V&T Coach-Caboose No. 15
Virginia & Truckee coach-caboose No. 15 was built in 1874 by the Detroit Car Works, along with sister car No. 16. They were designed for caboose service, which in those days included carrying third class passengers. They put in long, but unglamorous, careers bringing up the rear of freight trains on the V&T, typical of many of the work-a-day cars in service on railroads throughout the country. Many people remark about the fine hardwoods and colorful canvas ceiling cloth used in the interior of such a plebeian car, but this was not uncommon in the 1870's.
No. 15 faithfully served the V&T, and was part of the last regular train
out of Virginia City in 1938. Later in 1938, No. 15 was part of the large
equipment purchase by Paramount Pictures in preparation for the Cecil B. DeMille
movie Union Pacific. Following many years in the movies, it was sold to Old
Tucson Corp. on October 26, 1971. It then ended up at a short-lived theme park
near Las Vegas, and was donated to the Nevada State Railroad Museum on August
3rd, 1990. Today, sister car V&T No. 16 is restored and displayed at the
California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento. No. 15 is presently awaiting its
turn for restoration.