Caboose 1074 taken on the Matanuska Branch on a gravel train in the early 90's. You can see why the confusion has arrived as to blue verses black. If you are careful in examining this photo you can see the Alaska and the band on the side are definitely black. The cupola is also black although the dirt, weathering and atmospheric conditions and optical shift from being adjacent to the yellow side gives it a blue cast.

Cabooses 1065-1084 were built by Pacific Car and Foundry Co. in March 1948 and placed in service April 1949.

10/15/09 update: "The Alaska Railroad delivered a caboose to its new owner in Wasilla on Thursday, October 15, 2009. John Whitney, who rode the caboose Thursday, had the winning bid in an auction to buy the caboose, which he says was manufactured in 1947 and delivered to Alaska the following year. Cabooses have been phased out of use on Alaska Railroad, many taken out of service a decade ago. Before then the cars provided a place for trainmen to monitor the safety of the train from the cupola and also had a backup system for applying the brakes. Cabooses often had stoves for heat and gave shelter and office space for crews. Whitney, a life-long railroad buff, says the caboose will reside at the Alaska Live Steamers in Wasilla, where he'll work to restore it." - Anchorage Daily News

Photo courtesy of Pat Durand