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”
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 Tom Fuchs, September 7, 2006
1. The Bowie Caboose Marker
Inscription. 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 to rest and eat for the crew working on a freight train. Also, lanterns called “marker lights” indicated the end of a passing train, and served as a warning to approaching trains that came up the track.

The crew could sit in upper level seats with a view of the length of a freight train from the cupola, the raised viewing area on the roof. The interior of the caboose provided a toilet and wash basin, a coal stove for heat and cooking, two oil lamps for light, an ice box, and two sets of upper and lower bunks.

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. It sat in Allen Pond Park, suffered a fire in the late 1970s, and was relocated to this museum in 2000, and restored on the exterior.

This photograph appeared in Trains and Travel magazine, March 1953, and shows a Norfolk & Western caboose just
Bowie Caboose and Tower image. Click for full size.
By Michael Stroud, June 13, 2007
2. Bowie Caboose and Tower
south of Bowie on track located off of the Pope’s Creek line of the Pennsylvania Railroad.

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.
 
Location. Marker has been reported missing. It was located near 39° 0.439′ N, 76° 46.75′ W. Marker was in Bowie, Maryland, in Prince George's County. Marker could be reached from Chestnut Avenue near 11th Street (Maryland Route 564). Touch for map. Marker is at the Bowie Railroad Museum. Marker was 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 location, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named The Bowie Caboose (here, next to this marker); From Huntington to Bowie - The History (here, next to this marker); Bowie Railroad Station Museum (here, next to this marker); Bowie State University (approx.
Norfolk and Western #518-303 "The Bowie Caboose" image. Click for full size.
By Michael Stroud, June 13, 2007
3. Norfolk and Western #518-303 "The Bowie Caboose"
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). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bowie.
 
Categories. Railroads & Streetcars
 
Caboose Delivery, 1972 image. Click for full size.
By The Bowie Caboose Marker
4. Caboose Delivery, 1972
Caboose being brought to Bowie using a trailer and crane, 1972
Close-up of photo on marker
Hilda Richstone image. Click for full size.
By The Bowie Caboose Marker
5. Hilda Richstone
Hilda Richstone presenting the caboose to the City of Bowie in 1972
Close-up of photo on marker
Norfolk & Western Railroad caboose south of Bowie, 1953 image. Click for full size.
By The Bowie Caboose Marker
6. Norfolk & Western Railroad caboose south of Bowie, 1953
Close-up of photo on marker
Conrail Caboose image. Click for full size.
By The Bowie Caboose Marker
7. Conrail Caboose
Conrail Caboose traveling down the Pope's Creek line near Bowie,circa 1980
Close-up of photo on marker
Orginal Floorplan for N&W Caboose 518-303 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 21, 2013
8. Orginal Floorplan for N&W Caboose 518-303
From a display inside the Railroad Museum
Caboose Coupler image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 21, 2013
9. Caboose Coupler
A Janney coupler on the Bowie Caboose.
The Bowie Caboose marker<br>Indoors image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 21, 2013
10. The Bowie Caboose marker
Indoors
The marker is now inside the Old Town Bowie Welcome Center at 8606 Chestnut Ave Bowie, MD 20715.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 24, 2006, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,804 times since then and 63 times this year. Last updated on May 18, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. Photos:   1. submitted on October 24, 2006, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.   2, 3. submitted on December 20, 2007, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on May 18, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement