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Western Railroad Discussion > Caboose Marker Lights


Date: 12/11/05 23:21
Caboose Marker Lights
Author: Charles

When did marker lights on cabooses's (cabeese) stop being used? What were the most common color of lights? I know that red was to show to the rear, but what about the front and sides?

Charles



Date: 12/12/05 00:06
Re: Caboose Marker Lights
Author: fbe

The marker lights were usually either red and green or red and yellow. They were in use until about the mid 1970s when just a single red light at the rear of the caboose came into acceptance. The colors and phase out depended upon each railroad.



Date: 12/12/05 06:08
Re: Caboose Marker Lights
Author: WAF

Didn't the SP need the green for sections? The Coast below SLO still ran second class freights into 1980.



Date: 12/12/05 07:09
Re: Caboose Marker Lights
Author: tomstp

WAF you are confusing "marker lights" (cabooses) with classification lights on engines.



Date: 12/12/05 08:51
Re: Caboose Marker Lights
Author: roberthedgecock

I recall seeing marker lights used on both the CN and CP in 1980



Date: 12/12/05 09:17
Re: Caboose Marker Lights
Author: tburzio


> I know that red was to show to the
> rear,

On some roads, the light would show yellow to the rear if the caboose was in a siding and stopped. Imagine the overtaking train engineer's reaction if he saw a red! Better communication devices made this unnecessary.

TB




Date: 12/12/05 09:18
Re: Caboose Marker Lights
Author: spnudge

Cab markers,one on each side, went the way of steam in the 60s on the SP. They were replaced with the "Frog Eyes" on top of the caboose. The eyes were green to the front, red to the rear, one of each, depending which way the caboose was going. They were small and got dirty and were hard to see. The markers changed in the 70s when the green part was dropped from the book. The car department then changed the lens to all red so there was an "extra" light. Later, the FRA said caboose markers were not visiable enough so the SP enlarged them. Then they moved them off the roof to just above the door. There last move was to the scrap yard with the cabooses.

Back when markers were "Hung" on the rear, when a train would get in the clear, the red would be turned into the side of the caboose to show green to the front and to the rear to show the train was in one peice and in the clear.

Now class lights were on the engines were different. They would be "white" if you were running extra. Green if you were a section with another following you or turned off if you were a scheduled train or the last section of a train. The red was used for lite engines as a rear marker if you wanted. A dim headlight would also sufice. The red Mars could be used, if equiped, until a rule change in the 70s that prohibited a "moving" red light to the rear. All the SP privite or business cars were made stationery at the time too.

Nudge



Date: 12/12/05 17:05
Re: Caboose Marker Lights
Author: ConductorAl

Markers were also displayed when running against the current on directional double track. The outside lamp (side opposite the second track)would show red to the rear and the inside lamp green or amber. As far as I am aware, all railroads followed this practice and the practice of showing amber or green to the rear, front and sides when cleared up on a siding.



Date: 12/12/05 20:52
Re: Caboose Marker Lights
Author: barrydraper

The use of yellow or green was railroad specific. For example, Santa Fe used yellow, Union Pacific used green. If you get an Rule Book from before 1960 it will tell you exactly what color and when it was displayed for that particular railroad.

Barry Draper



Date: 12/12/05 21:04
Re: Caboose Marker Lights
Author: px320

Here's what my 1952 CPR rule book says on the subject. Figures 1 - 3 show trains by day with marker lights extinguished.

Note the position of the markers on the front of the steam engine. Markers were placed on the pilot beam, class lights were placed high on either side of the smokebox.




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