Topics

Side-door Cabooses [was Why Transfer cabooses?]


Steve and Barb Hile
 

This provides an interesting explanation on the situation that the Rock Island encountered when they converted a number of single sheathed boxcars to cabooses beginning in the late 1930s.  Most were shortened by removing most of the center section where the side door had been and were configured just the same as their standard double sheathed wood and steel cabooses.
 
However, twenty cars ultimately were left full length to be assigned to mixed train service, many of which were used in Iowa, home of dozens of RI branches.  For these cars, the body bolster was moved inboard to provide for passenger steps and a platform at one end (where there were a few coach seats and a small toilet enclosure.  The other end initially received only an crew access door between the vertical braces on the end.  See the photo for sale on eBay for how this looked.  https://www.ebay.com/itm/Rock-Island-RI-Outer-Braced-Caboose-17781-at-Topeka-KS-in-1941-8x10-Photo/302732824398?hash=item467c484f4e:g:kJYAAOSwY0lXS~Xw
 
Within a few years, a second platform was added at the crew end.  The bolster was not moved, so the crew used a three step ladder attached to the side sill.  See https://www.ebay.com/itm/Rock-Island-RI-Outer-Braced-Caboose-17772-8x10-Photo/302737143549?hash=item467c8a36fd:g:kB4AAOSwNSxVFQMY
 
I have been studying the branch from Cedar Rapids to Decorah which hosted a mixed train daily, each way in the 40's and 50's.  The southbound train had a 4 mile back up move to Postville, Iowa and I had speculated that was (maybe also) a reason for the addition of of a better crew platform on that end.
 
Steve Hile



From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Dennis Storzek
Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2018 7:56 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Side-door Cabooses [was Why Transfer cabooses?]

On Wed, May 23, 2018 at 09:19 pm, Merlyn Lauber wrote:
I believe the Side Door Ban on the IC cabooses in Iowa was an old Union rule
Considering I can find no Iowa statute that specifically mentions side doors, I'm beginning to think the "ban" was self imposed by the IC, either in response to union pressure or because they had to pay a whopping injury settlement (which would have been imposed by the Iowa state courts and could be the basis urban legend that it's a "law".) I did find a citation to the 1911 statute I linked to the other day in the 1946 court case Fleming vs. Richardson , the complaint being: On complaint of a trainmen's association that the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway Company was violating section 7972 of the 1939 Code of Iowa, by operating caboose cars on its railroads in Iowa, with but one platform, but no references to side doors. I also found a citation to the 1911 statute in a list of current (2018) Iowa law, but with the disclaimer that the list on the web site may be out of date.

More for general information, and more pertinent to the recent discussion of four wheel cabooses, is this compilation of state laws governing cabooses as of December, 1912. Caboose Laws

Dennis Storzek


Nelson Moyer
 

Al, the Q waycar trucks in Ed’s photos are the standard Q waycar trucks. I think I remember they were classed #7 by the Q. They had an oak plank at the top, and they had solid bearings. Crews liked them because they gave a smoother ride than the Barber caboose trucks. I don’t believe they were considered high speed, though they were used on hot shot freights between Chicago and Denver. The branchline mixed trains hardly operated at high speed. The highest speed limit on the Burlington-Washington branch was only 25 mph according to the 1943 employee timetable, and that’s the earliest one I have. I think it was higher in the 1930s when passenger traffic was more active, but even then it probably wasn’t over 35 mph.

 

Nelson Moyer

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of al.kresse
Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2018 10:24 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Side-door Cabooses [was Why Transfer cabooses?]

 

This caboose had high speed trucks?  Would that allow for higher mixed-train speeds?

 

Al kresse

On May 24, 2018 at 9:37 AM "Ed Rethwisch via Groups.Io" <edreth1@...> wrote:

The CB&Q had a limited number of side door cabooses ( waycars) but one of the    

side door cars was assigned to Fort Madison for many decades for branch line service.

