The Free Press, Mankato, MN

May 24, 2013

Caboose on the loose


The Free Press

MANKATO —

A landmark caboose was on the loose Friday. But not for long.

The train car that for years reposed in display fashion outside the downtown Mankato train depot was picked up and moved down the block to Riverfront Park, where plans call for it to become a park-entrance ticket booth.

The 41,400-pound caboose was hoisted by crane and placed on a flatbed truck for the morning trip down North Riverfront Drive.

Mankato Streets Supt. Jim Braunshausen said talk about moving the caboose began last fall, and when the project became a go, a track section was installed at the park for the car to be placed on. 

The caboose formerly served as a visitors' information center before the Mankato Area Chamber of Commerce (now Greater Mankato Growth) moved to new quarters a few years ago. 

The idled and unwanted caboose was purchased by the Dotson Company for a nominal charge, said company head Dennis Dotson, who wanted to see the piece of local history repurposed.

Braunshausen said the move came at no cost to the city due to the donated services of SMC (Southern Minnesota Construction), Web Construction, and STS Trucking. 

—Brian Ojanpa