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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Roanoke, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Virginian Railway Caboose #321

 
 
Virginian Railway Caboose #321 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, April 24, 2021
1. Virginian Railway Caboose #321 Marker
Inscription.  
Manufacturer: St. Louis Car Company, St. Louis, Missouri, 1949
Length: 14 feet 10.5 inches
Observation: Cupola
Construction: Steel
Class: Virginian C-10/N&W C-30

A caboose was a rail crew car located at the end of a freight train. They also served as the conductor's office. The first crew cars were modified boxcars or flatbed cars. Later they became specialized vehicles, often with raised cupolas or side projections. Cabooses typically included sleeping and cooking facilities although most crews opted to stay in railroad-owned hotels by the 1940s.

Cabooses were used on freight trains until the 1980s, when they were phased out due to improved safety technology. Cabooses are now used on rail maintenance or hazardous materials trains or on heritage and tourist railroads.

This Virginian Railway Caboose was one of 25 of its class (#300-324). This car originally had four bunks and a coal stove. It was converted in 1979 to propane gas heat, and all but one of the bunks was removed. The Norfolk & Western (N&W) Railway Company acquired the car in 1959

Virginian Railway Caboose #321 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, April 24, 2021
2. Virginian Railway Caboose #321 Marker
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when the Virginian Railway merged with N&W. It was repainted in the N&W paint scheme and renumbered to #530321 in the 1960s. It was repainted again in the Virginian paint scheme and number by the museum in 1983, and was restored once more in 2013-2014.
 
Erected by Virginia Museum of Transportation, Inc.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Railroads & Streetcars. A significant historical year for this entry is 1949.
 
Location. 37° 16.384′ N, 79° 56.802′ W. Marker is in Roanoke, Virginia. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Norfolk Avenue Southwest and 3rd Street Southwest, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 303 Norfolk Ave SW, Roanoke VA 24016, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Virginian Class SA #4 (here, next to this marker); Mining Train (a few steps from this marker); Norfolk & Western EMD GP9 #521 (a few steps from this marker); Norfolk & Western EMD SD45 #1776 (within shouting distance of this marker); Norfolk & Western ALCO C630 Diesel-Electric #1135 (within shouting distance of this marker); Norfolk Southern Research Car #31 (within shouting distance of this marker); Trailer Train Flatcar #470534 and Sea-Land Containers
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(within shouting distance of this marker); Chesapeake Western DS-4-4-660 #662 (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Roanoke.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 30, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 30, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 40 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 30, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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May. 14, 2021