The Caboose was a mobile office on the railroad. Conductors did their paperwork from the caboose and used the window at the top, or cupola to keep an eye on the train from above. Based on what they saw, the Conductor could relay information to the Engineer, Switchman, and Brakeman. For long-haul journeys, cabooses with bunks, kitchens, or restrooms were used.
Cabooses were made obsolete as technology improved. Switches are now operated remotely and the train relays its own information to the Engineer. Today, Conductors do their paperwork from inside the engine.
The caboose on display in Durand was built in 1928 for the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad. It was rebuilt twice by the ATSF before the Grand Trunk Western purchased it in 1969. Upon delivery, it was re-numbered to 75003 to match the local standard. This caboose was used around the Durand area until 1988, when it was sent to Port Huron’s yard and retired in August of 1989. Shortly thereafter, it was purchased by Jim and Laurie Kapp and donated to Durand Union Station.