California's Railroad to the U.S. 1861 - 1996

   Search this site or the web powered by FreeFind
Site search Web search
Model Train Help EBook

San Bruno branch caboose

RPO #475

40ft. Steel Postal Car - Class 40-P-1 C.S. 222

Copyright Alan Radecki - 'caboose' #475

This 'caboose' is mentioned in the 1981 Southern Pacific Review by Joe Strapac, and photos appear on pages 39 and 41.

From the SP Mailing List, the following people contributed further info:

From: Tony Johnson

It was a 1911 Pullman, RPO-baggage car SP6011, later to become "caboose" SP475. I used to watch this old Harriman while working across the tracks at Bethlehem Steel in S.S.F. It was a real "shorty". It was a regular on the San Bruno branch local. Don't know how long it is, though. Fifty-feet, maybe? It is now the property of the Pacific Coast Chapter - R&LHS.

From: Andy Peerand

Was the regular caboose on the daily train to Daly City. Its number was 475. It is now in storage at CSRM.

It was an 40' ex-RPO baggage car. ex-TNO I think, but I'm not sure. The baggage door was closed up and window installed there on both sides. The RPO door remained. The car is in storage at Sacramento and I don't know if it's available for public viewing.

From: Kenneth Harrison

It is 40'1" over end sills, according to the 1929 CS Passenger Train Cars diagram book.

Incidentally, that same diagram book shows the car as built in 1909 as a 40-P-1, as one of the group 4239-4241. The 1933 drawing revision shows it as converted to postal storage, which is undoubtedly (but not provable by me) why it was renumbered to 6011.

And the definitive history from Kyle Wyatt

This car was built in 1911 as Houston & Texas Central (later T&NO) 251 (or 250). It was one of 5 class 40-P-1 40 foot full RPO cars built in that year for the Texas Lines of SP. Others were H&TC 250 (or 251), ML&T 191-192, and LW 193.

Three similar cars were built for the Pacific Lines in 1909 as SP 4239-4241. These three were later transferred to SP de M. Union Pacific also had several of these cars built in 1909 (UP 2021 and several others). All of these cars remained as full RPO cars. There is a Pullman builder's photo of a UP car available from the Smithsonian.

The five Texas Lines cars were converted to baggage - 15 foot RPO cars in the 1920s. H&TC 250-251 were converted in June 1925. The Texas Lines were consolidated under the T&NO name in 1931, with cars retaining their numbers. Most were converted to baggage-express service, with the mail compartment removed.

LW/T&NO 193 was sold to the Yosemite Valley RR as #107 in 1938. It went to the Virginia & Truckee as #23 in 1946. It is presently preserved by the Pacific Locomotive Association, painted as YV #107.

ML&T/T&NO 191-192 remained on the Texas Lines and were eventually scrapped there.

H&TC/T&NO 250-251 were transferred to the Pacific Lines in 1944, renumbered as 6008-6009. It is unclear which Texas Lines car received which Pacific Lines number, although it seems likely that they were renumbered in sequence. The cars were used frequently on the San Francisco Peninsula.

SP 6008 became (MofW?) caboose 2132 in 1956, and was retired in Merced in 1964.

SP 6009 became caboose 475 in 1956 and was used as a transfer caboose on the San Bruno branch. It was retired in 1972 and acquired by the Pacific Coast chapter, R&LHS. In 1979 it was purchased by the California State Railroad Museum. It was originally planned to restore it as a baggage-RPO for the museum, but the GN RPO was acquired and was nearly complete, so that car went into the museum. SP 6009 remains stored, and is not on display. The number SP 6009 was found on the car body by the museum during paint research.

Kyle K. Williams Wyatt
Curator of Railroad Operations
California State Railroad Museum

The Southern Pacific Historical and Technical Society has a book for sale: "Diagrams Common Standard Passenger Train Cars Southern Pacific Lines" which has a side elevation, floor plan and dimensional data for this car in its original configuration on pages 68 and 68a.

Home Steam Loco Index SP MoW Index Diesel Loco Index Diesel Roster Index
Freight Car Index Passenger Car Index Structure Index Depot Index
Feed Back Caboose Index DRGW Index Miscellaneous Freight Car Spec Sheets
Data Index PicIndex Diesel Model Info
website logo for use in banner exchange [185 x 50] (5k) This document prepared and maintained by Richard.A.Percy.
All Corrections, Additions and Flames should be aimed at Richard Percy
This document © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008. Richard.A.Percy

Sunday, August 02, 1998 3:25:54 PM