This is the story of Union Pacific Caboose #25251. She is a CA-5 model built in July of 1952 and retired in May of 1989.
Technology has a way of taking over anything in its path. Mp3s have long replaced records and CD’s, your transportation no longer relies on animals, and anything that has been done by human hands can be done “better” by a computer or a machine. The railroads were no different. In the late 1980’s the Caboose and its human crew were replaced by F.R.E.D. These large electronic boxes could do all the work of caboose crew without the caboose. Thousands of railcars were now homeless and would face being scrapped, sold, donated, and abandoned. 25251 became one of many donated to stops along the route and was proudly on display at a local community center for decades before being sold.
For years we have been watching this beautiful piece of history rust and fall apart. When the “FOR SALE” sign went up, we immediately knew we had to rescue her. Today, she stands tall and proud as part of our family. The restoration process continues and the long journey will be told through posts and pictures on this site.
We have learned a lot along the way so if you have any questions, comments, or need some help with Union Pacific research please feel free to contact us and we will do our best to help out!