New Stove in WP668 Caboose

WP668 Caboose Interior

Each year, John and I do a little more to improve WP668, our backyard caboose in Willow Glen, California. Today, we finally finished the project to install a stove, making the space much more comfortable during the winter. We put in a Majestic Brand Oxford stove from Bay Area Fireplace. The stove is on top of an antique piece of red-brown marble I bought at an estate sale several years ago (since a stove cannot sit directly on a linoleum floor). Below is the history of our caboose from the WP668 web page.

WP668 Caboose Stove

WP668 Caboose History

  • 1916:
    • WP668 was originally built by Pullman as a steel strapped Western Pacific wooden box car in 1916 (during World War I).
    • WP668’s steel straps are embossed in several places with the Pullman brand “ILLINOIS. G. U.S.A.”
  • 1943:
    • In October 1943, WP668 was converted to serve as a caboose on San Francisco Bay Area freight trains (during World War II).
    • Two bay windows replaced the original side freight doors. The front and back doors and decks, and interior caboose fittings were installed.
  • 1976:
    • After serving in the Sacramento area on fruit trains of the Sacramento Northern line, WP668 was retired from active service.
    • WP668 was sold by Western Pacific to a private owner who leased out the caboose as office space on the San Francisco waterfront.
    • We think it was this first private owner who removed the front of one of the bay windows and cut out a large window opening in the side of WP668.
  • circa 2000
    • WP668 was acquired by the Golden Gate Railroad Museum in San Francisco’s Hunter’s Point neighborhood.
    • Restoration by GGRM was planned and started.
  • 2006
    • GGRM sold WP668 to John Plocher and Katy Dickinson in January 2006 after the museum lost its Hunter’s Point lease in San Francisco.
    • In February 2006, WP668 was moved by truck from San Francisco to storage in San Jose.
    • While in storage, the roof was rebuilt and the ceiling lights were installed.
    • Dickinson-Plocher backyard swimming pool was removed and a very short rail line built in the same location.
  • 2007
    • San Jose City Council grants a variance for WP668. Building permits are issued.
    • In May 2007, WP668 was moved onto the very short rail line in the Dickinson-Plocher backyard.
    • The exterior was stripped and painted.
    • Both decks and the bay window were rebuilt.
  • 2008
    • The inside was painted, the floor was rebuilt and covered with linoleum, the metal roof was installed.
    • The electrical and network wiring were completed.
    • The stained glass was designed and installed.
    • The cactus garden and arroyito were designed and created.
    • The historical markings and WP herald were added.
    • The ladders and stair handrails were designed and created.
  • 2009
    • The San Jose City permits were signed off (24 February 2009).
    • Fainting couch restoration complete – couch moves into caboose.
    • Bay Window seat designed and installed.
    • Stair handrails coated and finished, stair lighting installed.
  • 2010
    • Installed under carriage lighting.
    • Window seat cushion designed and created.
  • 2011
    • Stove installed.
  • Work in Progress on WP668:
    • Install roof walk, attach it to existing ladders
    • Restore the rest of the windows (1 done, 5 to go)
    • Complete the back deck and step woodwork (steel is done)
    • Restore brake rigging and wheels
    • Reattach and restore battery box
    • Restore (replace?) the doors
    • Caulk and paint repair

Images Copyright 2011 by Katy Dickinson

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1 Comment

Filed under Caboose Project and Other Trains, Home & Family, News & Reviews

One response to “New Stove in WP668 Caboose

  1. rbnolan

    Awesome, Katie. What a fun project! Thanks for sharing.

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