Caboose 1813 Begins Restoration

Shop crews have started to freshen up our orginal Western Maryland Caboose 1813.  It is going through maintenance checks as well as getting a new coat of paint on the inside and flooring.  We will be putting 1813 back into the train consist for 2020!  We will announce rates and availability when it is complete.  This ride option will be on our Frostburg Flyer Trains.

What is the purpose of a caboose?

A caboose is a manned North American railroad car coupled at the end of a freight train. Cabooses provide shelter for crew at the end of a train, formerly required in switching and shunting, keeping a lookout for load shifting, damage to equipment and cargo, and overheating axles.

Originally flatcars fitted with cabins or modified box cars, they later became purpose-built with projections above or to the sides of the car to allow crew to observe the train from shelter. The caboose also served as the conductor’s office, and on long routes included accommodation and cooking facilities.

A similar railroad car design, the brake van, was used on British and Commonwealth railways (the role has since been replaced by the crew car in Australia). These provided the additional function of serving as a supplemental braking system for trains not fitted with a continuous braking system, and keeping chain couplings taut.

Cabooses were used on every freight train in the USA until the 1980s, when safety laws requiring the presence of cabooses and full crews were relaxed. Developments in monitoring and safety technology such as lineside defect detectors and end-of-train devices resulted in crew reductions and the phasing out of caboose cars. Nowadays, they are generally only used on rail maintenance or hazardous materials trains, or on heritage and tourist railroads.

From Wikipedia