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 required in switching and shunting, keeping a lookout for load shifting, damage to equipment and cargo, overheating axles. Flatcars fitted with cabins or modified box cars, they became purpose-built with projections above or to the sides of the car to allow crew to observe the train from shelter; the caboose served as the conductor's office, on long routes included accommodation and cooking facilities. A similar railroad car design, the brake van, was used on Commonwealth railways; these provided the additional function of serving as a supplemental braking system for trains not fitted with a continuous braking system, keeping chain couplings taut. Cabooses were used on every freight train in the United States 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 only used on rail maintenance or hazardous materials trains, or on heritage and tourist railroads. Use of cabooses began in the 1830s, when railroads housed trainmen in shanties built onto boxcars or flatcars; the caboose provided the train crew with a shelter at the rear of the train. The crew could exit the train for to protect the rear of the train when stopped, they inspected the train for problems such as shifting loads, broken or dragging equipment, hot boxes. The conductor handled business from a table or desk in the caboose. For longer trips, the caboose provided minimal living quarters, was personalized and decorated with pictures and posters. Early cabooses were nothing more than flat cars with small cabins erected on them, or modified box cars; the standard form of the American caboose had a platform at either end with curved grab rails to facilitate train crew members' ascent onto a moving train. A caboose was fitted with red lights called markers to enable the rear of the train to be seen at night.
This has led to the phrase "bringing up the markers" to describe the last car on a train. These lights were what made a train a "train", were lit with oil lamps. With the advent of electricity caboose versions incorporated an electrical generator driven by belts coupled to one of the axles, which charged a lead-acid storage battery when the train was in motion; the addition of the cupola, a lookout post atop the car, was introduced in 1863. Coal or wood was used to fire a cast-iron stove for heat and cooking giving way to a kerosene heater. Now rare, the old stoves can be identified by several essential features, they were without legs, bolted directly to the floor, featured a lip on the top surface to keep pans and coffee pots from sliding off. They had a double-latching door, to prevent accidental discharge of hot coals caused by the rocking motion of the caboose. Cabooses are non-revenue equipment and were improvised or retained well beyond the normal lifetime of a freight car. Tradition on many lines held that the caboose should be painted a bright red, though on many lines it became the practice to paint them in the same corporate colors as locomotives.
The Kansas City Southern Railway was unique in that it bought cabooses with a stainless steel car body, so was not obliged to paint them. Until the 1980s, laws in the United States and Canada required all freight trains to have a caboose and a full crew, for safety. Technology advanced such that the railroads, in an effort to save money and reduce crew members, stated that a caboose was unnecessary, since bearings were improved and lineside detectors were used to detect hot boxes and better-designed cars avoided problems with the loads; the railroads claimed a caboose was a dangerous place, as slack run-ins could hurl the crew from their places and dislodge weighty equipment. Railroads proposed the end-of-train device as an alternative. An ETD could be attached to the rear of the train to detect the train's air brake pressure and report any problems to the locomotive; the ETD detects movement of the train upon start-up and radios this information to the engineers so they know all of the slack is out of the couplings and additional power could be applied.
The machines have blinking red lights to warn following trains that a train is ahead. With the introduction of the ETD, the conductor moved up to the front of the train with the engineer. A 1982 Presidential Emergency Board convened under the Railway Labor Act directed United States railroads to begin eliminating caboose cars where possible to do so. A legal exception was the state of Virginia, which had a 1911 law mandating cabooses on the ends of trains, until the law's final repeal in 1988. With this exception aside, year by year, cabooses started to fade away. Few cabooses remain in operation today, though they are still used for some local trains where it is convenient to have a brakeman at the end of the train to operate switches, on long reverse movements, are used on trains carrying hazardous materials. CSX Transportation is one of the only Class 1 railroads that still maintains a fleet of modified cabooses for regular use. Employed as "shoving platforms" at the rear of local freight trains which must perform long reverse moves or heavy switching, these are rebuilt bay-window cabooses with their cabin doors welded shut (leaving their crews to work
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Hendrick Jacobs Falkenberg known as Hendrick Jacobs or Henry Jacobs, was an early American settler along the Delaware River, was considered to be the foremost language interpreter for the purchase of Indian lands in southern New Jersey. He was a linguist, fluent in the language of the Lenape Native Americans, in early histories of New Jersey he is noted for his service to both the Indians and the English Quakers, helping them negotiate land transactions. Though he was from Holstein, now a part of Germany, he was associated with the Swedes along the Delaware because his wife was a Finn and a member of that community. In 1671 Falkenberg lived on property belonging to his father-in-law, Sennick Broer, on the Christina River, now in Wilmington, Delaware, he moved to the vicinity of Burlington, New Jersey where he lived for nearly two decades, where he was visited by two journalists of the Labadist sect who were looking for a place to establish a new community. The journalists provided the only known record of Falkenberg's place of origin, described his dwelling place, a Swedish style log cabin.
