Donated by private owner in October 2006

The 21165 is the crown jewel in the CRHS's collection. Its donation to us made it our first piece of former Conrail equipment.

The 21165 began life as Erie Lackawanna Railroad C368, part of a group of 20 cabooses built by the International Car Company in 1970. Conveyed to Conrail in 1976, it was painted blue in 1976 and served Conrail until 1984 when it was sidelined in Reading, PA. Eventually sold into private ownership, the 21165 was moved to Sands Point, NY and put on private property. In 2006, the property owner decided to list the caboose on eBay. After several months with no bids, the owner donated the caboose to the CRHS.

While it came to us in decent condition, and fewer repairs were needed than expected, the 21165 was still the recipient of a multi-year fundraising and restoration effort. 

Mechanical restoration came first, with new wheels and brake gear repairs the initial order of business. This allows the 21165 to travel on the national rail system, meaning that we can bring it to events such as Conrail Days at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania and use it for events like The CRHS's Ride the Rails for Cancer caboose rides.

In 2014, the 21165 underwent an exterior cosmetic restoration and has been the recipient of a fresh paint job, making the car look as good as it did when it first rolled out of Conrail's Reading, PA shops in 1976.

Starting in August of 2017, the 21165 is on lease to the Allentown & Auburn Railroad in Kutztown, PA, where it is frequently used for both excursion trains (which are available for the public to ride) or on freight trains, doing exactly what it was designed to do over four decades ago!


The 21165 Today

21165 Restoration

Acquiring 21165

On August 30, 2017, the Allentown & Auburn Railroad ran its first freight train for its first regular freight customer. The lading in the covered hopper is clay, which will be trucked from Kutztown to a local industry. Conrail 21165 was used for the four-mile shove move from the interchange in Topton to the siding in Kutztown.

CR 21165 passes Delray Tower in Detroit, MI on the rear of a freight train in October 1976. (Jason Berkner collection)

CR 21165 brings up the rear of a circus train at Allentown, PA on May 3, 1984. (Kermit Geary Jr. photo)

CR 21165 at Bethlehem, PA on a light engine move to Oak Island on December 26, 1979. (John C. Durant photo)

CR 21165 stored at the deadline in Conrail's Reading, PA yard on December 2, 1984. (Kermit Geary Jr. photo)