Is there a front and back to the caboose?  Does the stack follow behind?

Original Post

The back is whichever end the markers are hung at the time.

There may be a designated "A" end and "B" end, assignment may be dependent on the individual railroad.

Rusty

I think of the longer combine coach cabooses, combine cabooses, and drovers cabooses  as having crew compartment at the rear to allow brakeman to easily cover rear of train, and to easier get out on platform to put his elbow through an order hoop.

colorado hirailer posted:

I think of the longer combine coach cabooses, combine cabooses, and drovers cabooses  as having crew compartment at the rear to allow brakeman to easily cover rear of train, and to easier get out on platform to put his elbow through an order hoop.

What does this have to do with the original poster's questions?

Last edited by Hot Water
The GN Man posted:

If the cupola (or bay windows) are offset toward one end, that end was usually toward the rear.

So,,,,,,you are implying that railroads went to the trouble of turning cabooses, so that the cupola was to the rear? I personally find that hard to believe.

That would give the rear brakeman riding there slightly better visibility of the train (especially on curves) to watch for hotboxes etc.

Have you spent a lot of time riding in cupola style cabooses, to make that assumption?

It didn’t have to be that way, however.

Exactly!

 

 

I've seen them in images running with the stack in front or behind the cupola.

Not sure how much effort was placed in turning cabooses around. In many locations it may not have been possible?

I'm not and have not been a railroader but I do know that railroads did NOT plan on turning cabooses. I know this because I've never seen in real life or in photos a caboose that didn't have cupola windows facing in both directions, or a caboose without provision for marker lights at both ends. 

Well, if unfamiliar with combine, coach, or drovers cabooses, many had a small crew compartment at one end and a longer passenger compartment at other.  While there were trains run up branches or entire shortlines that could not be turned, many photos, such as that of the famous Pagosa Springs coach caboose, show the crew compartment at the very rear , which makes sense (to me) ideally, but would not have been always practical.  I was merely portraying why some, these, cabooses might have had a preferred direction in train make-up, to put crew in closest proximity to the very end of train.

Caboose  Cabin

Just went through my PRR books and the few pictures of cabins with offset cupolas showed they ran them in either direction.  As stated above, just makes sense they would not waste time turning them.

Since the seats in the cupola face both ways, it doesn’t matter.  Logically think about a rule for the RR that the caboose MUST face a certain way.  How much time and money would be wasted turning a caboose to comply with the rule. 

I don't know for sure but I'd imagine every railroad car has a designated A and B end. If for no other reason, it needs to have one to ID which end you're talking about ("Hey the work order says replace the coupler, but which one? They both look okay!").

As for cabooses (cabeese?), I couldn't imagine a crew would give any thought to which direction it was turned, just so long as it was in the right position within the train itself.

The funny thing is my wife, who is not a train fan (but tolerates my interest in that as well as other things) says she really misses them on the backs of trains as when she was younger, the crews would often wave and she missed that...

There are brackets on each end of the caboose that the markers can be set in.    The markers were stored inside when the caboose was not in use.    They put on the whichever end was at the rear when on a train.     So, based on the pictures that show the brackets on both ends, the RR ran them either way.    As someone mentioned, they would not waste the time and money to turn them (time is money in a business).

As modelers we all have favorite looks and often times cater to them, we are looking at aesthetics, not the bottom line at the end of the month.

I think I read the mountain based trains such as the D&RG ran the cabooses so the stack was behind the cupolas so as the stove was used the smoke would not filter into the caboose. Some would say the caboose is running backwards.

Dick

CBQer posted:

I think I read the mountain based trains such as the D&RG ran the cabooses so the stack was behind the cupolas so as the stove was used the smoke would not filter into the caboose. Some would say the caboose is running backwards.

Dick

Are.you.saying downhill,the  atmospheric pressure increase over cabin pressure (still at lower high alt pressure) is enough to stifle the flow of the flue and even reverse the flow?  I.could kinda see it if the stove side stacked, stoves fills if leaned and it comes out a crack/seam up high.

Adriatic posted:
CBQer posted:

I think I read the mountain based trains such as the D&RG ran the cabooses so the stack was behind the cupolas so as the stove was used the smoke would not filter into the caboose. Some would say the caboose is running backwards.

Dick

Are.you.saying downhill,the  atmospheric pressure increase over cabin pressure (still at lower high alt pressure) is enough to stifle the flow of the flue and even reverse the flow?  I.could kinda see it if the stove side stacked, stoves fills if leaned and it comes out a crack/seam up high.

