Why Transfer cabooses?


Aley, Jeff A
 

Learned and Esteemed Listmembers (you know who you are!),

 

               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.

 

Thanks,

 

-Jeff

 


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.
>>Thanks,
>>Jeff


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


  


Jack Mullen
 

I might not be one of those addressed  ;^)  but I'll offer this anyway. 
The various forms of transfer caboose are cheap, compared to new "regular" cabooses. If you have a surplus of good road cabooses, fine, assign some to transfer service. If you need to replace some older road cabooses, fine, invest in new ones from International or Thrall, and cascade the old hacks to transfer service after stripping the interiors of unneeded stuff, such as bunks.
But otherwise, why buy?  Grab a surplus/obsolescent flatcar, have the car shop weld up a basic steel box with two doors and a heater, add basic steps, renew the deck and put handrails around, and you're good to go. The cash outlay is small, the flatcar was fully depreciated so the capital cost is also.
Jack Mullen


jace6315
 

I believe that some roads invested in transfer cabooses to win favor with the union. I wouldn't be surprised if the NYC had this in mind when they rebuilt a bunch of boxcar frames into transfer cabs right before the PC merger. It definitely didn't hurt that they had lots and lots of comparatively young, obsolete 40' boxcars to work with.

Jim Matthews 

-------- Original message --------
From: Jack Mullen <jack.f.mullen@...>
Date: 5/19/18 12:16 AM (GMT+01:00)
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Why Transfer cabooses?

I might not be one of those addressed  ;^)  but I'll offer this anyway. 
The various forms of transfer caboose are cheap, compared to new "regular" cabooses. If you have a surplus of good road cabooses, fine, assign some to transfer service. If you need to replace some older road cabooses, fine, invest in new ones from International or Thrall, and cascade the old hacks to transfer service after stripping the interiors of unneeded stuff, such as bunks.
But otherwise, why buy?  Grab a surplus/obsolescent flatcar, have the car shop weld up a basic steel box with two doors and a heater, add basic steps, renew the deck and put handrails around, and you're good to go. The cash outlay is small, the flatcar was fully depreciated so the capital cost is also.
Jack Mullen


MDelvec952
 



Transfer jobs usually required shoving long strings of cars from departure tracks in one yard to arrival tracks in others, often to another railroad. For a trainman to ride the side of a boxcar over those distances was strenuous and risky. The transfer cabooses were often simply a platform of some sort to provide a place to ride for these long shoves. Correct, transfer cabooses didn't need all the appointments of a road caboose since they weren't going far, and since they often stayed with the cut of cars and returned on the reciprocal move. Also, certain union arbitraries provided for extra pay to trainmen who had to ride long shoves without a caboose.  Most transfer hacks didn't have cupolas so that the locomotive headlight could shine above the roof of the transfer caboose when a locomotive was coupled to it. In the days before radios, the trainmen space themselves out on the roofs of the train to pass hand signals between the leading end and the engineer.

                  ....Mike Del Vecchio


-----Original Message-----
From: jace6315 via Groups.Io <jace6315@...>
To: main <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Sent: Fri, May 18, 2018 6:43 pm
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Why Transfer cabooses?

I believe that some roads invested in transfer cabooses to win favor with the union. I wouldn't be surprised if the NYC had this in mind when they rebuilt a bunch of boxcar frames into transfer cabs right before the PC merger. It definitely didn't hurt that they had lots and lots of comparatively young, obsolete 40' boxcars to work with.

Jim Matthews 

-------- Original message --------
From: Jack Mullen <jack.f.mullen@...>
Date: 5/19/18 12:16 AM (GMT+01:00)
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Why Transfer cabooses?

