Re: Bamberger Cabooses


Jace wrote:
Another possibility occurs to me: in one of my trolley freight
references is
a view of the Bamberger ex-S&IE boxcab pulling three housecars on
mainline, no caboose. Could it be that, like modern cabooseless
trains, in
which brakemen and conductors ride in the locomotive cab, that the
locomotives had sufficient room for drovers/custodians to ride
with the
crew? Presumably even Bamberger trains, however short, in the
golden age of
railroading still had to provide room for the conductor and

Bamberger had four man crews on its freight trains. The crews
consisted of a Motorman, Conductor, Brakeman, and a Trolleyboy. The
Trolleyboy would move the trolley poles to different wires as
necessary and on the Alco diesel electric locomotive he would adjust
the shutters. This was a busy job because Bamberger did not use
frogs on the wire along the mainline. For the most part a four-man
crew was not a problem on the electric freight locomotives as there
was plenty of space in the cabs around the compressors and other
equipment to squeeze in a few extra seats as long as you could stand
the noise. On the diesel electric locomotives the cab was pretty

Previous to this discussion I had figured that the reason a
passenger car was used to handle the strawberry and banana shipments
was because the cars showed up on short notice and a spare freight
motor was not kept in Ogden. But my guess now is that it had more to
do with the necessity for providing the extra rider.

I have seen several pictures of these movements and have noticed
that the cars in each picture are standard PFE refers, one being a
WP refer. I have been told that in many cases these cars moved to
Ogden on passenger trains such as Southern Pacific's Overland mail
train and an equivalent train off of Union Pacific's LA&SL line. I
am guessing that since the cars did not have steam lines they would
be put behind the passenger cars, which typically on the mail trains
were tacked behind the express cars. I have not been able to find
pictures to prove this. Can any one clarify this? Also I am
wondering were there multiple agents assigned to cars by
destination? I am guessing that this would have to be the case.

Shay Stark

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