I don't think that he said any such thing. He was just saying that the smoke would come into the cupola because the stack was in front of the cupola...the same way exhaust gasses from diesels would curl into the locomotive cab when running long hood forward.

That said,
O. Winston Link made films while riding the top of a caboose coupled behind the tender of a Class A. He rode on top in front of the cupola. The audio from some of these trips was on his album "Mainline To Panther". On one of those tracks, he speaks of how "The brakeman has a very powerful cigar"..."I can smell it even though the wind is blowing from me to him"..."Boy is it putrid!" Folks, the OWL was getting sick!

I've been aboard a caboose at shows.  I didn't think they looked very comfortable whichever way you rode in one. 

Dennis

Some of you guys seem to forget that railroading is a business. No railroad is going to spend any crew time and fuel to turn a caboose so the stack is in a certain position or the cupola is on the "right" end. Especially when it makes no operational difference which way a cab is pointed.

The caboose that was first out on the cab track went on the next train - period.

Rich Melvin posted:

The caboose that was first out on the cab track went on the next train - period.

Well Rich, there was a time when cabs were assigned to conductors and their cab went on the train they were called for. Their cabs were where many a crew spent their time at the away from home terminal and crews kept their personal items on their cabs. Yard crews had to dig certain cabs out of the cab tracks to put on the right trains.
Later on (late '60s) when the "Pool Cab" agreements went into effect, through freight conductors lost their assigned cabs for a certain minuscule amount of extra pay. Turnaround locals and outlying shifters kept their assigned cabs.
Then EOT's came along and the through freights lost their cabs altogether. Local freights may have kept their cabs for a time, but, even they were eventually gone with the exception of jobs that might require long shove moves. I which case, a cab was provided for a crew member to ride on instead of having to hang on the side of a car. 
Still, as for turning, it didn't happen on purpose.

"a cab was provided for a crew member to ride on"  When that procedure was used they used a caboose with welded up doors.  It was then called a 'riding' car.  For 'safety' reasons no one was allowed to ride inside the 'riding car'.  Russ

ChiloquinRuss posted:

When that procedure was used they used a caboose with welded up doors.  It was then called a 'riding' car.

I guess that depends on the RR.

Big Jim posted:
ChiloquinRuss posted:

When that procedure was used they used a caboose with welded up doors.  It was then called a 'riding' car.

I guess that depends on the RR.

A riding car is just about the only use for a caboose nowadays.

Rusty

Rusty Traque posted:
Big Jim posted:
ChiloquinRuss posted:

When that procedure was used they used a caboose with welded up doors.  It was then called a 'riding' car.

I guess that depends on the RR.

A riding car is just about the only use for a caboose nowadays.

Rusty

Yes, maybe. Yet, there is at least one caboose that is used in Roanoke Terminal these days and its doors aren't welded shut, which was the point that I was trying to make. It makes a big difference when one can get out of the weather on a long shove move.

Big Jim posted:
Rusty Traque posted:
Big Jim posted:
ChiloquinRuss posted:

When that procedure was used they used a caboose with welded up doors.  It was then called a 'riding' car.

I guess that depends on the RR.

A riding car is just about the only use for a caboose nowadays.

Rusty

Yes, maybe. Yet, there is at least one caboose that is used in Roanoke Terminal these days and its doors aren't welded shut, which was the point that I was trying to make. It makes a big difference when one can get out of the weather on a long shove move.

Point taken.  But, the purpose of a caboose in today's world is vastly different than it was in the good old days.

Rusty

As a member of Train Mountain Railroad Museum, we have collected a lot of data and some really cool stories about cabeese!    This is a list of the current fleet of cabeese in the park.  Russ

ALASKA #1092, BN #12282, BN #12236, BN #12267, BN #10591, COLUMBIA & COVITZ #5, DRGW #01431, MOPAC #17531, MOPAC #13034, SMVRR #200, WP #468, UP #25228, UP #25566, UP #25485, SP #1260, SP #1861, SP #1938, SP #1950, SP #1952, SP #1967, SP #4753, SP #4755, SP #4758, ATSF #999019, ATSF #999036, ATSF #999150, ATSF #999209, ATSF #999278, ATSF #999270, ATSF #999389, ATSF #999491, ATSF #999547, ATSF #999740, ATSF #999742, ATSF #999747, ATSF #999043, WEYCO #WX082, WEYCO #2

caboose

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Last edited by ChiloquinRuss

Art,
Around here it was just "cab". 
We couldn't hear what the rail fans were calling it. 

