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Restoration Update - April 18th, 2009

Overall, X201 has faired well since the restoration was “finished”.  At some point I had to draw the line and say the restoration was complete.  Now, something harder than the restoration has begun: maintenance.  X201 sees weekly service on the Calera & Shelby Railroad (C&S) at the Heart of Dixie RR Museum in Calera, AL.  Regular use has led to the typical wear and tear, mainly just paint damage around the platform, grab irons, coupler area, etc.  That is expected and actually gives the caboose some character as a working railcar, not just a museum piece.  I have also had to replace brake shoes, air hoses, and air hose restraint cables. 

I have been fortunate to find every single piece of original equipment to furnish the car’s interior.  X201 has an Igloo water bottle stamped “SOU RY”, the original Westinghouse air gage, and the original Aladdin kerosene lamp.  The final and most recent addition to the caboose interior was the Motorolla Handie-Talkie portable radio that fits into the special wall bracket.  The wall bracket has been there all along, but has been empty.  I have searched the web and ebay for years trying to locate one until the head of the museum car department, Jeff Murphree, located one.  This radio, also stamped “SOU RY CO.” was found in a boxcar at the Heart of Dixie museum along with other long-forgotten-about memorabilia.  Thanks to Jeff for locating this piece and offering it to me for use in the caboose – where it belongs!


Toward the end of the 2008 C&S operating season, I noticed some “cancer” popping up along the roofline of X201 where the roof panels wrap over and are riveted to the top of the car body.  Further investigation revealed a poor job of cleaning and priming in that area.  Over the winter I began grinding and sanding the rust down to sound metal and priming.  As soon as the weather cooperates, I will repaint the affected area with top coat and clear coat. 




Southern Railway Historical Association