The following pages are a chronicle of the restoration of White River Lumber Company(WRLCo) caboose #001. This project
started in the Spring of 2002. At that time, it was determined that something must be done to the caboose or
it would not be around much longer. The elements had been most unkind and it showed. Preliminary inspections showed that the
frame was seriously rot damaged and the siding was in bad shape. The restoration of the caboose became a priority.
Work was begun while the caboose was still in the museum's collection storage area. This work consisted of a number of
important projects: cleaning out the accumilated debris from the inside; blocking up the body to take the lean out;
chaining and blocking one truck, which was broken, so the car could be safely moved; and starting the process of labeling
every frame member and major component. In early August of 2002, the caboose was moved from storage to the Snoqualmie depot
A work area was created at the depot to facilitate restoration. Work continued to label the frame members. Detailed drawings
and measurements were made. Many long conversations were held and a restoration plan was devised. Research was begun
by project manager Rich Wilkens. His research cleared up many misconceptions about the caboose. A better understanding of
what we wished to achieve was also a result of his research.
Dismantling began in August, 2002. The siding was removed to expose the body frame work. Often, what looked good from
the inside was rotted or damaged on the out side. Most of the frame members were saved and put into storage. As much
of the original frame will be restored to it's original place. Some of the longer pieces that are too far gone will be used
to replace some of the shorter pieces that need replacing. Some of the siding and flooring was saved to use as patterns, but
most was disposed of, too far gone to be of any use. The frame was stripped down to the center sill. Work shifted to indoor
projects at that time, as winter weather had set in.
Over the winter, work was done on restoring two trucks for use under the caboose. Two wood arch-bar trucks of Northern
Pacific heritage were picked to do the honors. These trucks are the same type that were used under the #002. The truck frames
were completed in early February, 2003. Some truck components had to be fabricated, such as the spring seats and center plates.
The bolsters were not completed until June of 2003.
Work shifted back to the frame. The old center sill was carefully raken apart and set aside, upside down in the work
area. It was referenced many times during the reconstruction of the new center sill. The weather made work on the center sill
a hit-or-miss proposition, but progress was made.
The photo story on these pages starts with the rebuilding of the center sill and follows along as each step is completed.
Regular updates will be made as time and project progress allow.
Martin Nemerever, June 2003.