Bear River caboose

Years ago a conversation with a friend became an ongoing curiosity about what railway “evidence” might still exist on Prince Edward Island? In the three decades since the end of rail service on the Island two cabooses have been trucked onto the Island (one ex-Boston & Maine and one ex-Canadian National) and of course 1762 is still in Kensington but what railway equipment remains that actually served the railway? I’ve written posts on this before so this is an update to that thread. We were on the Island and I was out enjoying a walk on the beach and just generally enjoying a drive in the rain. While on the way home I remembered finding the caboose in Bear River and wondered if it was still there?

Hello old friend

Good to see you

This car rolled here on its own wheels (that’s the story I’ve been told) and it was originally placed on its own length of track. Decades of life beside the ocean has completely worn away the rails from that track but the car is still on its trucks and its owners take good care of it.

A caboose perched by the ocean feels as much a one frame summary of Island railroading as that super Phil Mason photo of loading potato cars and this moment felt wonderful to be back in. Trips home to see friends are always good for the soul but that sense of connection is as much human as to a sense of place and in a few hours of rainy afternoon all those points touch and I feel at home.


Categories: How I think

3 replies

  1. It’s quite bright! I imagine there’s not a lot of original sheathing left on the caboose, but it’s nice to see it still standing.

    • The orange is new and the owners have added a second building to the property so this all feels like they’re still enjoying this caboose by the ocean. It is quite a bright colour which makes it feel like a bit of a beacon (or at least it did on that incredibly stormy afternoon). I believe it was previously painted green so the orange feels closer to familiar too. Driving home afterward I thought I really must make a day of checking in on all these survivors.


      • I’m glad they are maintaining and preserving this caboose. I don’t care about the colour so much – nobody outside a museum is going to paint one “right” anyway – but just keeping a caboose in use, even as a cabin, is just great.

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