Craig wrote:” a 'front end' caboose was required by Indiana state law for trains longer than 65 cars.”
Not exactly, Indiana’s full crew law stated
”It shall be unlawful for any carrier to operate a freight train consisting of seventy (70) cars or more, without a crew of competent employees, which crew shall consist of not less than one (1) engineer, one (1) fireman, one (1) conductor, one (1) flagman, and two (2) brakemen.”
The law did not specify a head end caboose. But the Monon and NKP utilized such cars. The NKP cars were converted from 36’ wood sided boxcars. The NYC had almost identical but the NYC used them in transfer and terminal service.
Michigan City IN