Rock Island Caboose & Coal Tender

The caboose was built by Rock Island Railroad in 1971 and acquired by Union Pacific Railroad in 1980. When electronic end-of-train devices came in to use to monitor train status this style of caboose was no longer needed.

Bill “B.J.” Lackey of El Reno was working in North Platte, NE as a mechanical inspector for the American Association of Railroads and spotted the caboose. Bill brought it to the attention of the Canadian County Historical Society, who requested the caboose for the museum. Union Pacific donated and delivered it to El Reno in 1998. Volunteers, many who were retired railroad workers, did the restoration.

The side facing the tracks has been painted in the bright yellow of the Union Pacific, while the other side is decked out in the Rock Island red.

The Coal Tender was built in 1923 by the American Locomotive Co. for the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway. It was donated to the Canadian County Museum by the Rock Island Railroad in 1974.