eje503Built in the mid-1950’s, The 503 is an Elgin Joliet & Eastern road caboose that carried train crews on long freight runs. It was equipped with, among other things, a cupola where the brakeman kept watch for trouble on the train, equipment to monitor the train’s airbrake system, emergency equipment and spare parts and red lights mounted on the back to warn oncoming trains at night. When technological advances rendered the caboose obsolete in the 1980’s, they were phased out of operation. The 503 spent several years out of service at Kirk Yard, in Gary, before being donated to the Park in 1995. The caboose is restored to its original state and contains photos, historical displays and artifacts.