Redngold From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6907 posts, RR: 51 Reply 2, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 1784 times:
Cabooses were sleeping quarters for the train crew. Nowadays, trains move much faster and there's less need for sleeping quarters. Today's passenger trains have sleeping cars for the crew; the freight trains will either have a crew rest car or there will be so many stops along a route that a substitute crew can take over.
Cptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 2606 posts, RR: 13 Reply 12, posted (9 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 1655 times:
Sorry I noticed this topic late but, as an ol-timey railfan, thought I'd chime in too. Most all replies are part of the equation, but LHmark added another reason for the early intent (the brakeman). The caboose was the "office" for the conductor who kept tabs on waybills, schedules, etc., looked out for trouble on the train (usually via upstairs cupola or bay windows) and a brakeman, and sometimes a flagman. When two brakemen were used (one in caboose and one forward) they would exit their stations to the tops of railcars and manually adjust the cars' brakes, often meeting near or at the center of the train of cars. The flagman would "flag" missions accomplished to the engineer and fireman. Sleeping bunks and stove for heat and cooking were common.
Better air-actuated brakes eventually eliminated the need for a brakeman (or, brakemen) except while "humping" railcars without power into railyards, and that station was eventually eliminated as was that of flagman. Conductors retained their duty as paperpushers as well as observers for wheel fires and other problems that the engineer and firemen would be too busy to watch for. Eventually, electronics replaced the conductor as well as the station (caboose) at the rear of the train.
As some of you have noted, it's very analogous to the elimination of radio operators/navigators/engineers on commercial aircraft. Trains don't look right without cabooses, and I still miss the perspex bubble behind the cockpit of airliners, too. Regards...Jack
SlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 71 Reply 13, posted (9 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 1633 times:
Isn't the plural "cabeese?"
So what you are saying is that they were outsourced?
Being a lifelong fan of all modes of transport, I've always wanted a ride in a caboose. Finally got one at the Portola California Railroad Museum. Just happened to be sitting up in the cupola when they moved the train. So we stayed there and watched. (Never saw any hotboxes!)
Same day I set up my video camera at the Williams loop and got a train of flats crossing underneath itself on the 1.1 mile 360o loop and staring down the Feather River Canyon. Was looking for, but did not see the EOTD, but the cars were not loaded.
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
Lehpron From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 7028 posts, RR: 22 Reply 14, posted (9 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 1625 times:
You're right, I haven't seen may 'cabeese' lately. That's a funny word dude.
The only way I see them any more are on model trains, like HO scale. Those are the coolest. We have a model train museum her ein San Diego, or I think it's still there, nobody goes there anymore, like that generation just grew up and got stupid or something.
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
Seb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9914 posts, RR: 17 Reply 15, posted (9 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 1609 times:
So this topic begs the question: What was the difference between the 'cabeese' (good word!) with the cupola on top or on the side? I remember Union Pacific had the top ones and Burlington Northern had the side ones. Was there an advantage to one over the other?
Cptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 2606 posts, RR: 13 Reply 17, posted (9 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 1599 times:
Seb 146; A cupola was more advantagous when there were there were minimal overhead obstructions; the bay window was developed when (as you can imagine) the extreme costs incurred by making tunnels and overpasses higher when a rail-line labor/time/cost construction equation was inserted. Other common sense factors, such as the "snake of the route" had much to do with a bay window design decision also.
The Caboose Is Dead. The Caboose Is Dead. Long Live The Caboose.
Matt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 51 Reply 18, posted (9 years 1 month 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 1576 times:
I live not far from a main line that runs through Riverside. I see a lot of trains go by. Most of them are BNSF or Santa Fe Intermodal or Piggyback trains. Those have no "cabeese" on them. I also see the Metrolink trains every so often. Once in awhile, an Amtrak will pass through. And once in a blue moon, an old fashioned freight train with boxcars and tank cars and gondolas and so on will go buy. Sometimes there will be an old red Santa Fe caboose at the end. But these are pretty rare. But I do see them.