Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Portola in Plumas County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Western Pacific Railroad 428

Steel Bay Window Caboose

 
 
Western Pacific Railroad 428 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 22, 2016
1. Western Pacific Railroad 428 Marker
Inscription.  WP 428 was part of Western Pacific's first order for steel body cabooses. Before this, all cabooses on the railroad were wood bodied with steel underframes. The railroad liked these cars so much that all future cabooses on the WP were built by the same company, International Car, and all shared a very similar design.

The 428 and her sisters continued the "bay window" design of the railroad's later wooden cabooses. A bay window differs from a "traditional" cupola caboose by having large bays on either side of the body's center. Instead of riding on top of the car in a cupola, crew members sat in the extended bays. Bay window cabooses first appeared on American railroads in the early 1920's. Western Pacific built their first bay window caboose in 1942.

At one time, the caboose was the conductor's and trainmen's home away from home, where they slept and cooked meals until called for the return trip. In the 1960's, the railroads started running cabooses through terminals and the train crews were put up in motels and hotels. The need for sleeping bunks and food preparation areas was eliminated and cabooses began to lose some of their
Western Pacific Caboose #428 & Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 22, 2016
2. Western Pacific Caboose #428 & Marker
(bay window visible on side)
purpose. By the 1980's, technology allowed remote sensing of many aspects of the train, ending the last duties of the rear end crew. Conductors began riding in locomotive cabs and cabooses, with only a few exceptions, were retired.

builder • International Car Co.
built • November 1955
type • Steel Bay Window
length • 37' 0" overall
operating weight • 49,500 lbs
acquisition • donated by Union Pacific
 
Erected by Western Pacific Railroad Museum.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Railroads & Streetcars.
 
Location. 39° 48.224′ N, 120° 28.629′ W. Marker is in Portola, California, in Plumas County. Marker can be reached from Western Pacific Way ¼ mile west of Main Street. Marker and caboose are located in the Western Pacific Railroad Museum yard. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 700 Western Pacific Way, Portola CA 96122, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Western Pacific Railroad 484 (a few steps from this marker); Western Pacific Railroad 925-C (within shouting distance of this marker); Western Pacific Railroad 501 (within shouting distance of this marker); Sacramento Northern Railway 712 (within shouting distance of this marker); Western Pacific Railroad 805-A
Paid Advertisement
Click on the ad for more information.
Please report objectionable advertising to the Editor.
(within shouting distance of this marker); Southern Pacific Railroad MW208 (within shouting distance of this marker); Central California Traction Company 24 (within shouting distance of this marker); Union Pacific Railroad 6946 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Portola.
 
Also see . . .
1. The International Car Co., once a leading maker of railroad cabooses... (Feb 15, 1983) International Car was founded in Kenton in 1924 as the New City Car Co. and began specializing in cabooses in 1941. As recently as 1981, the plant employed nearly 200 workers, but most of the work force was laid off when the closing was announced this week by Paccar, International Car's parent firm. (Submitted on December 26, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Western Pacific Caboose #428 photo gallery. (Submitted on December 26, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 27, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 25, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 31 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 26, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Paid Advertisement
Mar. 6, 2021