RDP Saturday: Caboose

Another word I do not really recognise so I had a look in the computer. It seems to be some sort of quirky railway carriage, although I am still not so sure. Anyhow more quirky it does not get. When I was a working lady I was on a conference in Oslo taking minutes and part of the journey was incoraporated with some sighseeing. My boss at the time decided we would take the local train to the outskirts of Oslo, even passing the Homenkollen ski jump on the way, which was quite impressive. Anyhow the train was a wooden train. They seemed to have more trees than necessary in Oslo and so they even built the trains with them. This was the train that transported us to the end of the line somewhere in the surrounding countryside. I suppose I did get around quite a lot in my younger days.

RDP Saturday: Caboose

12 thoughts on “RDP Saturday: Caboose

  1. Wow, I would have guessed that everyone would know what a caboose is. Trains are everywhere. Like Mr. Carreras said, a caboose is the last car of a freight train, where the crew who worked on the train lived and watched the load. It was outfitted with a cupola on top, as well as a dormer sort of projection on each side. Form these vantage points, crew members could view over the top of the freight train ahead of them, as well as along the sides. They watched for things like shifting loads or smoking axles, and could signal to another crew member who watched from a similar cupola above the engine at the front of the train. They used lanterns with variously colored lenses. Communication was not so easy back then. Neither was the operation of the switches. Nothing was automated, so needed to be operated manually by the crew, in all sorts of weather, at any time of day. A caboose was typically outfitted with a galley, bunks and a latrine for the crew, since it was their living quarters on potentially long trips.

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    • Thanks for the explanation. In Britain we never had such long freight trains as in the States so we probably never needed a caboose. In Switzerland with our special constructions conquering mountains and long tunnels we had other problems

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      • Oh, yes, trains would not need to go very far in Britain. Besides, there is not much ’empty’ uninhabited space in Britain. There were people available to operate switches everywhere. They only needed to mind their schedules or messages sent by telegraph. (Although telegraph cables paralleled railroads here, there was no one in some of the empty desert regions to send messages to, in regard to operating switches. Switch operators needed to ride with the trains.) Loads of short trains are easily monitored from a turret above the engine.
        On the trip to Oklahoma, we drove past the Tehachapi Loop while a train was passing over itself. We tried to count all the cars in the train, but could not.

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