Engine No. 481
This Baldwin steam engine, made in 1903, traveled along the main branch lines of the Union Pacific in Kansas until the winter of 1954 – 1955. After a long life in Kansas, Engine 481 found its last few years here in Nebraska between Kearney and Columbus. When the Union Pacific retired the locomotive in 1958, it was then moved to Pioneer Park. Engine 481’s last stop came on February 14th, 1977 when the City of Kearney donated the train to Trails & Rails Museum and has since been on display.
This two-man caboose primarily served the rear brakeman and conductor looking over the general operation of the train. The above observation deck allowed for workers to look out for hot boxes and unwanted passengers.
Inside there is enough storage space and bunks to lodge five crewmen working at a time.
Other workers included a front brakeman, an engineer, and a fireman.
Occasionally, a rancher moving their livestock could be in the caboose to watch over his stock.
This caboose was taken out of commission in 1979.