 

Ed Rethwisch,


 


Douglas Harding
 

Al most CBQ wood cabooses road on wood beam trucks, that looked very similar to passenger car trucks. Some were later fitted with Allied trucks. The later steel cabooses road on more traditional cast steel caboose trucks.

 

Doug  Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of al.kresse
Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2018 10:24 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Side-door Cabooses [was Why Transfer cabooses?]

 

This caboose had high speed trucks?  Would that allow for higher mixed-train speeds?

 

Al kresse

On May 24, 2018 at 9:37 AM "Ed Rethwisch via Groups.Io" <edreth1@...> wrote:

The CB&Q had a limited number of side door cabooses ( waycars) but one of the    

side door cars was assigned to Fort Madison for many decades for branch line service.

 

Ed Rethwisch,


 


al.kresse <water.kresse@...>
 

This caboose had high speed trucks?  Would that allow for higher mixed-train speeds?


Al kresse

On May 24, 2018 at 9:37 AM "Ed Rethwisch via Groups.Io" <edreth1@...> wrote:

The CB&Q had a limited number of side door cabooses ( waycars) but one of the    
side door cars was assigned to Fort Madison for many decades for branch line service.

Ed Rethwisch,


 


Ed Rethwisch
 

The CB&Q had a limited number of side door cabooses ( waycars) but one of the    
side door cars was assigned to Fort Madison for many decades for branch line service.

Ed Rethwisch,


Dennis Storzek
 

On Wed, May 23, 2018 at 09:19 pm, Merlyn Lauber wrote:
I believe the Side Door Ban on the IC cabooses in Iowa was an old Union rule
Considering I can find no Iowa statute that specifically mentions side doors, I'm beginning to think the "ban" was self imposed by the IC, either in response to union pressure or because they had to pay a whopping injury settlement (which would have been imposed by the Iowa state courts and could be the basis urban legend that it's a "law".) I did find a citation to the 1911 statute I linked to the other day in the 1946 court case Fleming vs. Richardson , the complaint being: On complaint of a trainmen's association that the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway Company was violating section 7972 of the 1939 Code of Iowa, by operating caboose cars on its railroads in Iowa, with but one platform, but no references to side doors. I also found a citation to the 1911 statute in a list of current (2018) Iowa law, but with the disclaimer that the list on the web site may be out of date.

More for general information, and more pertinent to the recent discussion of four wheel cabooses, is this compilation of state laws governing cabooses as of December, 1912. Caboose Laws

Dennis Storzek

 


Merlyn Lauber
 

I believe the Side Door Ban on the IC cabooses in Iowa was an old Union rule which was due to a safety concern that a crew member could fall out of the open door. I think this was changed in the early 50's and we have photos and have seen the "side door" cabooses throughout Iowa after that. I have seen photos of a crew member setting in the open door. This was discussed and presented at a Clinic some years ago at one of the meets. When we have a railfan show and an IC 'side door" caboose comes on the screen, someone in the audience almost always says "there's another side door that's not allowed in Iowa".

Merlyn Lauber

----- Original Message -----
From: Douglas Harding <doug.harding@iowacentralrr.org>
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Sent: Wed, 23 May 2018 22:57:13 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Side-door Cabooses [was Why Transfer cabooses?]

The IC did run side door cabooses in Iowa. But I understand, when they did use them in Iowa, the side doors were required to be bolted or welded shut so they could not be opened. The IC cabooses had sidedoors that were half height, the doors did not reach the floor. I heard this was so a crew member could sit on the bench an safely pick up hooped orders without standing on the platform. But so far I have not been able to find anything to verify the Iowa ban, only modeler’s and railfans speculations.



The M&StL had several sidedoor cabooses, I have photos of four different ones. The photo of M&StL sidedoor caboose #1186, was taken by William Armstrong in McCallsburg IA in 1941. A photo of 1306 was taken Marshalltown IA in 1948. (I believe that attached color photo was taken later).



Drover cabooses or cars are a different animal.



Doug Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org



From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of al.kresse
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 8:30 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Side-door Cabooses [was Why Transfer cabooses?]



Did they want to force separate drover cars for the farmers? Were there more bunk spaces?



