Blue caboose in Red Lion? ‘Yes sir – it’s gonna be red’

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A caboose made its way from Lancaster to the yard of Markey Trucking near Dallastown, Pa., in January. Eventually, it will be moved to the Red Lion Train Station Museum. Background posts: Old Baltimore tunnel an intriguing reminder of the ‘Ma’ in Ma & Pa Railroad and Ma & Pa rabbit trains: ‘I hope they thoroughly hosed out the cars.’ and York County railroading: ‘Something that gets into your blood’.
Red Lion is named after a tavern – a tavern that still stands but has morphed into a private residence.
So things tilt toward red there – the high school team colors, for example.
When a blue caboose destined for the restored Ma & Pa Railroad Station in Red Lion arrived in the area, it was natural for a news reporter to ask about any future paint job… .


“Yes sir – it’s gonna be red,” historical society member Shirley Keeports stated.
That seems to settle that.
And for other details about the blue caboose, see the following York Daily Record/Sunday News story (1/10/09):

Shirley Keeports’ voice became more excited as she watched her caboose become airborne.
For nearly a decade, Keeports, director of the Red Lion Area Historical Society Museum, searched for a caboose to display on the tracks outside the Red Lion Train Station Museum on North Main Street.
On Friday, she got one from the Lancaster chapter of the National Railway Historical Society.
“They were trying to find a home for it,” said Henry Herrman, a member of the Red Lion historical society.
“It was offered in their newsletter,” Keeports said of the donated late-1940s or early-1950s caboose. “I called the president . . . of the Lancaster chapter and said we were very much interested.”
Kinsley Construction donated labor and equipment to transport the caboose from Lancaster County to Markey Trucking Inc. in York Township, Keeports said. The caboose will be stored there until it can be restored — this spring, she said, she hopes.
Wil Markey of family-owned Markey Trucking donated the storage space because he appreciates antiques and wanted to help the Red Lion historical society, he said.
“Here it goes. Here it goes,” Keeports said as a crane lifted the 25-ton caboose several feet above the a tractor-trailer bed that hauled it from Lancaster County to York Township.
Keeports said the caboose was last used for storage. Inside, it has a bathroom and seating, she said.
The caboose is blue, but that will change, Keeports said.
“Yes sir — it’s gonna be red. I always think of a caboose being red,” she said, and added that the display will be a valued attraction at the museum. “We’ll certainly have it open for tours. . . . It’s quite an eye-catcher.”

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. East Region Editor, Digital First Media. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
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One Response to Blue caboose in Red Lion? ‘Yes sir – it’s gonna be red’

  1. Tony Hall says:

    I hope you didn’t paint that blue caboose red!

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