On several railroads the term caboose was the slang term. 

Most people know about the PRR and their use of "cabin" for a caboose.

Many western railroads including ATSF, SP, and CB&Q used the term "waycar"in lieu of caboose. 

GG1 4877 posted:

On several railroads the term caboose was the slang term. 

Most people know about the PRR and their use of "cabin" for a caboose.

Many western railroads including ATSF, SP, and CB&Q used the term "waycar"in lieu of caboose. 

Also, CP and CN refer to them as "vans."

Rusty

Rusty Traque posted:
GG1 4877 posted:

On several railroads the term caboose was the slang term. 

Most people know about the PRR and their use of "cabin" for a caboose.

Many western railroads including ATSF, SP, and CB&Q used the term "waycar"in lieu of caboose. 

Also, CP and CN refer to them as "vans."

Rusty

On the Boston & Maine they were reportedly called "Buggies".

BIG JIM: It was more than "railfans" using many of those other terms, including many railroaders. Those other names are a part of railroad lore and history.

Tinplate Art posted:

BIG JIM: It was more than "railfans" using many of those other terms, including many railroaders. Those other names are a part of railroad lore and history.

Art, as I said, never in my entire RR career did I ever hear the caboose referred to by those "slang" names by anyone that actually worked on the RR.
Of course the PRR had their own non"Standard" names (such as "Snapper" for a pusher) and the Brits have their own vocabulary too.
But, Crummy, Hack, Shack and Crib were THANKFULLY never heard!

Last edited by Big Jim

Big Jim, Maybe we led sheltered lives, but I too never heard a caboose called anything but caboose or cabin (at ex PRR locations only). There again I never heard a sill step called a "stirrup". An O.P. lever or a cut release lever was never referred to as a coupler lever either. Flat cars were not known as "flatbeds", and the coupler shank is not the same as a"drawbar". But I only had 41 years of service with PC, Conrail and NS in the mechanical department.  Doug

One account in a book written by a retired LIRR engineer spoke of a HACK that had been regularly assigned to a conductor by the name of Kunzer. Unfortunately, one day Kunzer's HACK was destroyed in a yard mishap. The book even had a photo of Kunzer standing beside his wrecked HACK, er caboose!  LOL!

Last edited by Tinplate Art

Dad always called it the Crummy. That's all I need. He took this pic from the work train he cooked for:

         IMG_8173

That compound Mallet is shoving hard and the BR&P rule was that the Crummy had to be cut out and cut in behind the Pusher....because once they squashed one of those old Crummies

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Last edited by geysergazer

A little caboose trivia!  Going through our collection of cabooses we noticed that the older ones had folks initials 'carved' in the headboard of the cupola.  While it was interesting we didn't catch on to what they really were.  One day we had a visitor and when he saw the DRGW01431 caboose he said that was 'his' caboose and then he said 'I can prove it'.  He showed us his initials in his 'assigned' caboose, very cool!  Russ

01431

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From The Railroad Caboose by William Knapke we have the following:

  " Among the picturesque terms that boomers coined to describe the caboose are ambulance, anchor, buggy, brain box (the conductor was often called "the brains"), bazoo wagon, chariot (this word more often designated an official's private car, technically a business car), crummy (very common), cripples' home, den , diner, glory wagon (men killed in train wrecks, caboose or otherwise, "went to glory"), go-cart, hack (very common) kitchen, madhouse, monkey cage or monkey hut(also many other kinds of cages, mostly derogatory), palace, parlor (rear brakeman was "parlor brakeman" or "parlor shack"), perambulator, rest room, treasure chest, and zoo - plus some terms that are not printable."

Rich Melvin posted:

Some of you guys seem to forget that railroading is a business. No railroad is going to spend any crew time and fuel to turn a caboose so the stack is in a certain position or the cupola is on the "right" end. Especially when it makes no operational difference which way a cab is pointed.

The caboose that was first out on the cab track went on the next train - period.

Yea, what I said.

Larry

I'd like to add two other excellent caboose books : "Caboose", by Mike Shafer, and "Caboose", by Brian Solomon and John Gruber. Both have great information and outstanding , mostly color , photography. It would be well worth a search for them if they are out of print. Don Francis (I am not affiliated with either publication).

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