Missouri Pacific Caboose 13430
Former Missouri Pacific caboose 13430 is an offset cupola caboose. It was built by the railroad in its own shops around 1950, it is an all steel caboose, considered to be a big improvement over former cabooses that had a wooden structure over a metal frame. There were various different styles of caboose built for different purposes. This one was designed for use on long distance trains. It is very spacious. It had areas for bunk beds, a small galley, and a toilet. Many of its windows were sealed over the years by the railroad, during one of its numerous refits, as the nature of railroading changed. It was sold by the Missouri Pacific, often called MOPAC for short, after cabooses were phased out of service. It was converted into a party room by its previous owners who had it at a "Putt-Putt" golf course in San Antonio for many years. When this facility closed in the mid 1990s, the caboose was generously donated to TTM. Though it still had it wheels and trucks, something a little unusual for re purposed cabooses, and is still mobile on rails, we decided to keep using it as a party room. While we often talked about updating its 1970s era interior which had a lot of dark paneling we never quite got around to it as it was so busy as a party and meeting venue. However, a disastrous fire just before Christmas in 2009 somewhat forced the issue! Not only did we completely update the interior, we took the opportunity to re-open all of its original windows and install better lighting and a quieter, more efficient heating and A/C system.
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MOPAC caboose 13430, TTM's "Party Caboose"
TTM's party caboose, April 2016
TTM's party caboose, April 2016
TTM's party caboose, April 2016
TTM's party caboose, April 2016
TTM's party caboose, April 2016
TTM's party caboose, April 2016
TTM's party caboose, April 2016
TTM's party caboose, April 2016
MOPAC caboose 13430 being rebuilt after a fire
As mentioned, a fire caused serious damage to this caboose in the wee hours of the morning in late 2009. It was caused by smoldering insulation ignited during the finishing touches to a project to replace the rusty bottom edges of the exterior steel walls of the caboose. While the caboose looked bad, structurally it was unaffected and work to refurbish it was soon begun. A brighter interior, better lighting and a more efficient heat and A/C system has been installed. Pictures of the restoration as work progress follow below.
Missouri Pacific caboose 13430 immediately after the fire, November 2009.
Missouri Pacific caboose 13430 being sand-blasted, May 2013
Missouri Pacific caboose 13430 partially under-coated, June 2013
Missouri Pacific caboose 13430, first coat of yellow paint, June 2013
Missouri Pacific caboose 13430, first coat of yellow paint, June 2013
Contractor painting the interior of the Missouri Pacific caboose 13430, March 2014
Missouri Pacific caboose 13430 interior, March 2014
Missouri Pacific caboose 13430, April 2014
Missouri Pacific caboose 13430 with most of its second coat of paint, June 2014
Flooring material being installed in the Missouri Pacific caboose 13430, July 2014
Missouri Pacific caboose 13430, July 2015, with windows installed
New interior being installed in the Missouri Pacific caboose 13430, November 2015
Some of the people who helped restore this caboose
Then TTM Chairman Pat Halpin, seated, and Allen Serold installing the flor on Missouri Pacific caboose 13430, July 2014
Marie Roy painting the Missouri Pacific caboose 13430, May 2014
Hugh Hemphill painting the Missouri Pacific caboose 13430, May 2014
Dave Cenova installing the new interior in the Missouri Pacific caboose 13430, November 2015
The first few years of MOPAC caboose 13430 at TTM
Former Missouri Pacific caboose 13430 was converted by its previous owners, the "Putt-Putt Miniature Golf Course," to serve as a party room. When that business folded, it was generously donated to TTM where it was used for years for the same purpose. After its arrival in the mid 1990s it soon became a very popular venue for parties held at TTM, and many people in the community have fond memories of good times in it. It's interior was very dark and dated and, because of some roof leaks, not in the best condition. Fate intervened during a project to fix the exterior of the car, including its roof, and we had no choice about when we would begin the project to replace the interior.
Missouri Pacific caboose 13430 being delivered to the Texas Transportation Museum.
Missouri Pacific caboose 13430 was converted into a party room by the now out of business Putt-Putt miniature golf course in San Antonio.
MOPAC Caboose 13430 is an offset cupola type road caboose. It had more side windows at one time. They were probably sealed by MOPAC.
Missouri Pacific caboose 13430 was professionally repainted in 2005 by South Texas Interiors.
It's an ill wind that does not blow somebody some good. We used this opportunity to re-open some of the sealed windows and install better heating and air-conditioning plus upgrade the interior to make the space more accommodating. We also decided not to repaint the exterior in classic caboose red but in a more easy to maintain color. The caboose returned to service in April 2016
Missouri Pacific caboose 13430 repainted in 2005.
Pleasant morning view of Missouri Pacific caboose 13430
Interior, towards front of Missouri Pacific caboose 13430
Inside the converted Missouri Pacific caboose 13430. It can seat 30 people and has both heat and A/C.
Images of similar cabooses in service with the Missouri Pacific
Here are a few images of similar cabooses in service with the Missouri Pacific in the 1970s. It's interesting to note that the roofs were always painted the same red as the sides. We have only been able to find one actual image of caboose 13430. The snap was taken in Nebraska in the mid 1970s. The image was found on an 'abandoned' web site and we could only gain access to the thumb nail. No images of such cabooses with all their original windows unsealed while in railroad service has yet been found. The search continues.
Missouri Pacific off set cupola caboose 13430 in service in Nebraaka in 1974
Missouri Pacific off set cupola caboose similar to 13430 in service on the railroad
Missouri Pacific off set cupola caboose similar to 13430 in service on the railroad
Missouri Pacific off set cupola caboose similar to 13430 in Houston

 

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