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On January 16, 2012, LV 95100 was moved into the shop at the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum in Rush, N.Y., where the caboose will undergo an extensive restoration which will return it to its original Lehigh Valley appearance.


Erie Lackawanna 2012 Calendar


Available through the Erie Lackawanna Historical Society


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eastern” style caboose. Built by the Lehigh Valley in February 1941, LV No. 95100 was one of 105 of these cabooses built by the rail- road between 1937 and 1946. It was trans- ferred to Conrail in 1976 and became CR 18632, Class N-5G. It was retired and pur- chased by a private individual and moved to Manchester, N.Y., in 2005 with the intent of making it part of a retail center. The car sat on the owner’s property for years, with the body resting on the ground and the trucks laying nearby. Plans for the retail center fell through, and the owner began to look for a new home for the caboose. While the muse- um wanted to add a caboose like this to its collection, the initial asking price was too high and we decided not to pursue it. We never followed up, and never heard any- thing new about the car. Fast forward a few years later, when we


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learned that the owner would take far less than his initial asking price. Not only that, but if he did not get any serious offers soon, he would consider scrapping the car. An in- terested party looking to save the caboose contacted a museum trustee with this infor- mation on September 12, and he, in turn, alerted museum president Dave Scheiderich and myself. We took a trip out to Manches- ter the following day to meet with the owner and inspect the caboose. What we found was a true diamond in the


rough. The exterior, while rusty, was in good structural shape and very solid. There were some rusted-through areas along the floor on both sides of the caboose, but nothing too major. The interior of the caboose was the true selling point, since it was mostly intact and original. Conrail had added a Microphor toilet system and some fresh paint, but that was the extent of the modifications on the inside. The end doors were missing and all of the wooden windows were in rough shape, and we determined they would have to be re- placed. Overall, we felt that the car was an


excellent candidate for restoration. On September 14 we talked with several individuals who were interested in donating to the cause and quickly raised $3500 to pur- chase the caboose. In the meantime, I began to call fellow R&GVRRM board members to see if there was enough interest to approve the acquisition. The next board meeting was a week away, but we could not afford to wait. Rumors were floating around that the own- er of the caboose was going to cut it up if he didn’t get an offer soon. Acting quickly, we weighed all the factors: Not only was the car a good fit for our collection, but it would be a useful addition that would help carry more visitors. With the reduced price and its prox- imity to the museum, we were certain an- other opportunity like this would not pre- sent itself again. A majority of board members agreed, so we decided to make an offer on the caboose. The following day, a museum representative drove to Manches- ter with cash in hand to meet with the own- er. Much to his surprise, the caboose was al- ready being loaded onto a trailer when he arrived! The car had been sold, and the own- er couldn’t say where it was going. Being so close to our goal, to say we were disappoint- ed is an understatement. We only hoped the car was headed for a good home. Two weeks went by and there was still no


word on the whereabouts of the caboose. Several museum members snooped around for potential locations, but nothing was ever found. We assumed the worst. Then on Fri- day, September 30, I received a call from a museum member. The good news: He found the caboose! The bad news: It had been moved to a local scrap yard. The good news: It had only moved two miles north from where it had rested for the last six years! Amazingly, the caboose was delivered to the scrap yard unscathed. It was carefully set down on the ground, with old tire rims used to keep the body level.


JOSEPH NUGENT


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