Caboose question

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by RobertInOntario, Oct 19, 2006.

  1. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    CCT70: Do you know of a source of pics for the SMV, and any other (are there any) Central Coast CA shortlines?
  2. CCT70

    CCT70 Member

    Central *coast*, not really. Just this one: but not much coast stuff.

    Are you a member of Calrailfans at Yahoo Groups or Headsupcoastfans at Yahoo groups?
  3. dsfraser

    dsfraser Member

    In Canada, cabooses were assigned to depots and "owned" by the crew. For example, a train travelling west from Edmonton woul change crews in Hinton, a new caboose would be switched and the first caboose would go back to Edmonton with the crew while the train carried on with a new crew, and new van. As far as I know this was the pattern on both the CN and the CP, and probably BC Rail. Regionals and shortlines may well have had their own way o doing things.


    Scott Fraser
  4. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks, Scott. This is helpful as well. Rob
  5. kutler

    kutler Member

    While this is undoubtly true, it hasn't happened on through trains for a least 2 decades as cabooses or vans were pooled in Canada as in the states.

    On the earlier postings regarding foreign pool cabooses, I've photos of Santa Fe pool cabooses operating on through pig trains at Frontier yd Buffalo and Horseshoe curve Pa. Milw used to pool cabooses with BN on a coal train in the midwest. In agreement, I'd bet 99% of caboose operated trains were homeroad though.
  6. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Scott is correct...prior to the pool days.

    Locomotives and cabooses used to be assigned to set crews. Engine number 124 was always Bob's engine...and could have identifiers painted on it like fighter pilots. Cabooses were the same way.

    Prior to his passing, I used to know John H. Keller whom was a flagman for the NKP. He used to actually wash & wax his caboose, 1091, from time to time.

    Further, specific locomotives and car were assigned to specific divisions of railroads. For instance, NKP 765 always ran on the line from Bellevue west. The C&S 70 was assigned to the Clear Creek line in the later years. Cabooses followed similar practices...and don't forget that the same union rules which kept 765 around Ft. Wayne, Fostoria, and Bellevue kept the 1091 around Fostoria, Lima, and Celina.

    As far as is important to remember why things were was because it didn't make much sense to transfer the freight from a DT&I boxcar to a B&O boxcar just because the destination wasn't on the B&O. Hence, revenue cars were interchanged...non-revenue cars and locomotives weren't (prior to interchanging). Non-revenue cars such as cabooses, wreckers, flangers, and business cars would only be off-line if they were leased. Same thing with locomotives.

    That world was destroyed by pooling equipment. Generally, pooled equipment isn't as cared for as much by the crews...but they need less equipment as they don't have to change engines/cabooses every time a crew's time ends.

    Attached Files:

  7. PNW1952

    PNW1952 New Member

    Camas Prairie

    Although unusual , you might see a caboose from one road and loco from another on a jointly owned road like the Camas Prairie line the was owned by the UP and NP. Camas Prairie
    Then there's the time right after a merger when things are not all repainted yet. I recall seeing an NP caboose on the GN line into Vancouver when I was young.
  8. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member

    The first UP caboose I saw in the early 70's was on an Espee freight train parked in Fresno CA. The next one I saw was on the Tidewater Southern ( a WP subsidirary) in Modesto CA. I also recall riding in a DRGW caboose on the Tidewater Southern in the early 70's. The conductor then let us go see the engineer and ride for another block on a GP9. Boy that walk home was like floating on a cloud for this young railfan. :D
  9. kutler

    kutler Member

    Re: the caboose wreck

    That's an amazing story. W/O wading through the details what was determined to be the cause of the wreck?
  10. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member

    The Sealand train ran out of fuel. The train following was pushing. Bad timing, air was set on the SEAL and the events started to unfold, with the D&H caboose being the bottom of the pile.
  11. kutler

    kutler Member

    my own caboose wreck story

    Far less interesting and w/o pictures.

    Back in the day when I was a spare opr. and a rabid train nut, I used to ride around with crews after my shift.

    Operators always had a better relation with train crews than dispatchers, which is a story in itself. I knew the conductor, Mike and the hogger, Tom. I don't recall the trainman's name. Anyway, I had a choice to ride in the Caboose or Van as we called it, or on the head end.

    Using unusual logic as cabooses were becoming rare at this time on through freights, I chose the head end. Perhaps I figured Tom would give me some time at the throttle.

    Back then bulkhead flatcars of a certain design were causing derailments due to a bolster defect which caused the car to rock excessively. To deter this effect such cars were restricted to 45mph. The car on our train was an empty UP bulkhead flatcar which for no fault of the crew, was not identified as being restricted.

    As we left the city I noticed a friend of mine playing hookey from work taking pictures at one of our favourite locations. He was somewhat surprised to see me stick my head out of the cab and call out his name.
    Later, he never mentioned noticing anything unusual about our train's passing.

    About 40 miles down the track our empty bulkhead flatcar picked the points of a siding switch and caused the train to derail. I was riding on the head end and thankfully not running the engine. The trainman was a student engineer getting some practice.

    The car was about 10 from the tail end as Mike recalled. He watched them fall to the left and right like dominos, and he spun his chair around and braced himself for the worst. The caboose was the only car of the tail end not to derail, but Mike got a pretty good jolt and he said if I was riding back there I probably would have got launched. He had to rely on his instincts to avoid injury.

    After a while I hiked into town, called my friend who was taking pictures earlier and invited him to view the wreck(and drive me home). I was very grateful that he complied because there was no trains going my way that night and my wife would never have found me. I was also glad to be officially "not there".

    On the railroad this would have been called a mishap or more likely an incident. Although government agencies were notified little interest in the press was exibited regarding the event. While working as a dispatcher similar incidents; suicides, fires, derailments are far more common than one might imagine. I even once remember a run away boxcar careening through a city of 300000. One of the reason railroader's cringe at visitors is the thought of what might happen if something should go wrong that day.
  12. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    This is funny while I do remember seeing cabooses I'm too young to remember if they were the same as the line pulling them. At least I think I remember seeing cabooses in use. :mrgreen:
  13. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I lived next to the CPR tracks when I was a kid. It was late-70s/early-80s and the end of cabooses. But when I saw them, they were always CPR with the big multi-mark.

  14. ChadYelland

    ChadYelland Member

    Just talked to my friend Thom, hes a current CP conductor, At that time conductors had assigned cabooses, so it would be very rare to see a CP loco pulling a CN caboose, Unless its on trackage that had to be shared, Pool track, so then you could see a CP engine with some cp passenger/cn passenger and a CN caboose. but very rare and likely intercity areas
  15. who_dat73

    who_dat73 Member

    I'm a American CNW fan myself but found this to be a great read. I just barley remember when I was young seeing Crummys tailing the CNW that ran alongside grandamas yard and the guys waving to us as they went by. I still love the sight of a old shack and anytime I see one in a museum I go in take a few shots and outside just so I can tell the kids later that these were around when I was a kid.
    Also you wil never see a freight running round the Andersons N scale layout without a shack pulling up the rear.

    Thanks for a good read tho!!

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