MP Caboose #509

This caboose was running out of the Avondale yard in Avondale, Louisiana back when I caught these views of it. Labeled as a Terminal Cab, I didn’t know exactly what its service was, assuming it was perhaps used for transfers around New Orleans. But I did see it several times just parked around in or near the diesel shop.

I’ve searched for other photographs of this car or others like it, but to no avail. It has several features that stand out as different from other similar cabooses. Note the end of the roof, closed in rather than open. Also note the absence of ribs on the roof. The windows in the cupola are different, a separated pair on the sides rather than a single large, sliding arrangement. The end windows are also narrower. Note that the running board on the roof is still in place, along with the handrail extension of the ladder. And the car number is quite low. I have wondered if this car was originally of wooden construction and later rebuilt with metal siding.

MP Caboose #509 at shop in Avondale, LA
Caboose #509 parked at the diesel shop at Avondale yard
MP Caboose #509 in yard at Avondale, LA
Right at dusk, caboose #509 is seen on the end of a train at Avondale yard

I don’t know the dates that I recorded these images . . . they were scanned from slides that unfortunately drowned in a flood in 2016. But they were likely taken either in late 1970 or early 1971.

I didn’t often ride in cabooses back then (mostly rode the locomotives). But I do remember two distinct differences in the cupolas. A few had two seats on each side, with the pairs facing each other. The other cabs (as they were called on the MOP/TP) had a single seat on each side which rotated to face the direction of travel. The windows on this caboose suggest it has the twin seats.

If anyone can fill in any of the blanks, please don’t hesitate to comment.

One thought on “MP Caboose #509

  1. With all the decals I got some yrs. ago at a swap meet.
    Decals of Some “Roads” I don’t model, So I found a set of MP caboose decals in them.
    I built the same caboose model in MP blue.
    Came out cool!
    “My football, My rules!”

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