I might not be one of those addressed  ;^)  but I'll offer this anyway. 
The various forms of transfer caboose are cheap, compared to new "regular" cabooses. If you have a surplus of good road cabooses, fine, assign some to transfer service. If you need to replace some older road cabooses, fine, invest in new ones from International or Thrall, and cascade the old hacks to transfer service after stripping the interiors of unneeded stuff, such as bunks.
But otherwise, why buy?  Grab a surplus/obsolescent flatcar, have the car shop weld up a basic steel box with two doors and a heater, add basic steps, renew the deck and put handrails around, and you're good to go. The cash outlay is small, the flatcar was fully depreciated so the capital cost is also.
Jack Mullen


Jerry Michels
 

Also getting on and off a larger platform would be easier than in and out of a typical caboose body.  All-around visibility in the yard would be much better from the platform.  Jerry Michels


james murrie
 

The MILW used frames from retired steam loco tenders and built a body on that.  Gave large platforms and sturdy underframe.
Jim Murrie


Dennis Storzek
 

I think you guys are over thinking this. The main driver behind transfer cabooses was cost. Both the operating rules and union agreements said that transfer moves needed cabooses; if there were not enough old cabooses surplus from road duty available, something had to be built. The requirement was a small shelter, with a stove, some benches and a desk for the conductor. That dictated a small body, and early in the century a four wheel bobler caboose would have filled the bill. But four wheel cabooses were fund to be unsafe, and were outlawed sometime in the twenties, IIRC, and that meant a small cabin on a long frame. Converted boxcars were rather common up until WWII, usually rebuilt from cars that weren't much bigger than a standard caboose. But by the sixties, when these "cheesebox-on-raft" transfer cabooses became common, the available boxcars were way too big to be heated efficiently. Some of the early examples of the style were rebuilt from boxcars, leaving the center section of the body and building new ends, which yielded large porches which didn't need to be heated. Later it was found to be cheaper and easier to just build a new body and mount it on whatever surplus frame was available. Not exactly rocket science.

The lack of cupola was to reduce cost as much as anything. Nobody was much worried that these slow speed moves were going to develop hotboxes, and in many environments anyone riding in the cupola was going to become a target for rocks or worse, so nobody was riding in the cupola anyway. Why maintain the windows? Sometime in the sixties, early seventies the Soo Line did just that; a bulletin went out to the RIP tracks that henceforth broken cupola windows in cabooses in transfer service were to be boarded over. Some few of these cars subsequently received new plywood sheathing, and the cupolas were entirely sheathed over, just a square blank box on the roof. Some roads, like the Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee simply removed the cupolas and filled in the roof sheathing. I'm familiar with one of their cars, CNS&M 1002 at the Illinois Railway Museum, and all the lockers and the ice box that were under the cupola floor remain; the space between the former floor and new roof was good for stowing grips, etc.

Dennis Storzek


Jeffrey White
 

The TRRA built "cheese box on a raft" cabooses out of old flat cars in the late 30s, early 40s.  They cut the side sills to put steps in weakening the structure of the car.  They ran until the late 50s.

The shelter cabs as they were called were built in response to court case IIRC.  I'll have to dig out the TRRA caboose book and check my memory.

Jeff White

Alma, IL


On 5/20/2018 7:26 PM, Dennis Storzek wrote:
I think you guys are over thinking this. The main driver behind transfer cabooses was cost. Both the operating rules and union agreements said that transfer moves needed cabooses; if there were not enough old cabooses surplus from road duty available, something had to be built. The requirement was a small shelter, with a stove, some benches and a desk for the conductor. That dictated a small body, and early in the century a four wheel bobler caboose would have filled the bill. But four wheel cabooses were fund to be unsafe, and were outlawed sometime in the twenties, IIRC, and that meant a small cabin on a long frame. Converted boxcars were rather common up until WWII, usually rebuilt from cars that weren't much bigger than a standard caboose. But by the sixties, when these "cheesebox-on-raft" transfer cabooses became common, the available boxcars were way too big to be heated efficiently. Some of the early examples of the style were rebuilt from boxcars, leaving the center section of the body and building new ends, which yielded large porches which didn't need to be heated. Later it was found to be cheaper and easier to just build a new body and mount it on whatever surplus frame was available. Not exactly rocket science.

The lack of cupola was to reduce cost as much as anything. Nobody was much worried that these slow speed moves were going to develop hotboxes, and in many environments anyone riding in the cupola was going to become a target for rocks or worse, so nobody was riding in the cupola anyway. Why maintain the windows? Sometime in the sixties, early seventies the Soo Line did just that; a bulletin went out to the RIP tracks that henceforth broken cupola windows in cabooses in transfer service were to be boarded over. Some few of these cars subsequently received new plywood sheathing, and the cupolas were entirely sheathed over, just a square blank box on the roof. Some roads, like the Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee simply removed the cupolas and filled in the roof sheathing. I'm familiar with one of their cars, CNS&M 1002 at the Illinois Railway Museum, and all the lockers and the ice box that were under the cupola floor remain; the space between the former floor and new roof was good for stowing grips, etc.

