Tuesday, January 3, 2017

BNSF Caboose 12529

Burlington Northern Santa Fe train heading into Bellingham, WA
When we visit Bellingham, Washington, we are in train territory. The main tracks run along the coast heading north to Vancouver and south to Seattle and from there throughout the United States.

I like to go down to Squalicum Harbor and park to watch the trains. While I was there last week I saw a "new" caboose on the siding. I say new because it was new to me. Very few cabooses are still in service. In their heyday, they housed the rear breakman, provided space for accommodation, and storage.

This is the not first caboose I've seen in the Burlington Northern Santa Fe yard in Bellingham. First there was Burlington Northern Caboose 10792 in 2011 then BNSF Caboose 12622 in 2012. This week I saw BNSF Caboose 12529.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Caboose 12529 in Bellingham, WA, yard.

Caboose 12529 was built by Pacific Car and Foundry in 1978 and began service with Burlington Northern as Caboose 12185 before the merger with Santa Fe. She's 39-feet long, made from welded steel with a windowed cupola on top. She was rebuilt by Western Fruit Express (BN) in 1990. Since then, it appears not much has been done.

Caboose 12529 sporting graffiti.

Caboose 12529 was working fairly recently in support of work trains in the state of Washington. Here's some of her rolling history:

8/1998   Working in Startup, WA, on a work train
8/2002   Working in Skykomish, WA, on a work train
2/2007   Working in Seattle, WA, on a work train
6/2009   Working in Marysville, WA, on a work train
8/2010   Parked in Scenic, WA, at the yard
6/2011   Working in Merritt, WA, on a work train
8/2011   Working in Berne and Wenatchee, WA, on a work train
12/2016 Parked in Bellingham, WA, at the yard

Little Red Caboose in Blaine, WA
I'm not sure if she's here as part of a work train or as a final resting place. Either way, I always get excited to see a caboose.

If you could have one, what would you do with it?  Make a restaurant like The Little Red Caboose in Blaine, WA? Make it into a cozy tiny house?

Check out this Mother Earth News article about purchasing and repurposing old cabooses. -- Margy


  1. This was so interesting and informative! Our trains seem so small in comparison!
    I really like the little red caboose restaurant!
    Happy New Year!

    1. It's a cute restaurant right next to the marina with a great view and great food. - Margy

  2. Nice train shots. My husband has a huge model HO train layout in the basement that he has built which he continues to make bigger. He's down there now working on it. : )

    1. I had a train set as a kid. My dad created a large table in our patio room where I had a complete layout with tunnels, bridges and a realistic environment. Not sure if he enjoyed it as much as or more than I did. - Margy


Thanks for stopping by. Comments, questions, and suggestions are always welcome. - Margy