Caboose arrives in Miami

The new caboose arrived in Miami. (Lauren MacGill/Postmedia)

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After months of fundraising, a 105-year-old caboose has arrived at the Miami Railway Station Museum.
Board Chair Joan Driedger said she felt great relief now that the caboose is in place. “We’re very excited to have it here,” she said. “I’m sure it’s going to add greatly to our museum, and I am just relieved to have it here.”
The caboose arrived on August 16. It was transported by crane and truck from its former location and Driedger said the move went well.
The steel frame caboose was built in Montreal in 1914. It was originally built in the tongue-and-groove method, but as time went on plywood was added to the sides.
“It has been used as a bunkhouse,” Driedger said. “Then it was moved to the location where we got it from and put on the trucks and was open for the public.”
The caboose hasn’t been open to the public for five years and Driedger said it needs some work.
“The tarp is because the stovetop blew off and rain had gotten in,” she said. “We have to put the stovetop back on, make sure the roof doesn’t leak and then hopefully refurbish it completely with the tongue-and-groove siding, the correct paint and the inside as a caboose normally would have been.”
The caboose was donated to the museum anonymously, with the museum paying the cost to transport the caboose to its new location.
The new addition sits on tracks that were just installed last month by volunteers.
Driedger said the museum also has three motor cars, a crew car and a small crane that they have moved and have in storage. Eventually, Driedger said the museum would like to see at least one of them on the track with the caboose and open the caboose to the public.
“We did a lot of fundraising to pay for the move, and now we have to do some fundraising to pay for the actual repairs,” she said.
The museum recently celebrated its 130th anniversary, and Driedger said between that and the new caboose it is a good time for the Railway Station Museum and for the community.

“We’ve had more visitors at this time than we’ve ever had,” she said. “I’m so proud of the people in Miami. It’s a great place to be. I think Miami has the greatest volunteers.”

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