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The Caboose

Built: 1956

Dedicated: 2020

Climb aboard the Chicago Northwestern Railroad Caboose at Old Falls Village Park. Starting this spring, visitors can enjoy self-guided tours and colorful infographics detailing life inside this historic railroad car. Highlights include the original cookstove and heater, an icebox for food refrigeration, reversible seats, workstation, an interesting toilet, and a 12-volt electric generator for lighting.

Manufactured in 1956 by the International Railway Car Company in Kenton, Ohio, the caboose rode the rails as Car 10869 for over 30 years. Weighing in at 77,300 pounds and 41 feet long, the caboose was a traveling home for the crew responsible for the train’s safety. As safety detection technology developed, the need for a caboose crew declined, and caboose manufacturing ended in the early 1980s. Railroads began replacing cabooses with electronic sensors. Ultimately, this caboose was retired from railroad service and repurposed as a visitor information center in Boone, Iowa.

In 2020, the Menomonee Falls Historical Society purchased this caboose and relocated it to a section of track adjacent to the park’s depot. Car 10869 has now been repainted and re-lettered to the original Chicago Northwestern appearance. Come to the Park for a tour, climb aboard, and learn all about it!

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