Al Kresse

On May 23, 2018 at 9:05 PM Jeffy White <jrwhite@midwest.net> wrote:

This doesn't explain why the IC built different cabooses to operate in Iowa. I'm not an attorney but in my career as a police officer I read and interpreted statutes all the time and by my reading of the law, the standard IC caboose met all of the requirements of the law. Yet they built cabooses just like the standard cabooses only without the side doors to run in Iowa.

It seems to me that there almost had to be something else that caused them to build those Iowa cabooses. All of the IC literature I have read says side door cabooses were not legal in Iowa.

I wonder what the reason was?

Jeff White

Alma, IL



On 5/23/2018 2:51 PM, Dennis Storzek wrote:

On Wed, May 23, 2018 at 09:19 am, Nelson Moyer wrote:

I’m pretty sure that Iowa did not ban side door waycars in any form.

But they did require end platforms. This link should take you to the announcement of the 1911 law:
Caboose Cars

I was also interested to learn that Lorenzo S. Coffin, the railroad safety crusader from the late nineteenth century, was an Iowa state railroad commissioner.

Dennis Storzek


Douglas Harding
 

The IC did run side door cabooses in Iowa. But I understand, when they did use them in Iowa, the side doors were required to be bolted or welded shut so they could not be opened. The IC cabooses had sidedoors that were half height, the doors did not reach the floor. I heard this was so a crew member could sit on the bench an safely pick up hooped orders without standing on the platform. But so far I have not been able to find anything to verify the Iowa ban, only modeler’s and railfans speculations.

 

The M&StL had several sidedoor cabooses, I have photos of four different ones. The photo of M&StL sidedoor caboose #1186, was taken by William Armstrong in McCallsburg IA in 1941. A photo of 1306 was taken Marshalltown IA in 1948. (I believe that attached color photo was taken later).

 

Drover cabooses or cars are a different animal.

 

Doug  Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of al.kresse
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 8:30 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Side-door Cabooses [was Why Transfer cabooses?]

 

Did they want to force separate drover cars for the farmers?  Were there more bunk spaces?

 

Al Kresse

On May 23, 2018 at 9:05 PM Jeffy White <jrwhite@...> wrote:

This doesn't explain why the IC built different cabooses to operate in Iowa.  I'm not an attorney but in my career as a police officer I read and interpreted statutes all the time and by my reading of the law, the standard IC caboose met all of the requirements of the law.  Yet they built cabooses just like the standard cabooses only without the side doors to run in Iowa. 

It seems to me that there almost had to be something else that caused them to build those Iowa cabooses.  All of the IC literature I have read says side door cabooses were not legal in Iowa.

I wonder what the reason was?

Jeff White

Alma, IL

 

On 5/23/2018 2:51 PM, Dennis Storzek wrote:

On Wed, May 23, 2018 at 09:19 am, Nelson Moyer wrote:

I’m pretty sure that Iowa did not ban side door waycars in any form.

But they did require end platforms. This link should take you to the announcement of the 1911 law:
Caboose Cars

I was also interested to learn that Lorenzo S. Coffin, the railroad safety crusader from the late nineteenth century, was an Iowa state railroad commissioner.

Dennis Storzek

 

 

 


 


Walter
 


al.kresse <water.kresse@...>
 

Did they want to force separate drover cars for the farmers?  Were there more bunk spaces?


Al Kresse

On May 23, 2018 at 9:05 PM Jeffy White <jrwhite@...> wrote:

This doesn't explain why the IC built different cabooses to operate in Iowa.  I'm not an attorney but in my career as a police officer I read and interpreted statutes all the time and by my reading of the law, the standard IC caboose met all of the requirements of the law.  Yet they built cabooses just like the standard cabooses only without the side doors to run in Iowa. 

It seems to me that there almost had to be something else that caused them to build those Iowa cabooses.  All of the IC literature I have read says side door cabooses were not legal in Iowa.

I wonder what the reason was?

