N7E Caboose 21165
Donated by private owner in October 2006
The 21165 is the crown jewel in the CRHS's collection. Its donation to us made it our first piece of former Conrail equipment.
The 21165 began life as Erie Lackawanna Railroad C368, part of a group of 20 cabooses built by the International Car Company in 1970. Conveyed to Conrail in 1976, it was painted blue in 1976 and served Conrail until 1984 when it was sidelined in Reading, PA. Eventually sold into private ownership, the 21165 was moved to Sands Point, NY and put on private property. In 2006, the property owner decided to list the caboose on eBay. After several months with no bids, the owner donated the caboose to the CRHS.
While it came to us in decent condition, and fewer repairs were needed than expected, the 21165 was still the recipient of a multi-year fundraising and restoration effort.
Mechanical restoration came first, with new wheels and brake gear repairs the initial order of business. This allows the 21165 to travel on the national rail system, meaning that we can bring it to events such as Conrail Days at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania and use it for events like The CRHS's Ride the Rails for Cancer caboose rides.
In 2014, the 21165 underwent an exterior cosmetic restoration and has been the recipient of a fresh paint job, making the car look as good as it did when it first rolled out of Conrail's Reading, PA shops in 1976.
Starting in August of 2017, the 21165 is on lease to the Allentown & Auburn Railroad in Kutztown, PA, where it is frequently used for both excursion trains (which are available for the public to ride) or on freight trains, doing exactly what it was designed to do over four decades ago!