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Spencer in Rowan County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Norfolk & Western Caboose 555012

 
 
Norfolk & Western Caboose 555012 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, December 29, 2016
1. Norfolk & Western Caboose 555012 Marker
Inscription.
Builder: International Car Company, Kenton, Ohio
Date Complete: April 1976
Cost: $45,000
Built as: Norfolk & Western Railway 555012

In 1976 the Norfolk & Western Railway (N&W) placed an order for one hundred new cabooses with the International Car Company. Cabooses from that order, of which the museum's 555012 is one, were the last cabooses for the N&W.

The car's configuration and appointments came directly from the company catalog and are typical of the last generation of cabooses built for America's railroads.

Cabooses often were assigned to specific train crews and replaced on a train when the crew changed. This caboose, however, was a pool caboose: it stayed on the train even when the crews changed. That arrangement saved time, and crews received extra pay to serve on pool cabooses.

The color of 555012 probably reflects tradition rather than function. In the early days engineer could glance back at his train and easily spot a red caboose. Spying the car meant the train had not accidentally split in two.

The car was retired in 1990 after only fourteen years of service. Electronic devices that monitor brake pressure and unsafe conditions had made cabooses obsolete. Norfolk Southern donated 555012 to the museum in July 1990.


 
Location.
Norfolk & Western Caboose 555012 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, December 29, 2016
2. Norfolk & Western Caboose 555012 Marker
35° 41.208′ N, 80° 26.163′ W. Marker is in Spencer, North Carolina, in Rowan County. Marker can be reached from South Salisbury Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is located on the grounds of the NC Transportation Museum. Marker is at or near this postal address: 411 S Salisbury Ave, Spencer, NC 28159, Spencer NC 28159, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Spencer Shops Roundhouse and Turntable (within shouting distance of this marker); Southern Public Utilities Co. 1927 Streetcar #85 (within shouting distance of this marker); The Muscle of Spencer Shops (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Town of Spencer (about 500 feet away); Historic Spencer Shops (approx. 0.2 miles away); Food Lion LLC (approx. 0.2 miles away); Food Lion Trailer No. 893615 (approx. 0.2 miles away); Magnetic Signal Company (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Spencer.
 
Regarding Norfolk & Western Caboose 555012. Caboose #555012 was not on display at the time. Another N&W caboose (#518641), perhaps similar, can be seen in a submitted photo.
 
Categories. Railroads & Streetcars
 
Norfolk & Western Caboose 555012 Marker - right panel image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, December 29, 2016
3. Norfolk & Western Caboose 555012 Marker - right panel
right photo caption
No. 555012 undergoes restoration in the Spencer paint shop prior to its move to the roundhouse.
left photo caption
A sister car to the museum's caboose is shown in Fremont, Ohio, in July 1979.
Howard W. Ameling photo
Norfolk & Western Caboose 555012 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, December 29, 2016
4. Norfolk & Western Caboose 555012 Marker
Norfolk & Western Caboose 518641 image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, December 29, 2016
5. Norfolk & Western Caboose 518641
Not Caboose 555012, but perhaps similar.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 22, 2017. This page originally submitted on June 22, 2017, by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This page has been viewed 67 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on June 22, 2017, by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
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