Dennis Storzek


Claus Schlund &#92;(HGM&#92;)
 

Hi Dennis and List Members,
 
Thank you Dennis for your well thought out and complete treatment on the topic.
 
Dennis wrote: “But four wheel cabooses were fund to be unsafe, and were outlawed sometime in the twenties”
 
This is the first I have heard of four wheel cabooses being outlawed – can anyone confirm this?
 
Claus Schlund
 
 
 

On 5/20/2018 7:26 PM, Dennis Storzek wrote:
I think you guys are over thinking this. The main driver behind transfer cabooses was cost. Both the operating rules and union agreements said that transfer moves needed cabooses; if there were not enough old cabooses surplus from road duty available, something had to be built. The requirement was a small shelter, with a stove, some benches and a desk for the conductor. That dictated a small body, and early in the century a four wheel bobler caboose would have filled the bill. But four wheel cabooses were fund to be unsafe, and were outlawed sometime in the twenties, IIRC, and that meant a small cabin on a long frame. Converted boxcars were rather common up until WWII, usually rebuilt from cars that weren't much bigger than a standard caboose. But by the sixties, when these "cheesebox-on-raft" transfer cabooses became common, the available boxcars were way too big to be heated efficiently. Some of the early examples of the style were rebuilt from boxcars, leaving the center section of the body and building new ends, which yielded large porches which didn't need to be heated. Later it was found to be cheaper and easier to just build a new body and mount it on whatever surplus frame was available. Not exactly rocket science.

The lack of cupola was to reduce cost as much as anything. Nobody was much worried that these slow speed moves were going to develop hotboxes, and in many environments anyone riding in the cupola was going to become a target for rocks or worse, so nobody was riding in the cupola anyway. Why maintain the windows? Sometime in the sixties, early seventies the Soo Line did just that; a bulletin went out to the RIP tracks that henceforth broken cupola windows in cabooses in transfer service were to be boarded over. Some few of these cars subsequently received new plywood sheathing, and the cupolas were entirely sheathed over, just a square blank box on the roof. Some roads, like the Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee simply removed the cupolas and filled in the roof sheathing. I'm familiar with one of their cars, CNS&M 1002 at the Illinois Railway Museum, and all the lockers and the ice box that were under the cupola floor remain; the space between the former floor and new roof was good for stowing grips, etc.

Dennis Storzek


mofwcaboose <MOFWCABOOSE@...>
 

1912 in New York, 1929 in Pennsylvania.
 
The passage of the law did not immediately end their use, as they persisted in subsidiary service and on some short lines well into the 1950s. Possibly their last regular use on any railroad was on the Maryland & Pennsylvania in the early 1970s.
 
John C. La Rue, Jr.
Bonita Springs, FL
 
 

-----Original Message-----
From: Claus Schlund &#92;(HGM&#92;) <claus@...>
To: main <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Sent: Mon, May 21, 2018 8:22 am
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Why Transfer cabooses?

Hi Dennis and List Members,
 
Thank you Dennis for your well thought out and complete treatment on the topic.
 
Dennis wrote: “But four wheel cabooses were fund to be unsafe, and were outlawed sometime in the twenties”
 
This is the first I have heard of four wheel cabooses being outlawed – can anyone confirm this?
 
Claus Schlund
 
 
 
On 5/20/2018 7:26 PM, Dennis Storzek wrote:
I think you guys are over thinking this. The main driver behind transfer cabooses was cost. Both the operating rules and union agreements said that transfer moves needed cabooses; if there were not enough old cabooses surplus from road duty available, something had to be built. The requirement was a small shelter, with a stove, some benches and a desk for the conductor. That dictated a small body, and early in the century a four wheel bobler caboose would have filled the bill. But four wheel cabooses were fund to be unsafe, and were outlawed sometime in the twenties, IIRC, and that meant a small cabin on a long frame. Converted boxcars were rather common up until WWII, usually rebuilt from cars that weren't much bigger than a standard caboose. But by the sixties, when these "cheesebox-on-raft" transfer cabooses became common, the available boxcars were way too big to be heated efficiently. Some of the early examples of the style were rebuilt from boxcars, leaving the center section of the body and building new ends, which yielded large porches which didn't need to be heated. Later it was found to be cheaper and easier to just build a new body and mount it on whatever surplus frame was available. Not exactly rocket science.

