WP668, our 91-year-old caboose, moved to our backyard today after over a year in storage. We all arrived at 7:30 a.m. to start the job. South Bay Crane & Rigging (408-244-0414, Los Gatos, CA) lifted the 1916 historic railroad car by crane and loaded her onto a truck. At 9 a.m., they drove WP668 three blocks to our house.
The first job was to get the crane into the driveway that runs along our back fence. One of the gateposts and some tree limbs came down but Julie, the crane operator, did make it fit. Then, the crane turned one of the caboose’s truck and wheel sets end for end (we had rolled it in backwards when we moved it out of storage last year). Finally, the crane lifted the 18-ton WP668 body off the lowboy flatbed, over the trees (some more limbs damaged but nothing unexpected), and onto the wheels. Lance, the rigger, went up and over the fence and back to keep the pulling rope stretched in the right direction so that Dennis could direct Julie in how to lower the caboose down with the least damage to surrounding trees. Our friend Chuck Cottam (who designs and installs koi ponds) and my husband John acted as backup riggers. Chuck also wielded the tree saw as needed.
Our neighbors, friends from Sun Microsystems, friends from the Silicon Valley Lines (SVL), and South Bay Historical Railroad Society (SBHRS) model train clubs, and photographers from the Willow Glen Resident newspaper joined our family for the big event. After WP668 was down and secured, we all had a BarBQ lunch, with caboose tours. Some of today’s photos follow. Tomorrow, we replace the fence!
More story and photos are on the WP668 website.
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Images Copyright 2007 by Katy Dickinson, John Plocher, and Danek Duvall
News images Used with Permission, Copyright 2007 Silicon Valley Community Newspapers
Updated 3 April 2020