Plain City acquires vintage caboose for Public Square project

This 1949 caboose will be a feature in Plain City’s Public Square project. It will complement the 1880s railroad depot the village acquired. The historic pieces will set the vibe and aesthetic for the Public Square, a community gathering space the village is creating over multiple phases.

(Posted June 18, 2024)

The village of Plain City’s Public Square project received a significant historical addition with the acquisition of a 1949 Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) Railway caboose. This piece of railroad heritage was procured from Mr. Tree Christmas Tree Farm in Blacklick, Ohio. The caboose was originally brought to the farm by former owner/operator Paul “Pat” Patterson and has stood as a local landmark for over three decades.

Constructed in 1949, the caboose boasts a distinctive steel exterior and stands at 12 feet tall, 10 feet wide, and 40 feet long. The acquisition includes not only the caboose, but also its contents, railroad tracks and ties, bumper ends, access stairs, an internal pot belly stove, external lamps, and a railroad crossing sign.

The C&O Railway, known for “Chessie the Kitten,” which was prominently featured in its logo for generations, played a pivotal role in the development of the region’s rail infrastructure. Originally formed in 1869 in Virginia, the C&O expanded its operations over the years, ultimately becoming part of the Chessie System and later merging into CSX Transportation (CSXT) in the 1980s. CSX Transportation continues to serve the Plain City area.

Initially, the caboose will be stored at a secure location where it will undergo a restoration. The caboose’s original C&O colors and markings will be retained. Following the restoration, the caboose will be relocated to the site of the Public Square project. The village welcomes individuals or organizations with expertise in vintage railroad equipment and railroad history to contribute to the planning and execution of the restoration project.

In addition to the caboose, the Public Square project will feature an 1880s railroad depot recently relocated to Plain City from northwest Columbus.

For more information about Public Square, visit www.plain-city.com/public-square.

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