The lack of cupola was to reduce cost as much as anything. Nobody was much worried that these slow speed moves were going to develop hotboxes, and in many environments anyone riding in the cupola was going to become a target for rocks or worse, so nobody was riding in the cupola anyway. Why maintain the windows? Sometime in the sixties, early seventies the Soo Line did just that; a bulletin went out to the RIP tracks that henceforth broken cupola windows in cabooses in transfer service were to be boarded over. Some few of these cars subsequently received new plywood sheathing, and the cupolas were entirely sheathed over, just a square blank box on the roof. Some roads, like the Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee simply removed the cupolas and filled in the roof sheathing. I'm familiar with one of their cars, CNS&M 1002 at the Illinois Railway Museum, and all the lockers and the ice box that were under the cupola floor remain; the space between the former floor and new roof was good for stowing grips, etc.

Dennis Storzek


Dennis Storzek
 

I don't have a reference, but I thought it eventually became an ICC edict, part of the same regulation that required steel underframes on all cabooses. The reason was the same, crew safety, as the little four wheel cars were found to fare very badly in collisions.

Dennis Storzek


Garth Groff <sarahsan@...>
 

Claus,

Very likely this was on a state-by-state basis (at least at first) or by union pressure, and likely had more to do with fragile wooden underframes or requirements for expensive improved toilets rather than the number of wheels. The Summer 2018 issue of CLASSIC TRAINS includes a photo of a Ligonier Valley (in Pennsylvania) train with a four wheel caboose dated June 18, 1951. I also seem to remember an RMC article about another Pennsylvania line, the Cloudersport and Port Allegheny, that used four-wheel cabooses until it went bust in the 1960s. The Strasburg also used an ex-PRR four-wheeler into the 1960s and maybe later on their occasional freight movements (it is still there). So obviously Pennsylvania tolerated four-wheel cars long after they disappeared other places.

I am quite serious about the toilet issue. I'm a bit fuzzy on the details, but California apparently mandated improved toilets on cabooses in the early 1950s (likely a holding tank). This led the Western Pacific to retire en-mass their eight-wheeled Haskell & Barker and WP-built clone wood-sided cabooses by 1955 because it simply wasn't worth the expense of the upgrade. The few ex-WP wood-sided cars that soldiered on a few more years for other lines like the Central California Traction Co. did receive improved toilets.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff  🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿


On 5/21/18 8:17 AM, Claus Schlund &#92;(HGM&#92;) wrote:
Hi Dennis and List Members,
 
Thank you Dennis for your well thought out and complete treatment on the topic.
 
Dennis wrote: “But four wheel cabooses were fund to be unsafe, and were outlawed sometime in the twenties”
 
This is the first I have heard of four wheel cabooses being outlawed – can anyone confirm this?
 
Claus Schlund
 
 
 
On 5/20/2018 7:26 PM, Dennis Storzek wrote:
I think you guys are over thinking this. The main driver behind transfer cabooses was cost. Both the operating rules and union agreements said that transfer moves needed cabooses; if there were not enough old cabooses surplus from road duty available, something had to be built. The requirement was a small shelter, with a stove, some benches and a desk for the conductor. That dictated a small body, and early in the century a four wheel bobler caboose would have filled the bill. But four wheel cabooses were fund to be unsafe, and were outlawed sometime in the twenties, IIRC, and that meant a small cabin on a long frame. Converted boxcars were rather common up until WWII, usually rebuilt from cars that weren't much bigger than a standard caboose. But by the sixties, when these "cheesebox-on-raft" transfer cabooses became common, the available boxcars were way too big to be heated efficiently. Some of the early examples of the style were rebuilt from boxcars, leaving the center section of the body and building new ends, which yielded large porches which didn't need to be heated. Later it was found to be cheaper and easier to just build a new body and mount it on whatever surplus frame was available. Not exactly rocket science.

