Why did the Railroads get rid of cabooses?

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bull:
I used to see them all the time maybe 20 years ago, now I only see them as tourist attractions. Just wondering why they stopped using them? Was it a money thing?

Todd Wilson:
It was a money thing. A story I heard was some guy wanted use of right of ways to lay fiber cable all over the country. He had political power and worked a deal with the railroads if he could knock the crews down he would get the right of ways.

Thru Freight trains   had an engineer and fireman and a head brakeman. On the caboose there was the conductor and a rear brakeman.  Up until Halloween of 1985 this is how it was. Anyways this guy worked political stuff and this and that  and suddenly cabooses started using X amount of fuel to pull around on trains. Take that times the thousands of trains out there and it was costing the railroads a lot in fuel. Also the extra crew members were costing the railroads as well. Make a long story short the regulations changed and crews were cut down to 2 man crews on thru freight trains. No need for the caboose anymore and the guy got his right of way use which has made him rich and busted the crew consist agreement of the railroad employees.

Up until that time mobile radios were not that good so they did need the extra men on the trains to pass hand signals. In some ways technology killed the caboose. But it was still political/business BS  to line pockets that did the caboose in.

Looking back on things it was probably for the better as it cut down wages on the crew. The caboose did use a certain amount of fuel and they did have repairs and upkeep. It allowed the railroads to be more competitive on prices for hauling freight. But it also cut out a lot of jobs.


Todd

Lowprofile:
I always liked those "Bay Window" Cabooses.  :2thumbs:

  http://www.toytrains1.com/museum-bo.htm

Check this site out! Lots of cool pics!

Todd Wilson:
Quote from: Lowprofile on May 15, 2009, 09:19:48 PM

I always liked those "Bay Window" Cabooses.  :2thumbs:

  http://www.toytrains1.com/museum-bo.htm

Check this site out! Lots of cool pics!



We got a bay window Mopac caboose in our railyard.


Todd

Old Moparz:
One day when I hit the lottery, I'm going to buy a caboose & have it shipped to my house. I'll have someone lay some track & put in a crossing in my driveway with a gate. I'd like it set up right next to my garage with a bar inside, TV, stereo, A/C, & whatever else I feel like getting.  :D

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