bowie State University (approx. 1.2 miles away); Jay Norwood "Ding" Darling Conservation Trail (approx. 1.7 miles away); Conservation Leaders (approx. 1.7 miles away); Holy Trinity Church (approx. 2.4 miles away); William Levitt and Sons, Belair-at-Bowie (approx. 2.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Bowie.
 
Categories. Railroads & Streetcars
 
N&W Caboose, 1953 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 21, 2013
3. N&W Caboose, 1953
This photograph appeared in Trains and Travel Magazine, March 1953, and shows a Norfolk & Western caboose just south of Bowie on the Navy wye located off the Pope's Creek line of the Pennsylvania Railroad.
Detail of photo on marker
Caboose at Allen Pond Park image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 21, 2013
4. Caboose at Allen Pond Park
Detail of photo on marker
Caboose fire damage before restoration image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 21, 2013
5. Caboose fire damage before restoration
Close-up of photo from a display inside the Caboose
The Bowie Caboose image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 21, 2013
6. The Bowie Caboose
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 371 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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