Plural of 'Caboose'

I don't think you'll get many takers for your definition brake van caboose, as a caboose never had the equipment to turn train brakes on and
off while a brake van did per your own explanation.
There is no argument that the caboose and brake van both supplied office space and creature comforts for the train crew other than the locomotive crew....
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I didn't actually say that a brake van had means of turning train brakes on and off, that was someone else. The brake van had a brake acting on the brake van wheels that could be applied by the guard, same goes for the caboose. With trains that had no continuous brakes, then when more brake effort was needed than could be supplied by the engine and brake van the crew had to apply brakes on the other wagons/cars in the train. In UK proctice this had to be done from trackside with a stationary train, the activity known as stop and pin down brakes. In US practice as I mentioned this activity was done on the move using the roof walks. But same job, same purpose.
Once the air/vacuum brake came into use brake control was transferred to the loco driver and the brake van/caboose crew no longer had to do it. The brake van had a valve and pressure gauge but these were not used to control the train brakes but primarily to check that the brakes were connected through to the engine and working. I would be very surprised if cabooses were not equipped with a similar device.
With the demise of both caboose and brake van the brake test has to be carried out remotely by the end of train device or by a crewmember using the aircock on the last vehicle.
Keith

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You are incorrect, at least with respect to the Rio Grande in the 1960s, because all cabooses on that railroad had "the equipment to turn train brakes on and off." It was in the form of a brake valve located within reach of a brakeman sitting in the cupola. Originally, the brakemen could make reductions just like the engineer until a runaway was caused by a brakeman pissing away the air in the rear cars without the engineer's knowledge. After that, the valve was modified so only an emergency application was possible. The British caboose sounds like an American caboose to me.
wrote:

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On Wed, 07 Jun 2006 17:55:03 GMT, Froggy @ thepond..com wrote:

Well, a couple of days have passed and there seems to be a general similarity between brake vans and cabooses; enough to determine from the available information that they were, in fact, directly comparable with each other in a very large measure. Enough so that it would appear that they are the same things with minor differences not amounting to much.
There may not be any living memory of cabooses as portable dormitories in the USA. My railroad memories go back to the first half of the 20th Century and I spent many years in the railway service in the second half. I have never used a caboose, nor known of one being used, as anything but a place for a crewman to ride at the end of the train. Bunks and such for laying-over out on line of road disappeared long before I was born. I have never cooked, nor eaten, a meal cooked on a caboose. I don't know anyone who ever has. I knew men who had worked on the railroad before and during WW I and later, and none of them ever used a caboose as a rolling home-away-from-home either.
As far as being the conductor's office; yes and no. Railway Conductors at one time may have conducted business for the Railway Company, but that was an extremely long time ago. In the east, maybe more than a hundred years. On through trains there is nothing to do except ride to the end terminal. Waybills were once carried in a pouch, but that went away in the '70s. Waybills were automated and no longer needed to travel with the train. Working a local did involve a little bit of paperwork, but nothing that could not be done on your lap while sitting in the locomotive. There was no real need for a conductor's office. Most of the time the conductor rode on the locomotive and the flagman rode in the caboose. There was nothing "homey" or particularly enjoyable about riding in the caboose. They were hot as Hell in the summer and cold as Bimidji Minnesota in the winter, even if you weren't in Minnesota. If you were, it was even colder. They rattled and shook, pitched and rolled, and jerked and buffed with the slack-action. They were noisy and uncomfortable most of the time. Still, I rode 'em and didn't complain. But the image of the caboose in North America (at least in the southeast quadrant) as the crew's home-away-from-home is a myth. A myth perhaps inspired by images from the era of our grandfathers and great-grandfathers. Certainly not in my life's experience.
Froggy,
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On Fri, 09 Jun 2006 20:57:24 GMT, Froggy wrote:

I had soup and a sandwich on my grandfather's Nickel Plate caboose in 1953. Working north of Indianapolis.

