legacy page
New responsive screen layout coming soon!

hawkinsrails.net / lagniappe / cabooses

Lagniappe Favorites Collection

Caboose Collection

Nearly everyone is familiar with the railroad caboose. Formally, it's the punctuation mark that concludes every freight train -- a mobile office for the crew, a lookout post. It is a van on the Canadian National, a cabin car on the Pennsylvania, a buggy on the Boston & Maine; but by whatever name, it remains symbolic of the railroad scene. The little red frame shanty that trailed faithfully after every string of freight cars has undergone many changes in a hundred years. The box-like shelter which train crews built to shield their cooking fires on spare flat cars in the mid-1800s, the converted boxcars with sliding doors introduced around the turn of the century, the cupola-topped wooden crummy popular before World War II, all have given way to more modern and better equipped vehicles. Today's caboose with its sleek bay windows of shatterproof glass, its automatic oil heaters, electric lights, refrigerators, and radio-telephones between locomotive and wayside station reflect the technological advances being made by North American railroads. The caboose has become merely a rolling office, efficient and functional, rather than the "home away from home" that it used to be.

The Railroad Caboose by William F. Knapke

All caboose images in this collection were taken by John or Ralph Hawkins, unless otherwise noted.

Links / Sources

This page was updated on 2015-10-28