Caboose

I remember when one could see a caboose at the end of a train. The end of the caboose came in the 1980s when technology and reduced federal regulations on train crews made the caboose redundant. This B&O caboose stands on a spur near US 231 as it leaves the north end of Greencastle, Indiana.

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The caboose marked the end of the train and housed a crew that monitored the train’s condition from that position. The bay windows and tower aided crew members in seeing the train. The conductor’s office might be in the caboose which also might house a small kitchen.

9 Comments

  1. I was the youngest of 4 children and I always remember hearing my dad referring to me as their cabosse. I had totally forgotten about this until I saw this entry. Thanks for the memory.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just the word “caboose” makes me smile.

    As a kid, every time a train passed through, we looked for the caboose — and cheered when it came in sight.

    In a small town near me, they have an old caboose on display near where the old railroad track used to run. We can climb aboard and experience some nostalgia about the good old days of the railroads.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think they need to make a comeback…
    While sitting at a crossing one late night, after about 15 minutes (or loosing count of the cars at 54…) we heard a loud bang… the train had come apart right at the crossing! The train kept on going while the rest blocked the road. I called 911 to explain the situation. .. trying to say it didn’t derail, but just broke apart was hard for the operator to understand.
    I think if there had been a caboose, the issue would have been figured out sooner.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. According to Webster’s Unabridged, caboose derives from ‘kabuis’ / ‘kombuis’ – Middle Dutch for a ship’s galley, booth or hut. Another source says Camboose was the English word for a 17th/18th-century ship’s on-deck hut that sometimes housed a mini-galley. The word caboose ffirst came to use around 1840 in the U.S.

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