Help us refurbish this Caboose as a Permanent Exhibit at NBRRM!
CSX Transportation, an early supporter of the New Buffalo Railroad Museum when it opened its doors in the 1980s and since, has informed the New Buffalo Railroad Museum of the donation of the CO 904126 Caboose in an “as is” condition subject to the Museum’s relocation from Holland, Michigan to the Museum site. he Museum Board gives special thanks to CSX's Robert Rohauer for making this happen.
And to support this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the Museum, The Pokagon Fund Board of Directors has granted a conditional $5,000 grant to support the costs of relocation and refurbishment of the Caboose as a permanent display at the Museum’s site.
The Pokagon Fund grant, a stalwart supporter of the Museum in the past, is providing their grant as a matching grant; to secure this funding, the Museum must raise $5,000 in new donations from individuals and businesses for this purpose. The Museum invites the public to join us to ensure this grant and this successful acquisition.
Acquiring a Caboose has long been a goal of the Museum. Imagine an refurbished authentic bright yellow C&O Caboose alongside an authentic World War II Railroad Troop Car, an authentic Chessie System Box Car, a brightly colored Depot, and the authentic New Buffalo Fire Department 1870 Hand Pumper Unit used to fight the great Chicago Fire of 1871 on view directly from the entry to New Buffalo, the heart of Harbor County on Harbor Country Drive/S. Whittaker Street. Most individuals never have the opportunity to actually go inside a railroad car other than passenger train or mass transit. With the addition of a caboose, our visitors will now be able to inside three! We anticipate that the addition of a caboose will be a major draw to the Museum and complete the railroad cars component of our displays.
The recent Community Assessment Report conducted by The Pokagon Fund along with feedback from the Community suggests that continued and new community engagement opportunities for engagement for children and their families is highly desired by all. Based on visitor tracking, the largest percentage of visitors to the Museum includes families.
“The caboose used to play a major role until they were retired in the 1980’s. It’s wonderful that our local New Buffalo Railroad Museum will be one of the few places that children will be able to experience these important relics,” said The Pokagon Fund Director Janet Cocciarelli.
With this grant of $5,000 from The Pokagon Fund to pay for the estimated costs of relocation by flatbed truck to New Buffalo (the Caboose is not roadworthy per CSX), we will commit to raising an additional $5,000 from the Community to ensure proper refurbishment on the Museum site (track positioning, connection to existing RR cars, safety access for the public, and needed painting/outfitting as a display. In order to have this available this season, the Museum is working on relocation for this April with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in May.
The Museum has been and will always be open to the public free-of-charge. For 2019, the Museum will be open to the public 12:00-5:00 on Saturdays and Sundays, April 6 through October 27. This is made possible by the generosity of entities like CSX Transportation, The Pokagon Fund, and area businesses as well as many residents, second homeowners, and visitors to our area.