Caboose 482

History of Caboose 482

1971: CN 79482 was one of more than 500 steel cabooses built by Canadian National Railways’ Pointe St. Charles shops in Montreal using retired 1937-vintage 472000-series boxcars as cores. After spending its career travelling throughout Canada, CN 79482 was reduced to use as a shoving platform for its final few years until being retired by CN in 2007.

2007: Waterloo Central Railway purchased CN 79482 in 2007. The van was heavily vandalized and essentially unusable when it arrived. WCR volunteers spent several years refurbishing the car inside and out. Renovations included extra windows and seating for use on WCR passenger trains. The car was completely repainted and entered service as WCR 482.

2020: Plans are in place to repaint the car in 2020. In keeping with WCR’s practice of honouring the history of our equipment, the van will be returned to its original CN number and continue in service on our regular trains and some special event trains as WCRX 79482.

History of Cabooses

A caboose is an office coupled at the end of a freight train or transfer. Cabooses, also known in Canada as vans, provided shelter for the crew at the end of a train. Cabooses were required for switching and shunting, and to keep a lookout for load shifting, damage to  equipment and cargo, or overheating axles (also known as hot boxes) which could derail a train. Designs were originally modified box cars or flatbed cars carrying a cabin, but later became specialized cars, with projections above or to the sides of the car so crew could observe the train from shelter. The car also served as conductor’s office, and on long routes, included accommodation and cooking facilities.

Caboose 482 southbound to St. Jacobs, Ontario in 2020.
Caboose 482 southbound to St. Jacobs, Ontario in 2020.
Caboose 482 (formerly CN 79482) in 2006. Photo Credit James Gardiner.
Caboose 482 (formerly CN 79482) in 2006. Photo Credit: James Gardiner.
Caboose 482 in 2020 at Waterloo Central Railway
Caboose 482 in 2020 at Waterloo Central Railway.
Inside caboose 482's cupola
Inside caboose 482's cupola.
Inside Caboose 482
Inside Caboose 482
Inside Caboose 482
Inside Caboose 482
Caboose 482 crosses the Conestogo River trestle bridge just north of St. Jacobs pulled by heritage locomotive 1001.
Caboose 482 crosses the Conestogo River trestle bridge just north of St. Jacobs pulled by heritage locomotive 1001.

Specifications

Road Number482
TypeSteel
BuilderCN Pointe St. Charles shops
Date Built1971
LineageCanadian National 79482 (converted from boxcar)
Waterloo Central Railway 482

The historical information and photos presented on our website are gathered from several sources including historical websites, literature and first-hand accounts of volunteers, staff and industry experts.