Pop certainly did a lot of paperwork at the little desk in his caboose. It was a little way freight, regrettably behind a diesel road switcher of some kind. My uncle drove the NKP Berks.
--
Steve

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On Fri, 09 Jun 2006 20:57:24 GMT, Froggy wrote:

Speaking of which, long before I heard Utah Phillips do "Moose Turd Pie", Pop told me a story about the rule they had on the caboose that he who complained about the food automatically volunteered to do the cooking; with the punch line being the brakeman who said "This soup's too damned salty, but that's just the way I like it." I recognized the old tale immediately hte first time I heard Utah tell it, and "'s good, though." (following on the exclamation "My Gawd, this's Moose Turd Pie . . . ") has long been a catch phrase in our house.
--
Steve

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Steve Caple spake thus:

Daddy, what's a train, is it something I can ride? Does it carry lots of grownups and little kids inside? Is it bigger than our house? Oh, how can I explain, If my little boy should ask me, Daddy, what's a train?
(By the way, the title of that album is "Good Though".)
--
Any system of knowledge that is capable of listing films in order
of use of the word "fuck" is incapable of writing a good summary
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On Fri, 09 Jun 2006 23:14:09 -0700, David Nebenzahl wrote:

says:
"The captions also strengthen the impression of an efficient response. "A U.S. Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter crewman assists in search and rescue efforts," says one, but look at the picture again. He's not assisting; he's just staring out the window."
Well, yeah, dipshit. That's what you DO on SAR flights, at least when you're not runnign the hoist of firing the M-60. I make no case for the response of any government agency, and especially not for the judgment of commercial "news" agencies, but having spent a lot of hours "looking out the window", or more often the "back door", or cargo door of an H-3 over the Tonkin Gulf, looking for people like the A-4 pilot who went in off the cats from the USS Hancock on the very last launch of their Yankee Station deployment. Since we had started two hours before, right over the fireball his plane made on the second bounce, there wasn't much chance we'd find him, but we kept looking. I found a helmet and a LOX bottle and some maps, along with a lot of scraps of insulation, but the pilot was probably still strapped into what was left of his Scooter.
Why, with a zero-zero rocket ejection seat, he never punched out in the 15 seconds or so he had from the time he lost power on the cat (I saw his wingtip lights go out halfway down the track) I'll never know. But I DO know your source for slamming Wiki is no more, and very probably far less, than a reliable one.
--
Steve

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Steve Caple wrote:

During my Navy years I made 2 deployments to WesPac, on a DE escorting a carrier both times. In each case the carrier lost a plane and crew during flight ops. We had to search around the crash sites trying to locate whatever bits and pieces were salvageable. In one case I recall that the pilot's helmet was found but with nothing inside it, and some other bits of flotsam were pulled in with sort of green organic bits of material stuck to it. Based on those two cruises it makes me wonder if losing a plane and crew is something that occurs regularly on a deployment. We never hear about it in the news. Each of those Navy fighters costs us taxpayers a good chunk of change whenever one is lost like that.
--

Rick Jones
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On Sat, 10 Jun 2006 21:16:44 -0500, Rick Jones wrote:

I wondered if he at least had got the canopy open and the impact threw the helmet off, or if it just flew out in the general breakup of the plane. After his tip and tail lights went out there was a little spark on the water a couple hundred yards ahead of the ship (Hancock was an old Essex class 27C angle-deck conversion CVA), which was already going into the S-turn maneuver initially away from and then immediately toward the crashed aircraft that throws the screws away from a possible pilot in the water (not only an S turn, but has a name - Polish? - that starts with S; anyone recall the name for that maneuver?), followed by a huge flash and fireball another 50 yards past that.
By the way, the A-4 (officially called the Skyhawk, originally the A4D for Douglas's fourth attack design, and intially intended to be a basically one-way atomic bomb carrier, and more commonly called the Scooter because it was so small, was NOT a fighter; I've always bridled at the ignoramuses who called the S-3 that that sleazoid sniveler Bush rode in while a carrier qualified pilot landed it on the Abraham Lincoln a "jet fighter" - it's an antisubmarine aircraft.
http://www.folkmusic.com/MP3/Let 's%20Pretend.mp3
(many more at http://www.folkmusic.com/t_mp3.htm )

Maybe they hit a sea snake? <g> They were our greatest fear in ditching, and flying at our altitude and speed on the way up to North SAR station we saw a lot of them swimming in groups, some of them seemed to be over 6 feet long. Also, there are probably a lot of flakes of zinc chromate primer flying around in any aircraft crash - most of the interior surfaces are covered with it.
--
Steve

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wrote:

