By the mid-1950s, many changes had taken place along the Carolina & North-Western Railway. The company now leased and operated four other shortlines (Yadkin; Blue Ridge; Danville & Western; and the High Point, Randleman, Asheboro, & Southern) in the Southern Railway fold. Passenger trains were gone from all of these shortlines by now; however, freight business was climbing.
In the same timeframe, the Southern Railway was updating its aging wooden caboose fleet with modern baywindow style units. Similar plans followed for the Carolina & North-Western.
Ten baywindow cabs, numbered X25-X34 were built for the C&NW from April 1954 until November 1955 by the Southern Railway at the Hayne Shops in Spartanburg, SC. They were scattered among the Lenoir, Albemarle, Martinsville, Asheboro, and Anderson divisions. Accounting records indicate that all of the cabs were owned by the C&N-W company, and none were sublettered for the leased roads.
Over the operational life of these units, there were four basic paint and setup phases that have been clearly determined. Naturally, they closely mirror the various Southern Railway practices and phases that existed, but there are some important differences. Furthermore, there are some exceptions to nearly each of these phases. If one chooses to model a C&N-W caboose, the old addage about selecting a particular number at a particular date is particularly wise.
In short, the four phases are:
Phase I: The bodies, roof, ends, and walks were painted red. The steps, ladders, and grab irons were painted yellow. There is some debate as to brakewheels being yellow or red, and photographic evidence supports both theories. The trucks and underframe were always black. Window edges were unpainted silver. Lettering was yellow. According to the late Sam McCall, a good model paint match for red is "Special Oxide Red", Pollyscale 414354. Yellow is 414122, and Black is 414290.