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A railroad caboose has been added to the project at the hand-dug well at Selkirk.

The Wichita County Historical Society purchased the Santa Fe caboose #999190 from Bob and Beverly Petrus of Syracuse, Kansas. Bob had purchased the caboose in 1989 from the railroad, he then restored the interior to be used as his office and to display his many railroad artifacts and antiques. The story of Bobís caboose office was featured in the April 1999 Santa Fe newsletter for their employees.

Erwin Mitchell spotted the caboose nestled between Highway #50 and the BNSF main line at Syracuse and inquired as to whether Bob would sell the caboose. He set up an appointment for his wife Connie, himself, Karen and Curt Walk, the society President, to make a Sunday afternoon trip to Syracuse to look at it. We returned that evening full of hope and wishing there was some way that we could make arrangements to purchase the caboose. It would be great to have it at the Selkirk site, where the hand-dug railroad well is being preserved and the depot restored.

Two nights later we met with the members of the historical society, and presented the photos that Beverly Petrus had given to us. After much discussion, a vote was made to purchase the caboose. Erd called Bob that evening after the meeting and asked if he would accept payments for the purchase, and he was very kind to say "Yes"! Bob called Mark Marcellus, house mover from Liberal, Kansas and made the arrangements to move the caboose from Syracuse to Selkirk, Kansas in about a week or so!

Things were happening so fast, the weather was very cold, but concrete pads had to be made under the heavy trucks of the 59,000 pound caboose. A railroad bed needed to be made and it had to be fast, in order to have time for the concrete to cure before the caboose was to arrive!

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Darin, Derald, and Curtis Walk, and Brent Oldham dug four holes in the hard, frozen ground. What a job! Pieces of iron were placed into the holes to reinforcement the concrete. The cement truck from "Concrete Industries" arrived at 10:30 a.m. on Monday morning, February 5, 2002 and in a short time the four holes were filled.

Erd and Lee Riddiough went to work smoothing and leveling the concrete. Cement truck driver, Kevin Sayre watches and shivers in the cold!

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Because of the severe cold and wind, tarps and straw were placed over the concrete in the afternoon to keep it from freezing. The next day, gravel was hauled out to the site and leveled for the roadbed.

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And Here It Comes!!

Mark Marcellus and his workers coming up the Selkirk road, south of highway #96 in Wichita County. The caboose was lifted off itís wheels and was placed on a semi-truck and the two sets of double wheels were set on another semi-truck. I have been told that the correct term for the "wheels" would be "trucks". So, I will try to refer to them as the caboose trucks to avoid confusion with the semi-trucks.

With the use of the winch truck, the caboose trucks are lifted from the trailer of the


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The ties nailed to one length of rails were lifted in one piece and loaded at Syracuse.

Several ties came loose as they lifted them off of the trailer at Selkirk, so had some alterations there.

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What would they do without a winch? Everything goes along so smoothly.

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A picture is worth a thousand words! Getting everything lined up exactly!

Every step takes much more time than youíd think. They measure and then measure

again to make sure everything is right. When youíre dealing with such heavy equipment and objects, you donít want to have to do it over or wrong. The Marcellus Movers are perfectionists and the best in the business.

The caboose is now raised up with large jacks and blocks. The jacks are on wheels for easy moving. These are the same jacks that they use when moving houses.

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The caboose is raised up and a short length of track is made on each side of the

caboose with wood blocks under it to serve as ties. The semi-truck is pulled

forward up to the front portion of the caboose, where it remains for a while longer.

One set of caboose trucks are pushed onto the "extended" rail and under the caboose.

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The jacks are lowered and the caboose is set into the correct position. The back jacks

are removed. At the front of the caboose, blocks have been inserted under the caboose and the front jacks are lowered to allow the caboose to set level on the trailer of the semi- truck. Now all of the weight is evenly on the trailer and the caboose trucks. The semi-truck pushes the caboose down the rails to the west end.

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The jacks have again been placed under the front of the caboose and the semi-truck pulls out from under the whole thing.

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The large semi-truck dollied down itís trailer and then pulled back near the front of the caboose and the men assembled a winch, which had been pulled up from itís frame. It was attached with chains to the front of the caboose and raised up. The other winch truck picked up the 2nd set of caboose trucks, which had been set out of the way, and set them down near the caboose and the men rolled them up under the front end of the caboose and onto the rails. By this time, you can see it was getting very dark!

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Many of the onlookers pulled our vehicles around to shine our lights so the men could

see what they were doing. It was very cold and dark! In this last picture the guys are lowering the jacks and getting it placed on the front caboose truck.

It was then time for the guys to pick up tools and equipment and head for a warm meal and the motel.

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The next morning the men came out and finished up the leveling and returned back to Liberal, Kansas. Well done, Boys! Thanks!