Welcome Aboard the Thunder Mountain Line
Idaho's only Scenic Train Ride

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Contact Us

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Mon-Fri 10 am -4 pm
Sat 10 am - 3 pm
Sun 10 am -1 pm
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INPR Caboose 47
Eagle Sales Office
For Groups (20 +) or Private Car Rentals Call: 208-331-1184
Open Monday-Sunday

The caboose served several functions to the railroads over the last 100 years with its origins dating back to the 1840's. It had become a fixture at the end of every freight train traveling across the plains becoming an American icon.

The caboose was the office for the conductor, brakeman and flagman becoming a home away from home. The conductor had a place for the switch lists, wheel reports and waybills to be kept during the train's journey. Before the invention of the air brake, it was the brakeman's job to walk forward on top of the cars turning a wheel applying hand brakes on each car. After the introduction of air brakes, the brakeman would throw switches and couple cars. The flagmen were responsible for signaling approaching trains that the train had stopped on the mainline.

The caboose had bunks for sleeping, stoves for cooking and rest rooms. It was also used to store tools, supplies, first aid kits, couplers and re railing frogs. Due to the location at the end of the train, inevitable slack would jolt crew members riding in the caboose as the train started and stopped.

Original cabooses were built with cupolas giving the crew a good observation point at the rear of the train. In the 1920's, new designs and construction led to the invention of the bay window caboose. This projecting sidewall on each side allowed crew members to view each side of the train .

As railroad technology changed with larger cars,remote switches, hours of service, and End of Train Devices, the cabooses function became less important. Today many cabooses are still in service on tourist railroads, seen at museums and used for cabins.

We hope you enjoy our renovated caboose for your next function and remember the important role they played in railroading history. Our caboose can accommodate 10 total riders and we can cater any type of food for your event.