Chesapeake & Ohio Caboose Restored in West Virginia

The newly restored C&O caboose at Cass, W.V. Photo by Ross Harrison. 

Chesapeake & Ohio Caboose Restored in West Virginia

By Justin Franz

A historic Chesapeake & Ohio caboose is ready to roll in a fresh coat of paint thanks to the efforts of a railroad and a historical society. 

The Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad teamed up with the Chesapeake & Ohio Historical Society to restore a wood caboose at the Cass Scenic Railroad to its late 1950s appearance. The caboose, previously Cass 50, also got its original C&O number back, 90788. The K3-3 class caboose will mostly be on display at Cass but will also be run for photo charters and other special events. The caboose now wears yellow paint and C&O’s iconic “For Progress” logo. D&GB employee Billy Cassell lettered the car by hand. 

D&GV employees painted the caboose using diagrams and other drawings from the historical society’s archives. C&OHS Founder Thomas W. Dixon, Jr. said the newly restored caboose will give visitors a taste of West Virginia railroading the way it was six decades ago.

“It is very difficult to get a restoration ‘just right,’ but the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad’s work in refurbishing, painting and lettering this car is simply superb,” Dixon said. “Seeing it is a true trip back to 1956 Appalachian railroading! It is just the way it must have looked when it rolled out of C&O shops in its last paint scheme, ready for ten more years of work before being sold to Cass Scenic Railroad.”

The caboose was built in 1924 and repainted yellow in the late 1950s. The caboose was in work train service until 1966 when it was sold to the State of West Virginia for use at the Cass Scenic.  

This article was posted on: May 6, 2020