Between 1966 and 1968, Santa Fe's West Wichita shops upgraded 315 all-steel cabooses for
mainline pool service. Previously, cabooses had been assigned to individual crews, and
were changed at every crew change point. Labor agreements reached in the 1960's allowed
cabooses to run-through, but also required certain upgrades. The Ce-1's were equipped with
cushion underframes and sealed windows in place of the old, sliding kind originally found on
the cars. Taking the cupola end as the rear, the three windows on the right side of the car
were initially retained, while the five windows on the left were reduced to four.
Within a few years, the arrangement was changed to just two on the right and one on the left.
Car 999300 above shows the original scheme applied to the cars, which featured a black roof
and stylized Santa Fe emblem reflectors along the bottom edge. The large numbers on the
cupola were added in the mid-1970's. This particular car was rebuilt from ATSF 596, the
fourth-to-last caboose built new by the Santa Fe in 1949. Note that the roof comes to a
point, compared to the radial roofs of the earlier ATSF and AC&F-built cars.|
Car 999192 below illustrates the later scheme used on Santa Fe pool cabooses, with a red roof and simple white rectangular reflectors. Time was running out for the 999192 as it tagged along on a caboose-hop behind SD26 4611 and GP35 2809 in August 1984. Within months, the Santa Fe would begin cabooseless operations systemwide, and waycar use would decline precipitously. The 999192 was sold to Pacific Rail Dismantling in 1989. The car managed to outlive the lead locomotive of the consist pictured, though; in 1984, the 4611 was less than a year away from meeting its fate at Pielet Brothers in McCook, IL.
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