Yesterday, we added the newest car to our collection: Soo Line Caboose 117. This car is not only the most recently acquired item in our collection, but by far the newest item in our collection.
The caboose was built in 1973 by the International Car Company, part of a set of 90 cabooses. At the time it entered service, it was painted red and white. The caboose was used at the rear end of freight trains all over the Soo Line until the late 1980s when it was made obsolete by the end of train device. While many cabooses after that point either were scrapped or donated, caboose 117 continued to see use on the Soo Line (later Canadian Pacific, and now CPKC), mainly as a shoving platform to allow conductors a more comfortable place to stand while moving a train in reverse and for moving crews and equipment in maintenance-of-way trains. In 2021, the caboose was repainted to the current green color it has now, instead of the red and white it originally had.
In May of 2023, the caboose was retired and acquired as scrap by Marty Maggio of the Maggio Truck Center in Rockford. However, upon seeing that the caboose was in good shape, Maggio generously spared the caboose from the cutting torch and coordinated with Eric Zabelny to find it a more fitting home. Yesterday, its journey came to an end, arriving at our museum.