Wooden Caboose #518125
The caboose on static display outside the museum is a Norfolk and Western caboose #518125, built in the N&W shops in Roanoke, Virginia in 1915. It provided a "rolling workplace" at the rear of the train for the conductor and one or more rear brakemen. Here the conductor, the employee in charge of each train, could keep his sheaf of manifests updated. These were the papers documenting the origin, car # and destination of each shipment on the train. The rear brakemen were also here on duty watching the train for evidence of overheated bearings or fluctuations in air brake pressure. He was always prepared to walk back behind the train when it stopped to protect it with flags, fusees or flares.
Today the museum visitor can enter the caboose. Although it does not yet contain any railroad equipment, the visitor can still climb up into the cupola or check out the caboose's original closets and commode.