Tour – Railroad Caboose

Audio Tour:

The Saratoga & Encampment Railway Company (S&E) was formed to haul goods to the Encampment smelter and mine from the Union Pacific Railroad at Walcott Junction. It then hauled copper ingots from the Encampment smelter back to the UPRR at Walcott Junction.

Prior to the S&E construction, freight was unloaded onto docks and hauled 40 miles by wagon to Encampment and then onto other mines in the Sierra Madres.  It took thousands of horses and mules to haul the hundreds of wagons to these sites.

The Boston Wyoming Smelter Company created the S&E Railway Co due to financial problems with its company and the copper industry.  It took three years to get the railroad built. It was completed in 1908. From 1912 to 1928, the line was operated under receivership by Union Pacific. At that time, UP purchased the line outright and operated it as a branch of their railroad until it was abandoned in the 1970s.

The caboose of the original train was parked near the Encampment stockyards with an old snowplow from 1928 to 1940. Gene Bashor rescued the Caboose box without the underlying steel and used it as an addition to his home in Riverside until 2015, when it was moved to the museum.