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.


Everything is going according to plan.

I have had Knapke's fine book in my bookcase for a decade. Worth a read. Lots of photos and illustrations.

vita sine litteris mors est  (Seneca)

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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