Oregon Pacific Railroad 900
Last Update:  May 21, 2013
Oregon Pacific Railroad No. 900
The OPR 900 is one of the nicest cabooses around.    Its sometime mistaken for a custom ground up passenger excursion
caboose.  In fact, this was once a logging caboose work horse for the Simpson Timber Company, near Shelton, Washington.

When the Simpson Timber Company cut back its logging operations in the 1980s, it began to shed some of its equipment,
including a number of cabooses.   One of those cabooses was their No. 900.  Simpson built at least two short cab cabooses,
numbered 1201 and 900 (or possibly 901).    The current OPR 900 was purchased by Mr. Samuels in the mid 1990s after it
was surplussed by the Simpson Timber Company.  

The caboose was originally built for the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1926, before being eventually aquired and modified by
Simpson Timber in the 1950s.

Mr. Samuels and his family set about to rebuilt the caboose and converted it for use on their passenger excursion line that
was called Samtrak.    The restoration was complete and one look both inside and out, reveals that lot of work was clearly
done on this caboose.   Some of the restoration work included having to reconstruct the frame with new side I-beams, all new
tongue in groove siding and a brand new scratch built cupola.

From about the mid 1990s through approximately 2002, the 900 served along with the 4501 locomotive and a center open air
car as the consist for Samtrak.  When Samtrak was shutdown, the caboose was parked in Milwualkie for several years.

It looked like the 900 might not get much use.  But that changed with the 50th anniversary of the "end of steam" excursion in
2006, when the SP&S 700 was brought out to the OPR to celebrate the anniversary of its last passenger run in 1956.  The
No. 900 was featured predominately behind the 700 consist.    Since then, the No. 900 has been featured at every major
event on the OPR and since the OPR has decided to continue to host occasional excursions every year, it looks like the No.
900 has a new lease on life.

In late 2006, the No. 900 underwent one additional modification, when a canopy was installed over the passenger deck.  This
will allow the 900 to be used in inclement weather and provide shade for passengers during hot weather excursions.

Because of the 900's features and a set of rear facing horns, it is now commonly used on current excursions at the end of the
train and is used both as it was original designed and as it was later rebuilt...to be a real caboose at the end of a train and to
provide reversing capability.
This is Simpson Caboose No. 1201, as viewed on the Chelatchie Praire Railroad in 2005.  This is not the OPR 900, but is the OPR 900's sister
caboose and probably close to what the 900 looked like when Mr. Samuels began their restoration of the 900 in the mid 1990s.
These are various photos of the 900 in action between 2006 and 2007.
Photos of the interior of the 900.
Photos of the 900 in its final years as the caboose for Samtrak.
Photos courtesy of Brian Sopke, conductor for Samtrak, approximately 2001.
The No. 900 parked on a siding in Milwualkie in 2005, several years after retirement from Samtrak.   Fortunately, its retirement was
short lived.
Photos of the 900 by my uncle Geron Marcom.
Copyright © 2004-2013 All Rights Reserved
Brian McCamish
Photos of the 900 in use at the June, 2008 summer event behind the SP&S 700.
Photos of the 900 in use during several OPR charters in late 2008 and early 2009.
Photos of the 900 at the Holiday Express 2008.   The caboose was used as a shelter for the speeder operators and OPR crew during the event.