Rick, it has been a week and to my surprise, no one has responded. So I will reach back almost thirty years to my time at sea. The answer in my experience is "Yes." Even under normal conditions, Naval Aviation is a damned difficult and dangerous way to make a living. My first tour was on an oiler operating out of Subic, servicing the line from the Gulf of Tonkin to the Gulf of Thailand. Aside from combat casualties, it was not uncommon for an air wing to loose a flight crew.
One trip back to Subic to load liquid cargo, we were moving deadstick from the ammo anchorages off Kalakalan Point to the POL pier when a Marine F-8 doing touch and goes at Cubi went in just off our stern as we lined up to go along side the pier. Our MWB crew fished the helmet with what remained of the pilot out of the drink. If I recall correctly we later heard it was some sort of power failure, not pilot error. What that man did was to ride his blowtorch into the drink and guie it away from a floating bomb, sacrificing hmself and sparing 150 of us and I don't know how many Filipinos and Americans ashore, had he hit the feul facility.
Later I served in both USS Constellation and USS America and we lost aircraft in those peacetime deployments. In 1979, my wife's cousin's husband died when the F-4 he was RIO in hit the round-down on the Independence during carrier workups in the Carib.
As a civilian working for the Navy for twenty-five years, I saw far too many young men (and now a few women) die in very spectacular ways that did not garner much press coverage. Seems our mainstream media doesn't think it worthy of coverage. Unless you live in a community with a large military base, like as not you will never hear of how our sons and daughters risk their lives every day, and not just in the war zone.
So, in memory of Butch Franklin, and too many others who have died in our service, I have to stop my initial reaction of complaining whenever the "sound of freedom" (jet noise) interrupts my solitude, and remind myself to say "Thanks."
And yes, it's a whole hell of a lot of tax dollars. But those bucks are better spent than the money we spent to pay for liposuction and other crap after Katrina.
Richard Albuquerque
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On Sat, 17 Jun 2006 18:45:24 -0600, Rich Sullivan wrote:

Yes, a ramp strike WILL ruin your whole day even more than a collision at sea. I was glad that the only traps I ever made were riding in the back of a COD, and that our normal mode of landing involved a gentle flare into a hover and settling onto the deck. But a squadron mate of mine was killed in a takeoff, when a squadron commander newly transitioned from fixed wings took a bird overloaded with mechs and cruise boxes destined for a detachment on one of the CVAs off the port elevator, moved over the catwalks to port before the bird rose up out of ground effect; the sudden loss of ground effect as he moved out over 90 feet of air dropped them right into the sea with rotors clipping the catwalks in the way. Miraculously no-one was killed on deck and everybody in the bird got out except Tom (he was standing, wearing a gunners belt; no seats left for him, not even the flimsy Mac seats along the port side of the cargo cmpartment.
Maybe in a civilian outfit somebody would have told the three striper he wasn't really ready to be A/C in such a situation, but the military ethos added onto the normal corporate reluctance to piss off the guy who signs your efficiency report made that a never happen situation. One H-3, one senior E-6, several cruise boxes full of tools and spares, and several seabags full of clothes gone.

Or the lives and money the NeoCon chickenhawks in the White House invested in turning a bastardly dictator's country into the breeding ground for a new branch of Al Qaeda that wasn't there before. Oh yeah - I forgot: it's part of the War On Terror. Yep, the REAL one we were fighting in Afghanistan before we put it on the back burner so we could open a new front in Iraq. That makes it OK - it makes anything OK, even declassifying the identity of a covert intelligence agent when it suits your political advisor's purposes.
--
Steve

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Steve posted:
~snip~

I've heard this suggestion before that the U.S. is the cause of all the hardships and terrorism in Iraq. The troops who are actually there as well as may Iraqis closely involved with the troops don't seem to agree with the sentiment but for the sake of discussion; the U.S. has troops stationed literally all over the world. I even talked to a soldier on leave last spring who was stationed in Egypt which came as a surprise to me. Why then is there so much terrorist activity mostly in Iraq? We were told by the more liberal minded side of the issue that Al Qaeda was never there and had no interest in the country, yet, there they are. Are they upset that we took out Saddam? Why would that be? We were also told they had no connections to him either, yet they seem to want him restored to power.
Steve, I'm not claiming to know where your opinion comes from, but there are questions such as those above that the national news media won't touch yet are only fair to take into consideration when talking about whether this war was justified or not. As for me, as long as majority of troops give it a thumbs up, I'll stand with, in support, and completion of the effort.
~Brad H.
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As for me, as long as majority of

So now that a majority of the troops are giving it a thumbs down, where do you stand?
Chas.
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On Sun, 18 Jun 2006 09:33:53 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

