*Feature photo: Ranchester Mayor Peter Clark and Town of Ranchester's Jill LaToush look at their new fixture, a 53,000 pound BNSF caboose, which was moved to town Friday. / Pitchengine Communities photo* (Ranchester, Wyo.) — If you live in Ranchester, you may have noticed your new 53,000 pound neighbor. It is a former 1970s-era BNSF Railroad caboose, which, after years of careful planning, is finally in its permanent location of honor on Ranchester's main drive, Dayton Street. The process to bring the car from Eighth Street in Sheridan to Ranchester began a few years ago, Mayor Peter Clark said today—but the town itself can trace its railroading roots back to the turn of the 20th Century. "The only reason we are here is because of the railroad. This original townsite was established by Lincoln Land Company in, I think, 1894. It was incorporated in 1911, but it was the railhead for the old sawmill for the tie flume. They would take the lumber off the mountains, bring them down here and put them on the railroad," Clark said. Ever since, Ranchester has embraced that connection, that history. The Town is also beautifying its main thoroughfare, which sees heavy traffic all summer as tourists head to Yellowstone and come through for local celebrations or Connor Battlefield
"We have the new Mercantile Building, and that is a railroad design," Clark
said. "The Information Center across the street is also a railroad design.
This is part of our revitalization on our main street."
To release—essentially to give away—a rail car, the BNSF has to condemn a
car, Clark explained. That took a little back and forth and a lot of
paperwork between the Town and the BNSF, and additionally, the Town had to
lay a concrete pad for the car to sit on near Town Hall, and then had to
find BNSF tracks for it to sit on.
And getting everyone in the same place at one time to move the 53,000 pound
car, lay the tracks and use a crane to do so—well, that also took some
"We aren't moving this thing again," Clark laughed.
On its Facebook page today, The Town of Ranchester thanked Matt Jones, Bill
Badenhoop, Rod Myers, and the crews from BNSF for donating railroad track
and helping move the BNSF Caboose to town.
In addition, the Town thanked Larry Littrell from S & T Trucking for
donating his trucks and Fletcher Construction for providing the crane
service, and all the town employees and citizens who made the project
The interior was designed to host a railroad employees, and is outfitted
with sleeping quarters and a bathroom. See inside the rail car below:
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*Peter Clark inside the car today. / Pitchengine Communities photo*
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*View through the car. / Pitchengine Communities photo*
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*The Town of Ranchester's Jill LaToush checks out the car today. /
Pitchengine Communities photo*
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*The bathroom on the car. / Pitchengine Communities photo*
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*The view of the I-90 entrance to town from the old caboose. / Pitchengine
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*Clark and LaToush at the car today. / Pitchengine Communities photo*
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*Sleeping quarters. / Pitchengine Communities photo*
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*More features inside the car, which has found its permanent home. /
Pitchengine Communities photo*