The saga of moving McCRRR #034 


In 1963, the McCloud river railroad purchased two new cabooses. The railroad decided to dispose of their old Great Northern wooden cabooses. Number 34 was purchased by the Nile family for $25 (Including delivery to any location on the railroad). The caboose served as a cabin in the woods for the family. In 1983, the caboose was sold to a railroad museum which proceeded to neglect the caboose for 20 years. After changing hands a few times, a new owner has come on board and started moving the caboose from the property. On June 5, 2007, everything was ready for the big move.

Jim, Marty, Joshua, and Peter Nile. The last photo on the caboose.

John and Les Carlton did the heavy lifting

Swinging the spreader bar and slings into place.

The slings had two "boxing glove" hooks which grab onto the large frame members. It took a few seconds to hook up and get ready to lift.

It took a bit of work to get the low bed into this position, but Les pulled it off

John is keeping the caboose from swinging as Les lifts the caboose around to the lowbed

Here is a video of lifting the caboose

Placing the caboose on the lowbed was a bit tricky. The south end of the caboose needed to swing farther than the north end. The north end was tied to the trailer with a chain, and then the south end swung into place.

Lee is checking out how things line up.

Jim and Joshua helping hold down their end.

Marty signaling to Les as the Caboose moves to line up

Marty and Les tying everything down.

All ready to go, but now we are stuck.

Fortunately, somebody left a crane nearby, so we just picked up the trailer and moved it out of the hole.

Now Les has to figure out how to turn around a 60 foot lowbed and a 30 foot tractor

2nd try at getting things lined up

We might make it this time.


Headed out of the property after 44 years in the woods.

On its way to the new home near Black Butte. On Interstate 5 approaching the Lake Street overpass in Mt. Shasta. This caboose has probably never traveled this fast in its entire life.

Another shot as it crosses under the bridge.

McCloud River Railroad Caboose number 34 has found a new home at the Black Butte Center for Railroad Culture.  As of 2008, the caboose has a new roof and windows and is well along the road to a complete restoration.