Caboose 1185

Caboose 1185 at Muskogee, Oklahoma on August 6, 1968 (W. Zeitler)
Caboose 1185

Caboose 1185 at Muskogee, Oklahoma on August 6, 1968 (W. Zeitler).

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5 Responses to Caboose 1185

  1. Fred Kutilek says:

    Below the body, between the trucks, there is what appears to be a rod with a loop on one end and a hook on the other. Does anyone know what this is and what it was used for?

  2. Karl Brand says:

    It’s a towing cable.

  3. Tow chains where used for several things. The first that comes to mind is chaining a car that has had the draw bar pulled out of the end nearest the engine. If it could not be repaired then the cable or a chain was used to tow it to the first available track for set out. Another use was pulling cars in the clear when making a drop and the car did not clear the engine. To make the drop the engineer would accelerate the locomotive using his independent air brake (engine brake) to get enough slack so the brakeman could pull the pin and then ride the car into the clear (of the track the engine was on). If everything worked according to plan the engine was then on the opposite end of the car. Sometimes the car would not clear the engine and that is when the cable was used to pull the car in the clear so the engine could get by. Mostly cables were used instead of chains account of the possibility of the chain braking and a link flying off like a bullet shot out of a gun. However when using a cable you had to take care not to be in the whip zone of the cable in case it snapped. Jerome

  4. Christopher Abernathy says:

    Great stuff, Jerome. It’s always interesting to hear the operational details behind how and why things were done the way they were.

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