Re: Why Transfer cabooses?

Ray Breyer

>>On Friday, May 18, 2018, 4:05:50 PM CDT, Aley, Jeff A <Jeff.A.Aley@...> wrote:
>>Why did many railroads build special “transfer cabooses”?  Why not just use a regular caboose?  It seems like extra effort to 
>>build the “shack on a flat”, and I don’t understand why that effort is justified.

Most transfer cabooses weren't outhouses on flat cars; they were typically old, worn out regular cabooses with their cupolas either removed or boarded over so they couldn't be used. If a railroad needed a few transfer cabooses purpose built they usually turned to old boxcars and gave them vestibule ends and a few windows.

The reason was simple: terminals had a lot of slow going, and a lot of slack action. You didn't WANT crews in the cupolas, because the risk of falling was far higher than while on the road. The purpose built or rebuilt transfer cabooses were cupola-less for the same reason. 

Ray Breyer
Elgin, IL


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