Railcar Preservation
Railcar Fundraiser: Over the winter of 2018-19 the BBCRC is working to raise funds for the restoration of four of our historic wood railcars. Our boxcar (home of many music shows over the last ten years) and reefer (home of our library, art gallery and wintertime hang out space) are both at the point where they are in need of serious preservation work. In addition, we are continuing to work on the restoration of Southern Pacific Pullman #109, the "Shasta", which was built in 1888 as well as our newly arrived wood Great Northern caboose X630 (which we have named "Dorris" in honor of its former home in Dorris, CA). Please check out our ongoing fundraisers and consider a contribution if you can.

We now have eight historic rail cars on site at Black Butte, five of which are wood cars built between 1888 and 1930. Click on the links below for detailed histories, photos and descriptions of our re-purposing and preservation of these cars:

 

Great Northern Caboose X746

Great Northern CabooseOur first project was support for the preservation of a 1930 wooden caboose (Great Northern X746/McCloud River Railroad #34). The caboose was rescued from the forest along the McCloud tracks in 2007. It has been rebuilt and restored to its original exterior appearance.

 

Sacramento Northern Boxcar #2349

Sacramento Northern BoxcarIn the Fall of 2008, the BBCRC acquired two historic steam-era wooden freight cars that had been slowly deteriorating while stored on the McCloud Railway. One is former Sacramento Northern boxcar #2349 built in 1919. It is now functioning as a unique show space, hosting bands and providing a work/art space for visitors.

 

Pacific Fruit Express Refrigerated Boxcar #55224

Pacific Fruit Express Refrigerated BoxcarThe other freight car acquired by the BBCRC is Pacific Fruit Express refrigerated boxcar #55224. This well-insulated "reefer" car dates from 1923 and was originally built for the Western Pacific Railroad. The car has required extensive work, both on its interior and exterior. The car has been equipped with a heating system for the colder months and now functions as our library, hosts occasional art shows, and is a movie watching spot for visitors.

 

Santa Fe Caboose #999028

Santa Fe CabooseAnother caboose arrived in March, 2009. Atchinson, Topeka and Santa Fe #999028 is Class Ce-1 steel caboose built in 1942. Since its arrival at Black Butte it has been extensively refurbished by its owner, a BBCRC board member.

 

Burlington Northern Caboose #10772

Burlington Northern CabooseThe third caboose to be located at Black Butte, Burlington Northern #10772, is a relatively modern extended-vision steel caboose. A group of four individuals (mostly active or recently-retired railroaders) came together in 2011 to support the costs of the caboose's acquisition by the BBCRC and its transportation to Black Butte. The move was successfully accomplished on May 11-12, 2011 by Carlton Enterprises of Burney, CA, assisted by a number of BBCRC volunteers.

 

Southern Pacific Pullman business car #109

Southern Pacific Pullman business carOn April 30, 2016 the BBCRC acquired the historical 1888 Southern Pacific #109 business car, the "Shasta".

 

Central Vermont "Utah Phillips" Flanger #4227

Central Vermont FlangerThis unique caboose-like rail car was built in 1893 for the Central Vermont Railway as a boxcar. We believe it was converted to a flanger car in the 1920s. At one time, it had large powerful steel blades fixed beneath the car body which would plow snow from between the rails, allowing the wheel flanges of the locomotives and rail cars of trains to safely traverse the railroad, hence the term "Flanger". It is built largely of wood with a steel underframe. In the 1970s and 80s it was owned and lived in by renowned folk singer Utah Phillips. It arrived on the property on October 7th, 2017.

Great Northern X630

In June of 2018 Great Northern caboose X630 was donated to the BBCRC by the Edgar family of Dorris, CA. X630 is a heavy duty underframe wood caboose built in 1926. In its later years of operation it was on the Oregon California and Eastern and based in Klamath Falls, OR.

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With all of the above rail car preservation projects, the BBCRC's philosophy has been to create usable function spaces for a variety of purposes while at the same time honoring the historic character of our cars. This is an approach that we hope to continue to use with future railcars.

High on our priority list is bringing a 48 foot Thrall ribbed doublestack well car to our site. This classic early well car is rapidly becoming relatively rare and we would like to see one preserved at Black Butte.