The lack of cupola was to reduce cost as much as anything. Nobody was much worried that these slow speed moves were going to develop hotboxes, and in many environments anyone riding in the cupola was going to become a target for rocks or worse, so nobody was riding in the cupola anyway. Why maintain the windows? Sometime in the sixties, early seventies the Soo Line did just that; a bulletin went out to the RIP tracks that henceforth broken cupola windows in cabooses in transfer service were to be boarded over. Some few of these cars subsequently received new plywood sheathing, and the cupolas were entirely sheathed over, just a square blank box on the roof. Some roads, like the Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee simply removed the cupolas and filled in the roof sheathing. I'm familiar with one of their cars, CNS&M 1002 at the Illinois Railway Museum, and all the lockers and the ice box that were under the cupola floor remain; the space between the former floor and new roof was good for stowing grips, etc.

Dennis Storzek



Eric Hansmann
 

I believe Ohio passed legislation in 1914 banning the use of 4-wheel cabooses.

 

From what I’ve seen over the years, any bans on these older cabooses were a state matter and did not stem from ICC/AAR/ARA/MCB actions.

 

 

Eric Hansmann

Murfreesboro, TN

 

 

 


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of mofwcaboose via Groups.Io
Sent: Monday, May 21, 2018 7:50 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Why Transfer cabooses?

 

1912 in New York, 1929 in Pennsylvania.

 

The passage of the law did not immediately end their use, as they persisted in subsidiary service and on some short lines well into the 1950s. Possibly their last regular use on any railroad was on the Maryland & Pennsylvania in the early 1970s.

 

John C. La Rue, Jr.

Bonita Springs, FL

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Claus Schlund &#92;(HGM&#92;) <claus@...>
To: main <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Sent: Mon, May 21, 2018 8:22 am
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Why Transfer cabooses?

Hi Dennis and List Members,

 

Thank you Dennis for your well thought out and complete treatment on the topic.

 

Dennis wrote: “But four wheel cabooses were fund to be unsafe, and were outlawed sometime in the twenties”

 

This is the first I have heard of four wheel cabooses being outlawed – can anyone confirm this?

 

Claus Schlund

 

 

 

On 5/20/2018 7:26 PM, Dennis Storzek wrote:

I think you guys are over thinking this. The main driver behind transfer cabooses was cost. Both the operating rules and union agreements said that transfer moves needed cabooses; if there were not enough old cabooses surplus from road duty available, something had to be built. The requirement was a small shelter, with a stove, some benches and a desk for the conductor. That dictated a small body, and early in the century a four wheel bobler caboose would have filled the bill. But four wheel cabooses were fund to be unsafe, and were outlawed sometime in the twenties, IIRC, and that meant a small cabin on a long frame. Converted boxcars were rather common up until WWII, usually rebuilt from cars that weren't much bigger than a standard caboose. But by the sixties, when these "cheesebox-on-raft" transfer cabooses became common, the available boxcars were way too big to be heated efficiently. Some of the early examples of the style were rebuilt from boxcars, leaving the center section of the body and building new ends, which yielded large porches which didn't need to be heated. Later it was found to be cheaper and easier to just build a new body and mount it on whatever surplus frame was available. Not exactly rocket science.

The lack of cupola was to reduce cost as much as anything. Nobody was much worried that these slow speed moves were going to develop hotboxes, and in many environments anyone riding in the cupola was going to become a target for rocks or worse, so nobody was riding in the cupola anyway. Why maintain the windows? Sometime in the sixties, early seventies the Soo Line did just that; a bulletin went out to the RIP tracks that henceforth broken cupola windows in cabooses in transfer service were to be boarded over. Some few of these cars subsequently received new plywood sheathing, and the cupolas were entirely sheathed over, just a square blank box on the roof. Some roads, like the Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee simply removed the cupolas and filled in the roof sheathing. I'm familiar with one of their cars, CNS&M 1002 at the Illinois Railway Museum, and all the lockers and the ice box that were under the cupola floor remain; the space between the former floor and new roof was good for stowing grips, etc.

Dennis Storzek

 


al.kresse <water.kresse@...>
 

I believe they set a minimum length for a caboose effectively making 4-wheel cabeese problematic.


