Caboose 78175 Marina Park
Now open Sunday and Mondays
THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO ~~~~ August 26, 2020 (LSN) CNR Caboose 78175 was built in 1929. It was one of 25 cabooses built in Transcona Shops, in Winnipeg, Manitoba as a grouping from numbers 78170 to 78194. She served the CNR for nearly six decades before she was retired from service in the late 1980s. We aren't quite sure where she ventured over that time but it was likely between Winnipeg, Manitoba and Thunder Bay.
In 1991 the Thunder Bay Model Rail Association restored the caboose. It was put on display at the Marina Park. Unfortunately she deteriorated badly and in 2009 the local chapter of the CNR Pensioners stepped in to stabilize the caboose and perform a quick restoration. A few years later, to facilitate the redevelopment of the Marina Park, the caboose was moved to an undeveloped portion of the park.
By spring of 2015, the neglected caboose had deteriorated again, and the City was looking to dispose of it. A group rallied to save the caboose, we approached the City Manager with an offer to repair the caboose under the condition that the City not scrap or give it away. By the summer of 2016 we finally had a agreement in place. We were to have the exterior completed by July 1st 2017.
July 1st 2017 we had completed the exterior restoration of caboose 78175 and fulfilled our agreement with the city. Ownership was officially transferred to the Thunder Bay Railway Historical Society. The caboose had been saved.
Bob Scarcello- brakeman standing and Ron Fuchek- Conductor sitting
Currently, CNR caboose 78175 sits at the south entrance to Prince Arthur's Landing in Thunder Bay, On. Our crew of dedicated volunteers have finished the most extensive restoration of caboose 78175 to date. Our group currently restored the caboose interior to it's 1950s appearance.
In the spring of 2018 we started the restoration of the interior of caboose 78175.
We did all the carpentry of the trim work and sills around the windows, doors and baseboards. We also made the desktop and assembled it to the drawers. We have done all the painting of the inside of the caboose. It has taken awhile to complete as we used a brush instead of a roller. The painting was completed in the spring of 2019 and we started installing the artifacts.
Most of the artifacts were purchased from a fellow railway buff in London Ontario. He has been a great help with rounding up artifacts that we purchased and ones we borrowed from him so we could have them reproduced. His ongoing help is greatly appreciated.
We had the brackets made up for the cupola seats and are all painted, the cupola seats and platforms are made. The brackets are made and painted for the Stretcher. The stretcher was donated by the Founders Museum and Pioneer Village and we had the canvas replaced. The stretcher has been installed.
One of the volunteers did research on the cupola seats, platform, water tank and brackets for the cupola seats and stretcher. He provided the precise drawings with all the dimensions for them.
As we moved forward Westgate Collegiate & V. I in Thunder bay made the cupola seats, platforms, wooden braces, metal water tank and a metal coal bin. They are in the caboose. A plaque has been made thanking the students for their help in reproducing the artifacts for us. It is installed in the caboose.
The artifacts have been cataloged and are put in. We have the conductor's desk and waybill boxes painted and installed. We have completed all the artifacts that we have. They are all painted and installed.
We are excited that the caboose is completed and to have the public see what we have accomplished. It will be opened to the public to Sunday and Mondays 11am to 5pm or by request. under the Covid-19 restrictions. We would like to thank all the volunteers that helped out with this project.
By Bob Scarcello
After Restoration.jpg- CNR caboose 78175 is freshly restored and is now the jewel of the Prince Arthur's Landing. Credit James Tocker