Re: Why Transfer cabooses?


About 1990 or so, with Chuck Yungkirth's help, I found the written New York State law about cabooses. As with most laws, the language didn't ban the four wheelers as much as it required that that any company owned cars used at the end of a train with personnel on board had to be of similar weight and wheel configuration as a the cars in the train with a minimum weight of 25 tons, or similar language. I didn't use quotations as the above is from memory. 

Small world, the Jersey side of the SIRT is my territory today and we're switching a lot of tonnage over it at least two solid hours per day. The 500-foot AK (Arthur Kill) Draw drops twice a day for stacks and trash trains out of Howland Hook and Arlington Yard, handled by Conrail.


-----Original Message-----
From: Edward <edb8391@...>
To: main <>
Sent: Mon, May 21, 2018 9:38 am
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Why Transfer cabooses?

The state of Ohio passed a law in 1913 requiring railroad cabooses used with in the state to have eight wheels and be at least 24' in length, not including end platforms. 
B&O was a prime user of four-wheel cabooses, with their K-1 class built from 1878 to 1913.  They were 20' cars of all wood construction with nearly 600 built over that time span.  

The Ohio Caboose Law resulted in the B&O designing their I-1 eight wheel caboose in the 'teens, which was further refined their more famous I-5 class cars in the 1920's.
The PRR which also ran in Ohio, had a class of four wheel cabooses at that time with longer bodies, some of which were converted to eight wheels for compliance.

After 1913, the B&O K-1 cabooses continued working at other locations, on WV branch lines and terminal road subsidiaries B&O Chicago Terminal and the B&O New York Terminal's Staten Island Rapid Transit.  It was on the SIRT that K-1 cabooses were still used on inter-state runs between Cranford NJ and Staten Island. They were replaced in 1953 with I-1 class cars. 
B&O CT's four-wheel K-1 cabooses were also retired about that time.

SIRT received seven K-1 class cars (so far as photos can determine) by March 1, following a two year court contest by the LV, PRR and State of NJ against the B&O concerning the 500' long swing bridge built over the Arthur Kill between NJ  and Staten Island in1888 as a menace to navigation. In time, the K-1 cupolas were removed due to need for repair or rot.  They were not needed for local freight, terminal or  transfer operations.  Most of the  NY Terminal K-1's were rebuilt with replacement steel under frames during  the 1930's. They were burned for scrap at the SIRT Arlington Yard in 1953.

The replacements B&O provided were three I-1 class cars and one I-13 class bay window caboose. The I-13 soon lost its bay windows due to clearance concerns from high-level platforms used in SIRT's passenger service. The I-1 cars also lost their cupolas as the need for repair arose.  These cabooses remained in service until end of B&O/C&O Chessie System service to the metro NY area by Conrail.

Ed Bommer

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