Al Kresse

On May 21, 2018 at 9:50 AM Eric Hansmann <eric@...> wrote:

I believe Ohio passed legislation in 1914 banning the use of 4-wheel cabooses.

 

From what I’ve seen over the years, any bans on these older cabooses were a state matter and did not stem from ICC/AAR/ARA/MCB actions.

 

 

Eric Hansmann

Murfreesboro, TN

 

 

 


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of mofwcaboose via Groups.Io
Sent: Monday, May 21, 2018 7:50 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Why Transfer cabooses?

 

1912 in New York, 1929 in Pennsylvania.

 

The passage of the law did not immediately end their use, as they persisted in subsidiary service and on some short lines well into the 1950s. Possibly their last regular use on any railroad was on the Maryland & Pennsylvania in the early 1970s.

 

John C. La Rue, Jr.

Bonita Springs, FL

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Claus Schlund &#92;(HGM&#92;) <claus@...>
To: main <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Sent: Mon, May 21, 2018 8:22 am
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Why Transfer cabooses?

Hi Dennis and List Members,

 

Thank you Dennis for your well thought out and complete treatment on the topic.

 

Dennis wrote: “But four wheel cabooses were fund to be unsafe, and were outlawed sometime in the twenties”

 

This is the first I have heard of four wheel cabooses being outlawed – can anyone confirm this?

 

Claus Schlund

 

 

 

On 5/20/2018 7:26 PM, Dennis Storzek wrote:

I think you guys are over thinking this. The main driver behind transfer cabooses was cost. Both the operating rules and union agreements said that transfer moves needed cabooses; if there were not enough old cabooses surplus from road duty available, something had to be built. The requirement was a small shelter, with a stove, some benches and a desk for the conductor. That dictated a small body, and early in the century a four wheel bobler caboose would have filled the bill. But four wheel cabooses were fund to be unsafe, and were outlawed sometime in the twenties, IIRC, and that meant a small cabin on a long frame. Converted boxcars were rather common up until WWII, usually rebuilt from cars that weren't much bigger than a standard caboose. But by the sixties, when these "cheesebox-on-raft" transfer cabooses became common, the available boxcars were way too big to be heated efficiently. Some of the early examples of the style were rebuilt from boxcars, leaving the center section of the body and building new ends, which yielded large porches which didn't need to be heated. Later it was found to be cheaper and easier to just build a new body and mount it on whatever surplus frame was available. Not exactly rocket science.

The lack of cupola was to reduce cost as much as anything. Nobody was much worried that these slow speed moves were going to develop hotboxes, and in many environments anyone riding in the cupola was going to become a target for rocks or worse, so nobody was riding in the cupola anyway. Why maintain the windows? Sometime in the sixties, early seventies the Soo Line did just that; a bulletin went out to the RIP tracks that henceforth broken cupola windows in cabooses in transfer service were to be boarded over. Some few of these cars subsequently received new plywood sheathing, and the cupolas were entirely sheathed over, just a square blank box on the roof. Some roads, like the Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee simply removed the cupolas and filled in the roof sheathing. I'm familiar with one of their cars, CNS&M 1002 at the Illinois Railway Museum, and all the lockers and the ice box that were under the cupola floor remain; the space between the former floor and new roof was good for stowing grips, etc.

Dennis Storzek

 

 


 


Edward
 

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


anthony wagner
 

My speculation about 4 wheel cabooses is that most, if not all, had wooden underframes and that was the reason for declaring them unsafe not the fact they they were on 4 instead of 8 wheels. It was in the 1920s, 1927 comes to mind, that wooden underframes were banned from interchange but that wouldn't have affected cars that were never went off line such as cabooses, 4 or 8 wheel, and work equipment. I remember from my youth, late 40s, early 50s in Philadelphia, of catching very occasional glimpses of 4 a wheel class ND somewhere on the Pennsy while going somewhere with my parents. That said, the Pennsy NDs seemed to have had steel underframes. There are still a number of them in various states of preservation in museums. Also, in the 1980s TTX had several thousand 4 wheel piggyback cars built after the prototypes were successfully tested at the AAR facility in Pueblo.  Tony Wagner




On Monday, May 21, 2018 8:50 AM, Eric Hansmann <eric@...> wrote:


I believe Ohio passed legislation in 1914 banning the use of 4-wheel cabooses.
 
