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Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by dhutch, Dec 29, 2004.
hey check your private messages
We had cabooses on the WP till the UP took over. IIRC it was around 1984 when the UP started using Flashing Rear End Devices, FRED for short. The caboose had an air gauge inside and valves to put the train into emergency if needed. The rear marker signified the end of the train. It was a look out post to watch the train to make sure the train was rolling along safe. The removal of the caboose was the start of the Railroads push to reduce crews. Why would a train need four crewmen on the head end, so the union allowed the reduction of the crew size. Later the national contract did the same thing. Today, the railroads are telling the new hires that they will become engineers because they plan on running one man crews. This is not new, Australia and New Zealand are already doing it, and maybe even in Europe. Yes the caboose is a part of the past.
sadly you are right in saying the caboose is becoming a thing of the past. I can remember the good o`ll days of steam, as a boy, seeing these smokebillowing, chuffing engines,(that made the ground shake as they passed)with either passenger coaches or freight wagons behind and the gaurdsvan/caboose on the tail, as boys we stood by the trackside and waved to the passing enginer, fireman and gaurd, and was mostly rewarded with a wave from both ends, I can still remember the smiles those waves put on our faces. pitty the kids of today cant get that feeling in the same way...how much of a smile can fred(flashing rear end devises)give a kid, eh!?...have a good one...steve
Maybe someone should invent a FRED with a smiley face and a waving hand on it <GGG>