New York, Susquehanna & Western Railroad Caboose No. 0112
New York, Susquehanna & Western R.R. (NYS&W) Caboose 0112 was originally constructed by the International Car Co. in 1948. It was built as part of a ten-car order to replace the NYS&W’s aging fleet of wooden cabooses. It is a standard International steel NE-6 Cupola – style caboose design. Over the next 30 years, No. 0112 served the Susquehanna well until it was retired and sold to a private individual in 1979. During it’s last years on the “Squeak”, 0112, along with her sister cabooses, had their windows plywooded over in an effort to reduce vandalism and protect train crews from being injured by rocks thrown at the trains as they rolled along the Eastern end of the railroad.
In 1982 the car was acquired by the Morristown & Erie Railway (M&E). Shortly thereafter, it was refurbished by the M&E shop crew and painted and lettered into the Morristown & Erie scheme and given the road number “4”. The caboose features solar-powered lighting which was installed by the railroad in the mid-1980’s. For the next 3 decades the caboose was a familiar sight at the end of M&E freight trains. Since 2005 the caboose has been included in the regular consist of the Museum’s Summer Excursion Train Rides, but was being used less frequently on freight runs. In 2011 the caboose was retired from freight service and in January 2012, it was acquired by the Whippany Railway Museum.
Keeping with the Museum’s program to restore its heritage collection to as near original state as possible, Museum volunteers have restored the caboose to its original 1948 Susquehanna Railroad appearance (including its original number 0112), both inside and outside. The car will continue operating on Whippany Railway Museum excursion trains, while presenting visitors with yet another example of New Jersey Railroad History
“I am the private individual who purchased Caboose No. 0112 from the New York, Susquehanna & Western RR. The railroad ran an ad in Railfan Magazine offering four cabooses for sale and NYS&W Conductor John L. Treen helped me pick out the best of the lot and got me a bargain price on it. I began restoring it shortly after it arrived in Morristown, NJ and was soon approached by the demolition firm that was dismantling the old Hanover Mill complex of Whippany Paper Board Co. in Whippany. They wanted to lease the caboose for use as a night watchman’s office as they had no suitable building at the entrance to the property. A deal was quickly struck and the car was placed at the end-of-track for six months at the site now occupied by the Christian Peter Business Park at 9 Whippany Road. Some time thereafter, Morristown & Erie Railway president Ben Friedland made me an offer to purchase the caboose when he saw it for the first time. I sold the car to the M&E and my wife and I used the money for our first trip to Europe in June of 1982 following our wedding in October 1981.
I still remember my fiance’, Leslie’s reaction when I brought her to Morristown to see the caboose. “That’s nice. What the Hell are you going to do with it?” I told her I might put it in our backyard when we finally were able to afford a house. Although she didn’t say anything, her facial expression said it all. By then I am convinced she figured she was about to marry a total nut-case, but marry we did, and we’re happily married all these years later.
I am pleased that the caboose is now in the hands of the Whippany Railway Museum, where it can be seen and ridden by future generations who might otherwise never have known what a caboose is.
I had the best of both worlds. I not only owned this caboose and saved it from scrapping, but also got to work onboard her many times during my tenure on the M&E. It doesn’t get much better than that.”