Richard Beall and his team have worked tirelessly on the restoration of the last remaining FEC wood caboose here at GCRM! The project to restore the FEC caboose #715 began in January 2020, and is expected to be complete this month. Caboose #715 was built in 1925, and served the Florida East Coast Railway all over Florida, including many trips to Key West via Henry Flagler's Overseas Railway until 1966 when the caboose was retired. Once retired, it was donated to the Florida Pioneer Museum in Florida City where it stood on display until October 2012. Eventually, the caboose made its way to GCRM, and donations were made to rebuild and restore this wood caboose. Richard Beall has served as the project manager, job foreman, and carpenter for this project.
Beall's father, C.A. "Chuck" Beall was the last engineer to move the caboose via rail to Florida City, and Beall states that he feels honored to have been the one directly responsible for bringing it back to life. When completed, the caboose will be placed in the museum for visitors to enjoy, tour, and ride in for many years to come. Beall mostly worked on the project with General Contractor, Edward "Spike" Quimby, and a few occasional helping hands for assistance and grunt work. They have both worked tirelessly on bringing the old caboose back to life, and we are grateful to be a part of this special restoration!