The summer was spent doing hours upon hours of research. I looked up pretty much everything to be found about cabooses on the internet while my husband called several railroad museums trying to dig up anything we could. Even with all the internet sites, books, and printouts accumulated we are still learning new and exciting parts of the Union Pacific history.
First on the agenda had to be a fresh coat of paint. The exterior of the caboose was peeling and rusting. The original colors faded, and the decals flaking off. So began our endless search for what we now know as “Armor Yellow”.
With as many UP engines and railcars that wander around the country, we thought that it would be a simple task to find the paint colors we needed to restore the caboose. Not the case. Nobody we could find knew the exact dye lot or was willing to give it to us. Any information we did find was horribly outdated. Most of the roadblocks occurred because we were not a museum. Thinking it would maybe work to go through one, we decided to try a local train museum. Since their specialty is model railroading, the paint they could procure was only enough for HO scale, not life-scale!
We were left sorting through long strips of paint swatches and crumbling paint chips trying to match them to old color photographs. The staff at our local paint store was very patient and worked with us to find the perfect match for all the colors. We could not wait to see how they would look, and scheduled the painters to begin as soon as it could be ordered!