I don't believe that's what I wrote or implied. The nardships and terrorism find their engines in the long suppressed Shiia majority, with its strong element of fundamentalist fanaticism; the newly dispossessed Sunni minority, with a lesser but equally fanatical fundamentalist element (Wahabist, like bin Laden); both want to impose their particular theocratic views on everybody else and implement Sharia law with the main difference being whose mullahs or ayatollahs sit on those kangaroo courts. There are also a fair number of just plain crooks and thugs, both those who were suppressed by Saddam's police state, and those who ran it; these want to grab, or grab back, as much as they can, and revel in and require lawlessness and instability. The Kurds want the return of their land and homes that were stolen in the ethnic cleansing "Arabization" efforts of Saddam that resulted in mainly Sunnis dispossessing them; this on top of the long history of suppression of Kurds by every government in the area.
The war was unnecessary at the time, and certainly distracted us from completing a TRUE "war on terror" (gawd - Rove's Orwellian Newspeak makes me gag!) in Afghanistan that had at least some chance of damaging a large part of bin Laden's organization and their Taliban sympathizers. Instead we divided our forces (more like a 90/10 "division") and went off on shirker Georgie's snipe hunt for WMDs that most of us were pretty sure were not there, and then proceeced to totally screw the pooch.
Bush's coterie of armchair generals and Christian Reconstructionists (look up Rushdoonie - a real freak show, a Christian Ayatollah) and NeoCons and wealthy tax-break hogs insisted on doing it on the cheap, and drove Eric Shinseki to retire, and other generals to keep their mouths shut. So we went in without anything more than NeoCon chickenhawk fantasies that out troops would be welcomed with flowers, not enough troops to impose order and provide safety so people could queue up for food and gasoline without getting shot or blown up, not enough actual workers (as opposed to top tier contractors like KBR/Halliburton/et al.) to restore telephones and electricity and clean water and oil production. All of which did nothing to win the hearts and minds of any secular or at least non-fundamentalist Iraqis who might have been on the fence, and we certainly don't have the manpower to, in Lyndon Johnson's terms, grab Iraq by the portion of the male anatomy that would ensure their hearts and minds will follow.
I don't know if you've ever been in the military, but I can testify that "the troops" get enough indoctrination that coupled with natural needs for unit cohesion and justification of personal risk, they are not necessarily the best source of a balanced view of what's going on. And whatever their sacrifice, how honorable their service, the stains of Abu Ghreib (when will the military AND CIVILIAN architects of that horror show be brought to justice, instead of just a few "enlisted pukes" as we used to be called?) or the apparent other horrors and the many minor stupidities of ordinary scared and stressed troops inadequately acculturated and sorely lacking in translators, and often (especially the Guard) poorly supplied, do our nation's best wishes more harm not only with Iraqis but with a large part of the Islamic world and a fair part of the rest.
Quite an accomplishment for a party boy, draft dodger (jumping queue into a country club NG slot and THEN not even completing THAT minimal servce, counts as draft dodging in my book), multiple times failed business figurehead and only by grace of family influence UNconvicted inside trader.
The man's a coward and a liar, and no amount of pseudo good old boy folksiness and born again blather will change it. Anyone who declassifies the identity of a serving intelligence agent for petty political revenge deserves to be court martialed for treason. Impeachment, not court martial, you may say? Then tell the sneaky little creep to stay the hell out of flight suits and not let his PR goons imply he "landed" on hte braham Lincoln, rather than riding along in the front seat.
--
Steve

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Steve Caple wrote:

Of the two lost planes I previously mentioned during cruises in my Navy years, one was a plane that missed the cables on landing, failed to get full thrust back on, and bounced off the flight deck and into the water. The other loss was on takeoff. Allegedly the plane rolled over and the pilot ejected straight down into the water in front of the carrier. As I mentioned before, I saw neither of these occur and these are just stories that went around during the search for survivors and pieces, so take them with a healthy dose of NaCl.
--

Rick Jones
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I have two kids who are in the Navy.
Oldest is a 'nuke, now on George Washington (CVN 73). Previously he served as a nuke on Stennis amd TRoosevelt. Has about 16 years in. He's 34.
He hasn't been on a cruise (short duration, 2 months or so doing workups) or a deployment, (6 months or more) where the air wing hasn't lostr planes and aircrew to weather / maintence / mechanical failure / pilot error.
His little brother (age 27) is a very very junior super bug driver.
I worry a lot.
Naval aviation is very, very, very dangerous, even is nobody is actively shooting at the aircraft.
--
Jim McLaughlin

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