"> I guess I was overplaying the purpose of the caboose as you said. I was "> looking at it more like an "end of train" device more than just another car "> in the train. "> "> When I was young, I was told that the caboose was on the end of the train "> and it was painted red in order to keep one train from colliding with "> another. I guess that thought just stuck in my head. That idea doesn't make "> much sense when you really think about it because if you can see the caboose "> of the train in front of you and you aren't expecting it, it's probably too "> late.
The caboose was also the conductor 'office' and a place for the rear brakeman would be. *Steam* engines are much 'messier' than diesel cabs and there is not realy any place for the conductor to deal with paperwork. With diesels, radios, automatic (air) brakes, ABS/CTC, and FREDs, the caboose's *various* functions have been eliminated.
"> > >The other day when I was operating my small layout, I was going through "> the "> > >usual switching routine of uncoupling my caboose and pushing it into a "> > >siding so that I could pick up and drop some cars. "> > >
"> > >While I was doing this it suddenly dawned on me that in real life "> > >railroading, pulling out of the siding onto the main without a caboose "> was "> > >probably a no-no. "> >
"> > Not so. It depends on a lot of things "> >
"> > >
"> > >So... back in the day when freights had cabooses, what did they do with "> the "> > >caboose whenever they were spotting cars at trackside industries? "> >
"> > Again, it depends. If you are working trailing point switches you just "> leave it "> > sitting there while you work. If you have to run around your train to "> switch, you "> > just run around the whole thing, cab and all. There was no rule that said "> the cab "> > had to stay on the main track or that the engine could not run around "> without it "> > attached. It was nothing more than just another car that was carried on "> the rear end "> > of the train. "> >
"> > >
"> > >Did they leave the caboose in a siding, or run around behind it and push "> the "> > >cars down to the industry, or what? I'm stumped. "> >
"> > That's because you're making it more complicated than it was. Quit "> thinking about the "> > cab as a special car. It wasn't. It doesn't matter what you do with it "> while you are "> > working. Stick it somewhere out of the way until you are ready to go on, "> whatever, it "> > doesn't matter. "> > Just make sure that it is on the rear end of your train when you are ready "> to move "> > down the line of road again. "> > If you don't already know, I was a professional railroader for many years. "> > When we had cabeese. "> >
"> > F "> >
"> "> ">
\/ Robert Heller ||InterNet: email@example.com