World War II Vet Recalled To Active Duty
Former World War II Army Caboose 911, has been recalled from semiretirement to active duty to meet the demands of the increased freight service to the expanding Yukon.
In 1943 this caboose was rebuilt from a Colorado & Southern box car for the U.S. Army, who leased the White Pass & Yukon Route during World War II. It served in the Military Rail Service 770th Railway Operating Battalion's northern campaign, constructing the Alaska Highway, Whitehorse Air Base and several air fields along the Highway. Also involved in the wartime buildup was the Canol Project, which involved development of oil wells at Norma Wells, N.W.T., a crude oil pipeline to Whitehorse where a complete oil refinery had been transferred from Corpus Christi, Texas, and subsequent pipelines to Fairbanks, Skagway and Watson. 37 Trains in One Day.
During this period, trains were run around the clock hauling thousand of tons of war material, 14 northbound trains and 23 southbound trains operated. On August 4th, 1943, a record of 2085 net tons were hauled over the grueling White Pass Summit to Whitehorse. By the end of 1944 the invasion threat had been successfully combated. The Army gradually pulled out of Skagway, returning the operation of the railroad to civilian control. At the end of the War, the White Pass purchased much of the railway equipment and locomotives, including Caboose No. 911. The caboose lay in the Skagway yards until 1955 when it resurrected as a bunk car for the maintenance of way forces. By 1967, increased traffic demands required additional freight trains, so the veteran caboose was brought back to Skagway for reconversion to a caboose again. Completing the conversion, the old box car red color scheme was changed to the modern high-visibility White Pass green and yellow.
Text from the Container Route News, March 1968