Re: Wood underframe bans on cabooses


Just to add additional unspecific info, I'm not sure there ever was a rule "banning" wood underframe cabooses that used such language.? But around 1908 or so -- others may have specifics -- after a serious wreck with a four-wheel caboose the ICC proposed a ruling with wording similar to: All cabooses must be of a weight similar to, and must be able to withstand the buff forces from, the rolling stock currently in service, etc., etc., etc.?I'm not?near my library (home computer is dead), but I think the gradual phasing out had to be complete in the early 1920s.?Four-wheel and wood-underframe cabooses were the victims, though most railroads had their own policies on using them in MOW and engineering department service, some surviving quite a while.? Some states got into the act, as New York had its own law of similar language, which is the event that I read about?somewhere that started the Pennsy's phasing out of bobbers.

Mike Del Vecchio

-----Original Message-----
From: Dennis Storzek <>
Sent: Tue, 27 May 2008 8:28 am
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Wood underframe bans on cabooses

--- In, "Mike M" <train_junkie@...> wrote:


Thanks for the note. Sorry, first post here and I forgot about the
"post your full name rule". It IS on the web page I referenced in the
post however ;)

I have two CPUC General Orders specific to cabooses, number 106 which
took effect in 1959 and was related to the installation of chemical
type toilets in cabooses. General Order 114 is probably the one you
are thinking of and took effect on October 2, 1961 and established
"minimum safety, health and comfort requirements for railroad
cabooses". You are right, there is nothing in G.O. 114 regarding
underframe construction. If you'd like a full copy of it to peruse at
your leisure let me know and I'll be happy send you the PDF.

Does anyone know if AAR interchange rules applied to non-pool cabooses?


Mike Mucklin

Can't help with the authority that issued a rule, if any, but I think
you need to look decades earlier. I know from my research that the Soo
Line equipped every caboose on the property with a steel underframe
between the years of 1923 and 1927 or 8; over 200 cars. In 1923 the
road had but 20 cabooses that had been recently built new with steel
underframes; by 1928 there were no cabooses without steel
reinforcements left.

If it wasn't a government agency rule, you might look to the labor
contracts. Wood underframe cabooses had a habit of disintegrating when
involved in a collision; something I'm sure was very close to the
ORC's heart.


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