Re: number of cabooses


Generally the number of cabooses was determined by the number of jobs, plus a safety factor for out-of-service and non-revenue cars. When cabooses were required, each job that left yard limits had to have one.  During the 1910-1920-era when roads that operated four-wheel cabooses had to replace them with cabooses of approximate size and weight of a freight car, many roads had a higher number of cabooses in service during the transition. If a railroad had a bunch of branch lines that radiated from various yards, it would need more cabooses than a bridge-line without a lot of local or branch line traffic. My favorite road had 400 miles of main lines and roughly 250 cabooses during the steam era, thanks to its numerous local freights and coal branches.

            ....Mike Del Vecchio  (caretaker of four restored and running, full-size steam-era cabooses)

-----Original Message-----
From: ed_mines@... [STMFC]
Sent: Mon, Sep 28, 2015 12:30 pm
Subject: [STMFC] number of cabooses

How can the number of cabooses of a railroad be estimated? By the number of freight engines?

If 100 new cabooses were built can it be assumed a like number were retired?

My apologies if this question is beyond the scope of this group.

Ed Mines

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