Missouri Local 933 helps lead caboose restoration 

August 21, 2023

The city of Pleasant Hill, Missouri, requested help from their community to restore a historic Missouri Pacific caboose on display in the town square. In response to this need for civic involvement, SMART-TD Local 933 out of Jefferson City answered the call and has partnered with local Boy Scout and Cub Scout troops to do the heavy lifting on the project.  

Jorge Moralez, a Local 933 trustee and 16-year veteran conductor with Union Pacific (UP), is leading the effort by assembling a workforce of Local 933 members and area scouts and will be running the restoration project this fall Oct. 2 through 8.  

Jorge Moralez, a conductor and local trustee out of Local 933 in Jefferson City, Missouri, is shown on the job. Brother Moralez and other members of his local are leading efforts to restore an old Missouri Pacific caboose in Pleasant Hill, Missouri.

Our brothers and sisters will work with the community to do large-scale repairs to the historic caboose that ran on local lines from 1971 through 1986. Among the fixes — repainting it and fortifying the stabilizing base of the caboose, which was donated to the town of Pleasant Hill and put on display in their downtown in 1998 as a tribute to the community’s rich history as a midwestern railroad town. 

“I see this project and this caboose as a rallying point for anyone who wants to see downtown Pleasant Hill continue to be a place the community can be proud of together,” Moralez said. 

Funding for the project is coming from private donations and has been supplemented by the city of Pleasant Hill contributing $2,000, The Pleasant Hill Community Betterment Board also contributed $2,000, and UP put $1,000 dollars into the project.  

SMART-TD Local 1409 (Kansas City, Kansas) is sending a contingent of SMART Army participants on October 3 to pick up the mantle and lead the restoration that day. 

The next day, Local 933’s monthly meeting will be conducted in the caboose. The meeting will begin at 10 am, and the restoration efforts as well as a BBQ lunch that will begin when the meeting concludes.  The BBQ will be prepared by Local 933’s own conductor/pit boss Don Mccon, who has offered his talents to the project.  

The restoration is far from complete, and monetary donations are needed for supplies and to feed the volunteers over the seven-day project. In addition to financial donations, Local 933 and Brother Moralez are asking all our members in the greater Kansas City area to come out during the week and help the cause. They are in need of your talent, tools, and your railroad stories to keep the young volunteers entertained and engaged. 

If you are able to participate please contact Brother Moralez by email at jorgemoralez@gmail.com, or you can send donations via PayPal by following the QR code featured in the flier above.  

SMART-TD and the SMART Army are very proud the commitments of both Local 933 and Local 1409 to their community. You both are great examples of our union’s mission to be leaders around the country.