Re: Caboose Lighting?

John Larkin

I happen to own ex-UP 25624 and I can only address these cabooses with accurate knowledge, however I believe most modern steel cupola cabooses would share these traits.  The UP cabooses had switches for both ends.  The conductors desk had a switch for a wall mounted light for that hard working individual to keep up with their paperwork.  The cupola had its own switch and the lights below didn't intrude badly if one was in the cupola at night.  There were also large running lights mounted in the cupola (Red and green) that were controlled from the cupola.  We also had outside running lights in each corner that lit up the steps, controlled at each end.

Everything used 12V bulbs so the batteries could be wired directly with no change in voltage.  UP had generators that worked well most of the time.  The cupola mounted radio also was 12V.

25624 is still up in NW Iowa, up for sale now that the railroad is mostly gone.  It was one of the top three picks out of 200+ when we acquired it with the help of 2 UP carmen.  The choice finally came to that caboose because it had the original ladders and running boards, very handy to clean windows when needed.

John Larkin

On Friday, June 19, 2015 9:10 PM, "'Schuyler Larrabee' schuyler.larrabee@... [STMFC]" wrote:

Well, Jim, are you sure your caboose had electric lighting?  In the steam era, a lot of roads were still lighting their cabooses with kerosene lanterns.
If that’s the case, I’d think that there would be some slight glow around the conductor’s desk, and maybe some at the other end as the crew was awake while on the road.  If they were sleeping, it is likely that they were in a terminal and chose not to patronize the local railroad Y.  Cupolas were likely pretty dark, so the crew could really see out over the train, minimal reflections in the cupola glass.

  So when a caboose was going down the road at night and
the lights were on in the interior - was the 'entire' caboose
lit up?
  Or was it some of the windows but not all?  Such as the
entire long end or the entire short end - but not necessarily
both ends?   Were there usually separate switches for each
end of the caboose so someone could sleep even if the
conductor was working at his desk?  Or did his desk have
an individual light shining just on the desk?
  Was there light showing in the cupola windows or just a
slight glow if at all?
  If it is was a bay window were the bay windows pretty
dark and just the end windows were well lit?
                                                                                              - Jim

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