Tag Archives: Stack train with Caboose

Stack train with Caboose at Buffalo—January 1989.

This Kodachrome slide has always resonated with me.

In North American practice, cabooses and stack trains were equipment from different eras that just barely overlapped.

During the mid-1980s, most class 1 freight carriers banished cabooses to operational backwaters. True, cabooses held out in rare instances (some can still be found), but they had been made redundant by technological changes and their once-standard operation finally came to an end as a side-effect of deregulation.

Another effect of deregulation was a more progressive environment that favored double-stacked container trains.

So, as cabooses were rapidly sidetracked, stack trains were becoming common on principal trunk lines. Since intermodal operations tended to run from terminal to terminal, these trains were among the first to lose cabooses.

I can count the number of caboose-ended double-stack trains I photographed on one hand.

 Exposed on Kodachrome 25 using a Leica M2 with 90mm Elmarit.

Exposed on Kodachrome 25 using a Leica M2 with 90mm Elmarit.

I especially like this view in a snow squall of a Norfolk Southern train carrying an Norfolk & Western caboose on the back of a Maersk stack train that had just come east over the old Nickel Plate route.

The background is the colossal and completely abandoned Buffalo Central Terminal, designed by Fellheimer & Wagner, and constructed by the New York Central during the false optimism of the roaring 1920s, only to open on the eve of the Great Depression.

Buy my book Railway Depots, Stations & terminals published by Voyageur Press to learn more about Fellheimer & Wagner’s stations

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