In 2007, the San Jose City Council granted a variance for WP668. Building permits were issued for the stairs and electrical. In May 2007, WP668 was moved for a second time by South Bay Crane & Rigging – first the wheel trucks and then the body – onto the very short rail line in the Dickinson-Plocher backyard.
Some weeks before the crane arrived, John rented a very big fork lift to move the wheel trucks from storage to the backyard. As the wheel trucks rolled down the newly-ballasted rail line for the first time, the granite stones went crick-crick-crick as they settled together.
Julie, the South Bay Crane & Rigging’s crane operator, generously invited Paul and Jessica and other kids to sit in her cab. Before the WP668 caboose body could be lifted, one of the wheel trucks had to be turned around. As the caboose body was lifted over the trees, it got stuck and had to be pulled through. (Jessica asked if WP668 could be left in the air as the best treehouse ever.) The caboose had to be spun 90% to align with the rail line, then slowly lowered so that the pin fit into the hole at the top of each wheel truck.
Except as noted, text and images Copyright 2006-2020 by Katy Dickinson, John Plocher.
All photos are used with permission. All rights reserved.