From what I’ve seen over the years, any bans on these older cabooses were a state matter and did not stem from ICC/AAR/ARA/MCB actions.
 
 
Eric Hansmann
Murfreesboro, TN
 
 
 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of mofwcaboose via Groups.Io
Sent: Monday, May 21, 2018 7:50 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Why Transfer cabooses?
 
1912 in New York , 1929 in Pennsylvania .
 
The passage of the law did not immediately end their use, as they persisted in subsidiary service and on some short lines well into the 1950s. Possibly their last regular use on any railroad was on the Maryland & Pennsylvania in the early 1970s.
 
John C. La Rue, Jr.
Bonita Springs, FL
 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: Claus Schlund &#92;(HGM&#92;) <claus@...>
To: main <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Sent: Mon, May 21, 2018 8:22 am
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Why Transfer cabooses?

Hi Dennis and List Members,
 
Thank you Dennis for your well thought out and complete treatment on the topic.
 
Dennis wrote: “But four wheel cabooses were fund to be unsafe, and were outlawed sometime in the twenties”
 
This is the first I have heard of four wheel cabooses being outlawed – can anyone confirm this?
 
Claus Schlund
 
 
 
On 5/20/2018 7:26 PM, Dennis Storzek wrote:
I think you guys are over thinking this. The main driver behind transfer cabooses was cost. Both the operating rules and union agreements said that transfer moves needed cabooses; if there were not enough old cabooses surplus from road duty available, something had to be built. The requirement was a small shelter, with a stove, some benches and a desk for the conductor. That dictated a small body, and early in the century a four wheel bobler caboose would have filled the bill. But four wheel cabooses were fund to be unsafe, and were outlawed sometime in the twenties, IIRC, and that meant a small cabin on a long frame. Converted boxcars were rather common up until WWII, usually rebuilt from cars that weren't much bigger than a standard caboose. But by the sixties, when these "cheesebox-on-raft" transfer cabooses became common, the available boxcars were way too big to be heated efficiently. Some of the early examples of the style were rebuilt from boxcars, leaving the center section of the body and building new ends, which yielded large porches which didn't need to be heated. Later it was found to be cheaper and easier to just build a new body and mount it on whatever surplus frame was available. Not exactly rocket science.

The lack of cupola was to reduce cost as much as anything. Nobody was much worried that these slow speed moves were going to develop hotboxes, and in many environments anyone riding in the cupola was going to become a target for rocks or worse, so nobody was riding in the cupola anyway. Why maintain the windows? Sometime in the sixties, early seventies the Soo Line did just that; a bulletin went out to the RIP tracks that henceforth broken cupola windows in cabooses in transfer service were to be boarded over. Some few of these cars subsequently received new plywood sheathing, and the cupolas were entirely sheathed over, just a square blank box on the roof. Some roads, like the Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee simply removed the cupolas and filled in the roof sheathing. I'm familiar with one of their cars, CNS&M 1002 at the Illinois Railway Museum, and all the lockers and the ice box that were under the cupola floor remain; the space between the former floor and new roof was good for stowing grips, etc.

Dennis Storzek
 



MDelvec952
 



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.

                  ....Mike 


-----Original Message-----
From: Edward <edb8391@...>
To: main <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
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


Aley, Jeff A
 

Aha!  (I was the original poster).

 

It seems that railroads would want to use their oldest cabooses for transfer service, if possible.

But if bobber (4-wheel) cabooses were outlawed in interchange (and Transfer service IS interchange, is it not?), then they couldn’t use their old 4-wheelers.

 

So it became logical to convert box cars, etc. for transfer use.

 

Did I understand that correctly?

 

Thanks,

 

-Jeff

 

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of anthony wagner
Sent: Monday, May 21, 2018 7:46 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Why Transfer cabooses?

