Built in the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad’s Keyser Shops, the C2493 is an example of one of the famous “wagontop” style bay window cabooses. They were given this name due to the unique rounded construction where the side sheets met the roof. The car was built in 1942 as part of Class I-12.
In the 1930s the railroad experimented with new car designs built in-house in an effort to save money and keep their own workers employed through the Great Depression. One of the more successful designs, and one that became a signature design for the B&O, was the “wagontop” design, so-called for the steel ribs that represented horse-drawn covered wagons.
In 1935 and 1936 built seven cabooses to test the design, classified as I-5. In 1941 B&O applied the improved wagontop design to a fleet of new all-steel cabooses classified as I-12. In total, 125 cars were built in two batches at the car shops in Keyser, West Virginia. The first 100 numbered C2400-C2499 were built in 1941-1942, and the last 25 numbered C2800-C2824 in 1945. Our caboose is from the first production.
Caboose C2493 continued to serve its new owner Chessie System after 1972, and CSX Transporation after 1980. In 1985, it was sold to the Rochester & Southern Railroad where it was used in local service around Rochester. It was then sold to a private individual before it was purchased by two museum members, and partially repainted into blue and yellow and lettered on one side. The caboose was donated to our museum at the end of 2021 and is currently being evaluated for restoration.
This car is currently not on public display.
Former B&O C2493 in use as a “shoving platform” on the Rochester & Southern Railroad, 1980s.
- Built in 1942 at B&O Keyser Shops
- Ex-Rochester & Southern No. 24
- Ex-Baltimore & Ohio No. C2493
- B&O Class I-12