The Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh Railway connected its three namesake cities with a Y-shaped railroad. In business for less than 30 years before being taken over by the B&O in 1932, the BR&P was a well-run mainline railroad which came to roster 66 of this class of caboose.
The #280 was part of the third lot of this class of caboose built for the BR&P in October, 1923 by Standard Steel Car in Butler, Pennsylvania. Standard Steel constructed the #265 through the last in the class, #314, in the time period of September – December, 1923. Prior to this, the class car #150 was home built in the BR&P’s DuBois, PA shops in January, 1914. The second group was built by the Mt. Vernon Car Company in Mt. Vernon, Illinois in April & May, 1918. These cars were all steel underframe, center cupola cabooses.
When the B&O took over in 1932, the entire class of this caboose was still is existence. The cabooses were classified as I-10’s by the B&O and were renumbered C2600 – C2665. However, only 62 cars were renumbered since BR&P 260, 261, 271, & 297 were wrecked before gaining B&O numbers C-2611, C-2612, C2622, and C2648.
In 1961, the B&O began a modernization program of the I-10’s at the DuBois shops which included covering some of the side windows, modifying the toilet facilities, adding water tanks, replacing steps, changing stem handbrakes to Ajax type handbrakes, and modifying the cupola windows. The #280 was reworked in 1968.
In 1967, 14 of the I-10’s were sold to the C&O and renumbered C&O 90357 – 90370. In 1971, the C&O sold eight of them back, but the B&O never renumbered them. The #280 was not part of this group sold.
The last I-10 was retired in 1977. The museum acquired the #280 (B&O C2631) in 1979. It was the first piece of equipment to be rostered by what would become the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum.
The car saw a major restoration in 1980 as B&O C2631. However, the outdoors is not kind to wooden cabooses, so the car was again in need of a major restoration. This time, however, the car is going to be backdated to its BR&P appearance and has been undergoing a complete restoration inside the museum’s restoration building. The hope is for this caboose to emerge and return to service within the next few years.
The museum is seeking more information for the restoration of this caboose including drawings, photographs, etc. Please contact us if you might have something to contribute. All photographs will be returned.
- Built 1923 at Standard Steel Car in Butler, Pa.
- Buffalo, Rochester, & Pittsburgh No. 280 (1923)
- Baltimore & Ohio C2631 (1932)
- Donated to our museum in 1979