• Passenger-Equipped Cabooses

  • General discussion about locomotives, rolling stock, and equipment
General discussion about locomotives, rolling stock, and equipment

Moderator: John_Perkowski

  by Statkowski
Both the New Haven and Pennsylvania Railroads had passenger-equipped cabooses, complete with train line and run-through steam line appurtenances. These were used mostly on mail-and-express (M&E) trains, although on the New Haven they were also used on a passenger train or two which included passenger-equipped G-85 piggyback cars tacked on to the rear of the train.

The New York Central Railroad, to the best of my knowledge used rider coaches (downgraded passenger coaches) on its M&E trains.

Did any other railroads have passenger-equipped cabooses? Just curious.
  by mtuandrew
Statkowski: Not sure about passenger-equipped, but I've heard of railroads offering passenger service in cabooses. Specifically, the Soo Line did that in Wisconsin or upper Michigan following A-Day, since it never bought into Amtrak.

I also read somewhere of a WWII-era railroad equipping a caboose with passenger trucks to allow its use with troop trains, but for the life of me I don't recall where I read it or which line.
  by Statkowski
I'm sure more than one railroad offered passenger service in its cabooses, but these were not passenger-equipped cabooses.

I'm believe the MILW, CB&Q and SP had passenger-equipped G-85 piggyback cars, but I've never heard of any other roads having passenger-equipped cabooses.
  by GWoodle
You may be thinking about drover caboose, to carry cowboys along with their herd. May be some used on D&RGW, to move livestock from the high country to the low.

In the heavyweight ere, there seems to be plenty of baggage mail & coach combinations to ply on the branch lines. Plenty of old wood coach saw their last days in this kind of service.
  by Statkowski
Not a drover caboose (i.e., a caboose with extra seats), not a rider coach (a downgraded coach), not a caboose offering space on a mixed train, not a hand-me-down coach for a branch line.

A passenger-equipped caboose is a caboose which also sports a communicating train line plus a run-through steam line, just like a regular passenger car, except it's a caboose.

Regular passenger cars were used for fare-paying passengers. Passenger-equipped cabooses were used on Mail & Express trains which didn't necessarily offer any passenger service. The rear-end crew couldn't ride in the baggage or express cars, so they rode in a passenger-equipped caboose. The caboose needed to be so equipped to permit the train crew to communicate with the head end if necessary (thus the communicating train line), and the run-through steam line was needed so that the steam line could be properly vented at the end of the train (RPOs needed steam, baggage cars needed steam, etc.).
  by John_Perkowski
Union Pacific, in passenger service, converted several HW betterment (streamlined) coaches to M&E rider coach status. They deactivated the A/C, deactivated the heat, and curtained off most of the passenger compartment. I will update this with plans and diagram numbers from Kratville's books...
  by John_Perkowski
]Here is a UP betterment HW coach (given full streamlining) which, in the late 50s/60s, served as a rider coach. UP, so far as I can tell, removed the steam lines and the a/c equipment, and installed an oil stove for heat instead.
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  by jhdeasy
One Saturday in the summer of 1977, I rode the Georgia RR mixed train on the branch from Athens GA to Union Point GA, and the "super mixed" on the mainline from Union Point GA to Atlanta GA.

As I recall, the caboose on the branchline freight had 4 passenger car style seats installed. They looked like they may have been taken from a heavyweight passenger car. I don't recall seeing a steam line under the caboose, which probably had a fuel fired heater/stove to provide warmth in cold weather.

The super-mixed had a similar caboose, but the Conductor offered me day use of bedroom A in lightweight 10 roomette 6 bedroom sleeper ALABAMA RIVER, which was substituting for the normal Georgia RR lightweight coach assigned to this train. I chose the Pullman bedroom over a seat in the upgraded caboose.