In 2001, I wrote a letter to the Readers’ Forum regarding the condition of the caboose located near the Prospect Viaduct and how the caboose had deteriorated. Since then, its condition has worsened, although it has been repainted a few times.
In 2002, I made an attempt to find the rightful owner of the caboose, but my search was unsuccessful. My idea was to relocate it to a more visible location, such as the Heritage Discovery Center, and perhaps have it refinished so that visitors could walk through it.
Congressman John Murtha’s office was contacted during that same year and the response was that if all of the details could be worked out as to ownership and relocation, possibly a military helicopter might be used to move the caboose as part of a training exercise.
Unfortunately, I was never able to find out who owned it. In the 1960s, all of the Johnstown streetcars were sold to museums or scrapped and, as far as I know, there is not a fully restored streetcar in our town. I am hoping that this will not happen to our one and only caboose. However, if the cost to restore and/or relocate it is too great, then maybe it should be sold or donated to another community before it further deteriorates or is vandalized.
It would also help in our effort to improve the downtown area.
Gary G. Kozak