Jeff White

Alma, IL


On 5/23/2018 2:51 PM, Dennis Storzek wrote:
On Wed, May 23, 2018 at 09:19 am, Nelson Moyer wrote:

I’m pretty sure that Iowa did not ban side door waycars in any form.

But they did require end platforms. This link should take you to the announcement of the 1911 law:
Caboose Cars

I was also interested to learn that Lorenzo S. Coffin, the railroad safety crusader from the late nineteenth century, was an Iowa state railroad commissioner.

Dennis Storzek

 

 



 


Jeffrey White
 

This doesn't explain why the IC built different cabooses to operate in Iowa.  I'm not an attorney but in my career as a police officer I read and interpreted statutes all the time and by my reading of the law, the standard IC caboose met all of the requirements of the law.  Yet they built cabooses just like the standard cabooses only without the side doors to run in Iowa. 

It seems to me that there almost had to be something else that caused them to build those Iowa cabooses.  All of the IC literature I have read says side door cabooses were not legal in Iowa.

I wonder what the reason was?

Jeff White

Alma, IL


On 5/23/2018 2:51 PM, Dennis Storzek wrote:
On Wed, May 23, 2018 at 09:19 am, Nelson Moyer wrote:

I’m pretty sure that Iowa did not ban side door waycars in any form.

But they did require end platforms. This link should take you to the announcement of the 1911 law:
Caboose Cars

I was also interested to learn that Lorenzo S. Coffin, the railroad safety crusader from the late nineteenth century, was an Iowa state railroad commissioner.

Dennis Storzek

 

 



Nelson Moyer
 

The 1911 law must have been amended or annulled at some point, because the converted boxcars had neither end platform or cupola, and they operated in Iowa based upon photographic evidence. This thread would be of interest to the CBQ group, where many former Q employees are members. It would be interesting to hear their first hand experiences.

 

Nelson Moyer

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Dennis Storzek
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 2:52 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Side-door Cabooses [was Why Transfer cabooses?]

 

On Wed, May 23, 2018 at 09:19 am, Nelson Moyer wrote:

I’m pretty sure that Iowa did not ban side door waycars in any form.

But they did require end platforms. This link should take you to the announcement of the 1911 law:
Caboose Cars

I was also interested to learn that Lorenzo S. Coffin, the railroad safety crusader from the late nineteenth century, was an Iowa state railroad commissioner.

Dennis Storzek

 

 


Dennis Storzek
 

On Wed, May 23, 2018 at 09:19 am, Nelson Moyer wrote:

I’m pretty sure that Iowa did not ban side door waycars in any form.

But they did require end platforms. This link should take you to the announcement of the 1911 law:
Caboose Cars

I was also interested to learn that Lorenzo S. Coffin, the railroad safety crusader from the late nineteenth century, was an Iowa state railroad commissioner.

Dennis Storzek

 

 


BillM
 

The FEC used wooden side door cabs into the 60s when they began to abandon cabs altogether. Some of the wooden side door cabooses were sold to other railroads so they may be seen relettered and on other railroads.
 
Bill Michael

Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 12:19 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Side-door Cabooses [was Why Transfer cabooses?]

In addition to the conventional side door waycars, the CB&Q also had converted coach waycars in class CW-1 through CW-6, and converted box cars in class NE-5 that were used as waycars. Both had side doors and end doors. The converted coaches had platforms on both ends but the box cars didn’t have end platforms. Most of the converted boxcars had one of the side windows extended outward like a bay window. The converted coaches had a cupola, but the box cars did not. Some of both waycar types were still on the roster in 1953. Photos show converted boxcars in IL and NE and converted coaches in Il, IA, NE, and SD. Photos also show conventional side door waycars in IL, IA, NE, and SD between 1963-1976. I’m pretty sure that Iowa did not ban side door waycars in any form.

 

For a definitive book on Q waycars, consult The Burlington Waycars by Danniel, Reis, and Douda, published by Mile Post 206 Publishing, Inc.

 

Nelson Moyer

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Dennis Storzek
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 10:25 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Side-door Cabooses [was Why Transfer cabooses?]

