Delaware & Hudson Railroad (D&H) Caboose No. 35886
Delaware & Hudson Railroad (D&H) Caboose No. 35886 was built by the D&H company shops in 1913. Always a familiar sight at the end of a train, this caboose ran on D&H freights over the length of the system from Wilkes-Barre, PA to Rouses Point, NY and beyond into Canada. The Delaware & Hudson was a “bridge road” connecting Canada with major U.S. “trunk” lines in New York and Pennsylvania.
The “hack,” as it is commonly nicknamed, went on to give over half a century of reliable freight service to the D&H before being retired.
Today, No. 35886 has been restored to its as-built condition and is displayed the museum for all to see.
The first eight-wheel cabooses on the Delaware & Hudson Railroad went into service in 1913. As built, these cabooses has “archbar” trucks, double-hung sash windows in the sides and ends, and wood sheathing without the iron straps at the ends. Some were rebuilt with plywood sides. Others were rebuilt without cupolas (they were used for transfer and mine-run service).
The D&H 35800-series all-wood cabooses of 1913 were supported by a steel underframe and used all over the D&H system, but their early-20th Century construction eventually caused some unusual problems.
With the development of huge articulated steam locomotives that were used as “pusher” engines out of Binghamton, NY and Scranton, PA, the old wooden cabooses were occasionally crushed and destroyed by the constant shoving of the powerful locomotives coupled to their rear ends. Consequently, the 35800-series cars were later limited to service north of Albany, NY where the big steam “pushers” seldom roamed.
Today, Delaware & Hudson Caboose No. 35886 survives as a classic example of railroading’s golden era, and serves to show today’s children a real-life version of “The Little Red Caboose Behind The Train.”