Railcar Preservation

Currently we have seven historic rail cars at Black Butte:


Great Northern Caboose X746

Great Northern CabooseOur first project was support for the preservation of a 1930 wooden caboose (Great Northern X746/McCloud River Railroad #34). The caboose was rescued from the forest along the McCloud tracks in 2007. It is now almost completely finished.


Sacramento Northern Boxcar #2349

Sacramento Northern BoxcarIn the Fall of 2008, the BBCRC acquired two historic steam-era wooden freight cars that had been slowly deteriorating while stored on the McCloud Railway. One is former Sacramento Northern boxcar #2349 built in 1919. Preservation of this car is well underway and it is now functioning as a unique show space, hosting bands and providing a work/art space for visitors.


Pacific Fruit Express Refrigerated Boxcar #55224

Pacific Fruit Express Refrigerated BoxcarThe other freight car acquired by the BBCRC is Pacific Fruit Express refrigerated boxcar #55224. This well-insulated "reefer" car dates from 1923 and was originally built for the Western Pacific Railroad. The car has required extensive work, both on its interior and exterior. While much work remains, the car is already now able to house our library/resource center and to host occasional art shows.


Santa Fe Caboose #999028

Santa Fe CabooseAnother caboose arrived in March, 2009. Atchinson, Topeka and Santa Fe #999028 is Class Ce-1 steel caboose built in 1942. As a steel car, it requires a whole different set of technologies and skills to repair.


Burlington Northern Caboose #10772

Burlington Northern CabooseThe third caboose to be located at Black Butte, Burlington Northern #10772, is a relatively modern extended-vision steel caboose. A group of four individuals (mostly active or recently-retired railroaders) came together in 2011 to support the costs of the caboose's acquisition by the BBCRC and its transportation to Black Butte. The move was successfully accomplished on May 11-12, 2011 by Carlton Enterprises of Burney, CA, assisted by a number of BBCRC volunteers.


Southern Pacific Pullman business car #109

Southern Pacific Pullman business carOn April 30, 2016 the BBCRC acquired the historical 1888 Southern Pacific #109 business car, the "Shasta".


Central Vermont Flanger #4227109

Central Vermont FlangerThis unique caboose-like rail car was built in 1893 for the Central Vermont railroad as a boxcar. We believe it was converted to a flanger car in the 1920s. At one time, it had large powerful steel blades fixed beneath the car body which would plow snow from between the rails, allowing the wheel flanges of the locomotives and rail cars of trains to safely traverse the railroad, hence the term "Flanger". It is built largely of wood with a steel underframe and arrived on the property on October 7th, 2017.


With all of the above rail car preservation projects, the BBCRC's philosophy has been to create usable function spaces for a variety of purposes while at the same time honoring the historic character of our cars. This is an approach that we hope to continue to use with future railcars.

High on our priority list is bringing a 48 foot Thrall ribbed doublestack well car to our site. This classic early well car is rapidly becoming relatively rare and we would like to see one preserved at Black Butte.