 

It may have been the IC's own doing, deciding that a conservative interpretation of the language of the law was cheaper and easier than a fight later on. I googled this issue and some of the discussion seemed to indicate that there was such a law in Iowa but that it had been repealed or amended decades ago.

I also ran into a discussion of what exactly constitutes a "side door caboose." The gist of the argument was that the laws were intended to outlaw the converted boxcars that had no end platforms, just a long step under the former door location. These were dangerous, as they were hard to mount and dismount when moving, and that style did universally go out of existence. Problem might have been some states laws were worded too broadly, allowing the interpretation that ANY door on the side of a caboose was prohibited. I can see these being amended early on.

Dennis Storzek


Nelson Moyer
 

In addition to the conventional side door waycars, the CB&Q also had converted coach waycars in class CW-1 through CW-6, and converted box cars in class NE-5 that were used as waycars. Both had side doors and end doors. The converted coaches had platforms on both ends but the box cars didn’t have end platforms. Most of the converted boxcars had one of the side windows extended outward like a bay window. The converted coaches had a cupola, but the box cars did not. Some of both waycar types were still on the roster in 1953. Photos show converted boxcars in IL and NE and converted coaches in Il, IA, NE, and SD. Photos also show conventional side door waycars in IL, IA, NE, and SD between 1963-1976. I’m pretty sure that Iowa did not ban side door waycars in any form.

 

For a definitive book on Q waycars, consult The Burlington Waycars by Danniel, Reis, and Douda, published by Mile Post 206 Publishing, Inc.

 

Nelson Moyer

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Dennis Storzek
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 10:25 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Side-door Cabooses [was Why Transfer cabooses?]

 

It may have been the IC's own doing, deciding that a conservative interpretation of the language of the law was cheaper and easier than a fight later on. I googled this issue and some of the discussion seemed to indicate that there was such a law in Iowa but that it had been repealed or amended decades ago.

I also ran into a discussion of what exactly constitutes a "side door caboose." The gist of the argument was that the laws were intended to outlaw the converted boxcars that had no end platforms, just a long step under the former door location. These were dangerous, as they were hard to mount and dismount when moving, and that style did universally go out of existence. Problem might have been some states laws were worded too broadly, allowing the interpretation that ANY door on the side of a caboose was prohibited. I can see these being amended early on.

Dennis Storzek


David Soderblom
 

Side-door cabooses were for branchline service so the crew could handle modest amount of LCL easily.




David Soderblom
Baltimore MD
david.soderblom@gmail.com


Dennis Storzek
 

It may have been the IC's own doing, deciding that a conservative interpretation of the language of the law was cheaper and easier than a fight later on. I googled this issue and some of the discussion seemed to indicate that there was such a law in Iowa but that it had been repealed or amended decades ago.

I also ran into a discussion of what exactly constitutes a "side door caboose." The gist of the argument was that the laws were intended to outlaw the converted boxcars that had no end platforms, just a long step under the former door location. These were dangerous, as they were hard to mount and dismount when moving, and that style did universally go out of existence. Problem might have been some states laws were worded too broadly, allowing the interpretation that ANY door on the side of a caboose was prohibited. I can see these being amended early on.

Dennis Storzek


Clark Propst
 

It seems only the IC cabooses we outlawed in Iowa? Don’t think they were considered to have actual doors.
Clark Propst
Mason City Iowa


Charles Etheredge
 

A side door caboose was used on the TNO Llano branch into the early fifties.

Charles Etheredge


Nelson Moyer
 

I didn't know that Iowa banned side door waycars. The CB&Q had them, and used them on several branch lines, so I'd like to know the year the State of Iowa banned them. I was planning to build one for my Burlington-Washington branch.

Nelson Moyer

-----Original Message-----
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Jeffrey White
Sent: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 10:39 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Side-door Cabooses [was Why Transfer cabooses?]

The IC used side door cabooses on every division on the line except for Iowa where they were banned by state law.  Some of them ran well past the end date of this list and made it into orange paint after 1967.

Jeff White

Alma, IL