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Archive for June 12th, 2017

Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, August 9, 2016

By Bill Kombol

No piece of railroad equipment has inspired more slang terms than the caboose. It is the cage, hack, crummy, parlor, or hut – it is the zoo, the coop or the brain wagon.

No piece of railroad equipment has inspired more slang terms than the caboose. It is the cage, hack, crummy, parlor, or hut – it is the zoo, the coop, or the brain wagon.

According to the 1948 Rotogravure magazine article about the Pacific Coast Railroad (PCRR), “Railroading has produced as distinctive a lexicon as it is possible for forthright and uninhibited men to dream up.” (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, August 2, 2016

By Bill Kombol

Our glimpse into the world of Pacific Coast Railroad (PCRR) continues with a photo of Conductor J.F. Bow, shown here in his office inside the caboose. The conductor was the crew member on a train responsible for operational and safety duties which did not involve actual moving of the train.

Conductors typically helped trains run on time, completed en-route paperwork, collected tickets from passengers, and coupled and uncoupled cars when drop-offs or hook-ups were made. When trains needed to move in reverse, the conductor controlled backing movement while from his perch in the caboose, traditionally the last car on a train. (more…)

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