By 1693 he had moved from the Delaware River across the Province of New Jersey to become the first European settler in Little Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, near Tuckerton. Here he dug a cave for a home, but built a large house made of clapboard where he lived until his death, sometime after 1711. Falkenberg wrote a will in 1710, but for unknown reasons it was not probated until thirty-three years later. While he had only two known children to reach adulthood, each by a different wife, he has a large progeny as the ancestor of the Falkinburg family of New Jersey and the Fortenberry and Faulkenberry families of the southern United States; the Delaware River valley lands were occupied by the Lenape. Over time, the land was controlled by Swedish settlers. In 1664 the British took possession of the entire Delaware River Valley. While reading the following, this date should be kept in mind. In colonial records of New Jersey the name of Hendrick Jacobs Falkenberg occurs in land transactions where he acted as interpreter between the native Lenape and European settlers.
The Lenape were eager to acquire European-made goods and the Europeans were eager to acquire land, so the services of Falkenberg were sought by both parties. In his book, Indians of Southern New Jersey, Frank Stewart considered Falkenberg to be the foremost interpreter in the purchase of Lenape lands in southern New Jersey, a sentiment echoed by Dr. Peter Craig in his book about the inhabitants along the Delaware. Falkenberg was helpful to the English Quakers moving into the area of the Delaware River in the late 1670s, helping them negotiate land transactions with the Lenape; when he was evicted from one of his properties in 1678, these Quakers came to his defense and petitioned the Governor of New York on his behalf. For his services as interpreter, the Lenape gave him an 800-acre tract of land in Little Egg Harbor Township in 1674, the English gave him a 200-acre parcel of land on Rancocas Creek in Burlington County in 1682. Falkenberg's usefulness as an interpreter went beyond the conduct of land transactions, an example of which occurred in 1681 when the Lenape King Ockanickon was dying.
The King gave his final words to his nephew, whom he appointed to be his successor as King, but he wanted to share his words with his gathered friends and family, both Indian and Christian. The short statement by Ockanickon was translated by Falkenberg. Soon afterwards, Quaker John Cripps sent the translation to a friend in London where it was put into print. In this small printed document, Falkenberg's name appears as the interpreter where his name is written "Henry Jacobs Falckinburs, This name appears as Falekinbery in Good Order." This is the first known instance. Subsequently, his name appears in the records both with and without the surname in various printed records; the first public record found for Falkenberg was a deed dated October 12, 1672, when he was named as an heir of "Seneca Brewer". In this document, he is named "Henrickus Jackson"; this indicates that the wife of Hendrick Jacobs was a daughter of Sennick Broer. Her given name has not been found. Sennick Broer and family arrived in the Delaware River area on the ship Mercurius in 1656, just after the Dutch took control of New Sweden.
The Dutch attempted to turn the ship around and send the passengers back to Sweden, but with the help of some Lenape the vessel was able to slip into port and offload its passengers consisting of 92 Finns and 13 Swedes. Because his wife was of the Swedish colony along the Delaware, Hendrick Jacobs was considered a member of the Swedish settlement. In 1671, when the English made a census of the inhabitants of the Delaware River, Hendrick Jacobs was living with his wife and brothers-in-law on property belonging to his father-in-law, Sennick Broer; this 900-acre tract was called "Deer Point" and located on the north side of the Christina River a part of Wilmington, Delaware. The length of his stay at Deer Point is unknown, but by 1674 Jacobs was living 44 miles to the northeast, upstream along the Delaware River on an island called Mattiniconck, adjacent to what would become the town of Burlington, New Jersey. In August 1674 Hendrick Jacobs was a party to a deed stating that his residence at the time was Mattiniconck Island, a 300-acre island in the Delaware River opposite Burlington, New Jersey.