Moving the Rural Retreat caboose just 80 feet

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Tue Nov 17 07:19:59 EST 2015

Perhaps there is an easier way; perhaps, and especially considering the
very short distance involved.

You would need a short section of rails (panel track) mounted on a low boy
trailer plus some longer pieces as idlers. Simply put, with a little bit of
lubrication in the journals of the caboose, you then winch the thing into
the trailer using a ramp and then secure it on said trailer.

In preparation you would need a 2nd section of panel track where you will
be placing the caboose as that will be its PERMANENT location plus get the
grade prepared where the truck will have to back into for its placement.
This might be done by someone local pro bono and will not entail a crane,
and operator which both complicates the operation and adds time and expense.

If this were to go any distance other than what you describe, this could
still work, and condition of the journals and bearings of the caboose are
probably not a major issue so if some scouring were to occur when breaking
it free of its obviously stiff joints for having not moved in many years.
If it is firmly locked up, then just grease the rail going up and then down
the ramps.

I think this is much easier and less complicated than getting a crane and
qualified operator, especially for so short a distance.

Considering all the good will the whole depot restoration has generated
locally, you should be able to get someone who knows how to do this with a
trailer and truck to do it for free (pro bono).

Bob Cohen

>> The Rural Retreat Depot Foundation would like to relocate the local
caboose to a new location on the west end of the depot, and we are looking
for advice on how to do it. The attached photo shows where it is now, and
it will move to the foreground of the photo. It has to move about 80 feet,
across a flat paved surface. How much does it weigh? Is this best done by
laying track or using a crane? Any referrals to companies that you know
have done this? Can a caboose be disassembled to some degree to make the
move easier? Thanks very much.
> Crane will be fastest.   The body will come off the trucks.  The body
will need to be blocked up until the trucks are moved to the new track
unless you have two cranes.  Perhaps a heavy duty forklift could handle the
trucks.  Then the body can be lowered onto the trucks.
> Last time the WV Railroad Museum moved a car, I think the crane costs was
around $130 per hour.  You might find a construction company willing to
donate time or at least a portion of the time.
> Take care
> Bill
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