There it goes!

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Active Member
Since most of my pike is basically finished, I really am not going to change the track work much. So other things are on the agenda. Which is why I am rebuilding the Walther's 7808 car, and other up grades to things around here.

Looking at a lot of old railroad photos I notice that even a caboose has a red flashing light on the back, Not just markers. Not that I can find much on the net doing research, except all kinds of articles about FRED units.

So since most of my cabooses have lights in them I have been converting that to DC units and adding a red flashing light to the rear of the thing.


Like this. It is prototypical I have found photos of this out there, so I am making mine into the same.

Looks real cool at night, running when the lights are off and this unit is going around -- one can find the parked trains faster as well. Switching industrial sidings and leaving cars on the main, with the caboose flashing away is a good view.


The Aerojet


Beach Bum
The caboose era ended in the mid 1980s, give or take a few months. Trains, by definition, consist of a Locomotive, with or without cars, displaying a marker. That marker could be as simple as a red flag, (by day), or a hand lantern with a red rag wrapped around the lamp, (after dark) , to built in electric markers, portable battery powered markers, High Density Markers mounted on the coupler, or FREDS. Conrail, pretty much used every method I listed, at some point before the Cabin Cars went away.

The Cabin displaying a marker in your photo, looks fantastic.



Active Member
I know the caboose era went away back now close to 40 years ago, but some of us still miss the little cabin car finishing off a train.

For example - why one should still run a modern cabin car --

There are repairs the train crew has to make en route, like broken air hoses or busted couplers. These items are stored in the air compressor compartment of the consist. NOW - with trains a mile long, it takes forever for a disabled train to get going again as the engineer and conductor haul the parts down the train to the affected car and then have to haul the tools back up ... IF there was a way car at the end, the tools and parts could be stored in there, and on a really long train, like a mile or more, if the break is near the end of the train, the stuff could be brought out of the caboose, instead of the consist - saving time on the repair.

Another reason - an ice plug in the air line. this cuts off the train brakes beyond the plug. A DMU both provides a second source of air for the brakes, but also provides a secondary braking control. This could be done in a caboose, saving the second loco at the end, unless it is needed for pusher service. YES I know the FRED can provide an air dump in an emergency, but wouldn't it be better to just control the brakes instead of dumping them?

Just two reasons to have a crummy today --

Digging thru the archives I found this --


A bit grainy as it was shot from a long way off, but the tag sez 1993 --- NOTE the red light above the rear of the caboose. Trust me you will see this a lot further off than that stupid FRED flasher on trains today. This was also the final unit I looked at to model my rear end flasher on the caboose above.

Also rerailing frogs could be kept in the caboose. I don't know if anybody except the WSOR does any of that on the road today, but I have photos taken at Edgerton of a WSOR loco with the frogs on the fuel tank. I will try to find it over the weekend -- tons of photos to look at.

The Aerojet


Active Member
Just found the photos. Taken a good long time ago, like over 10 years, but still ...

Close up of the things -- rerailing frogs --


AND here you can see them in the shadow on the unit 1506, on this end of the fuel tank.


The Aerojet

PS trust me, I can find a ton of things most never knew about, someplace in over 50 years of rail photos I can find almost anything I shot, and can and will talk to - it is not a legend, it is a fact I can back up with a photo.

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