 

My speculation about 4 wheel cabooses is that most, if not all, had wooden underframes and that was the reason for declaring them unsafe not the fact they they were on 4 instead of 8 wheels. It was in the 1920s, 1927 comes to mind, that wooden underframes were banned from interchange but that wouldn't have affected cars that were never went off line such as cabooses, 4 or 8 wheel, and work equipment. I remember from my youth, late 40s, early 50s in Philadelphia, of catching very occasional glimpses of 4 a wheel class ND somewhere on the Pennsy while going somewhere with my parents. That said, the Pennsy NDs seemed to have had steel underframes. There are still a number of them in various states of preservation in museums. Also, in the 1980s TTX had several thousand 4 wheel piggyback cars built after the prototypes were successfully tested at the AAR facility in Pueblo.  Tony Wagner

 

 

On Monday, May 21, 2018 8:50 AM, Eric Hansmann <eric@...> wrote:

 

I believe Ohio passed legislation in 1914 banning the use of 4-wheel cabooses.

 

From what I’ve seen over the years, any bans on these older cabooses were a state matter and did not stem from ICC/AAR/ARA/MCB actions.

 

 

Eric Hansmann

Murfreesboro, TN

 

 

 


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of mofwcaboose via Groups.Io
Sent: Monday, May 21, 2018 7:50 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Why Transfer cabooses?

 

1912 in New York , 1929 in Pennsylvania .

 

The passage of the law did not immediately end their use, as they persisted in subsidiary service and on some short lines well into the 1950s. Possibly their last regular use on any railroad was on the Maryland & Pennsylvania in the early 1970s.

 

John C. La Rue, Jr.

Bonita Springs, FL

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Claus Schlund &#92;(HGM&#92;) <claus@...>
To: main <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Sent: Mon, May 21, 2018 8:22 am
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Why Transfer cabooses?

Hi Dennis and List Members,

 

Thank you Dennis for your well thought out and complete treatment on the topic.

 

Dennis wrote: “But four wheel cabooses were fund to be unsafe, and were outlawed sometime in the twenties”

 

This is the first I have heard of four wheel cabooses being outlawed – can anyone confirm this?

 

Claus Schlund

 

 

 

On 5/20/2018 7:26 PM, Dennis Storzek wrote:

I think you guys are over thinking this. The main driver behind transfer cabooses was cost. Both the operating rules and union agreements said that transfer moves needed cabooses; if there were not enough old cabooses surplus from road duty available, something had to be built. The requirement was a small shelter, with a stove, some benches and a desk for the conductor. That dictated a small body, and early in the century a four wheel bobler caboose would have filled the bill. But four wheel cabooses were fund to be unsafe, and were outlawed sometime in the twenties, IIRC, and that meant a small cabin on a long frame. Converted boxcars were rather common up until WWII, usually rebuilt from cars that weren't much bigger than a standard caboose. But by the sixties, when these "cheesebox-on-raft" transfer cabooses became common, the available boxcars were way too big to be heated efficiently. Some of the early examples of the style were rebuilt from boxcars, leaving the center section of the body and building new ends, which yielded large porches which didn't need to be heated. Later it was found to be cheaper and easier to just build a new body and mount it on whatever surplus frame was available. Not exactly rocket science.

The lack of cupola was to reduce cost as much as anything. Nobody was much worried that these slow speed moves were going to develop hotboxes, and in many environments anyone riding in the cupola was going to become a target for rocks or worse, so nobody was riding in the cupola anyway. Why maintain the windows? Sometime in the sixties, early seventies the Soo Line did just that; a bulletin went out to the RIP tracks that henceforth broken cupola windows in cabooses in transfer service were to be boarded over. Some few of these cars subsequently received new plywood sheathing, and the cupolas were entirely sheathed over, just a square blank box on the roof. Some roads, like the Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee simply removed the cupolas and filled in the roof sheathing. I'm familiar with one of their cars, CNS&M 1002 at the Illinois Railway Museum, and all the lockers and the ice box that were under the cupola floor remain; the space between the former floor and new roof was good for stowing grips, etc.

Dennis Storzek

 

 


Todd Sullivan
 

Hi Jeff,

Well, not exactly.  Cars sent by one railroad to another are interchanged, but the sending railroad's caboose would stay on home rails and go back to the originating yard/railroad and not be interchanged with the receiving railroad.  Thus, 4 wheel bobbers could be used, provided they did not violate state laws in the state where they were used.

Todd Sullivan