The CabooseDanbury ha a number of caboose cars with three (might be four) open to visitors. The caboose is the railroad version of a motor home. Each caboose has benches that double as bunks for sleeping, a small kitchen, lockers, first aid kit, tool kit, water tank, space heater, and bathroom. This is where the conductor and others would hang out while the train was underway. The conductor's role on a train is similar to a captain's role abroad a ship, and the caboose is his office as well as observation station. The conductor would maintain a manifest or documentation of the freight being hauled. So the caboose has a desk for the conductor. The caboose cars are fascinating and would be well worth the trip even if the museum had no other exhibits. One of the restored cabooses (there is actually a debate as to what the plural of the word should be. Some say it should be "caboose" as in the plural for "moose," which is "moose.") … anyway, one of the restored caboose is from the early 1900's, and its accommodations are quite crude, including a pot belly stove for both space heat and heating a kettle for coffee.
A more modern caboose (photo at right) might have nice kitchen counter and sink with water tank above.
Every caboose has a small deck at each end with a door leading to the inside. In winter, you would want to keep the door closed to keep warm. On each deck is a wheel that controls the brake on the caboose wheels
At the center of the caboose on both sides is an observation deck about 5 ft. above floor level and typically placed over lockers. This is why a caboose has a raised section in the roof. It gives the conductor a perch on the left or right facing in either direction from which he can see the cars ahead. From this perch he can spot a possible problem such has a car with a loose wheel. In an older caboose (photo at left) the seat is a crude (perhaps padded) bench. In a more modern caboose (example at right) the seat may be a cushioned swivel chair, similar to a desk chair.