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Nostalgia & History > Drovers Caboose


Date: 06/28/13 23:24
Drovers Caboose
Author: alaska

What was the function of this type of caboose?
When were they discontinued?

Thank you very much.

Hal



Date: 06/28/13 23:33
Re: Drovers Caboose
Author: Notch16

Wikipedia:

Drover's caboose

Drover's cabooses looked more like combine cars than standard cabooses. The purpose of a drover's caboose was much more like a combine, as well. On longer livestock trains in the American West, the drover's caboose is where the livestock's handlers would ride between the ranch and processing plant. The train crew rode in the caboose section while the livestock handlers rode in the coach section. Drover's cabooses used either cupolas or bay windows in the caboose section for the train crew to monitor the train. The use of drover's cars on the Northern Pacific Railway, for example, lasted until the Burlington Northern Railroad merger of 1970. They were often found on stock trains originating in Montana.



Date: 06/28/13 23:50
Re: Drovers Caboose
Author: TCnR

Would think somebody would know when the last serious cattle shipment would have been. Would think shortly after the original BN merger. I know of the Farmer John hog shipments, quite a story. Suppose NP had their multi-deck Pig Palaces as well.



Date: 06/28/13 23:51
Re: Drovers Caboose
Author: alaska

Thanks very much Notch16 for your extensive explanation of this type of caboose.

Hal



Date: 06/29/13 03:13
Re: Drovers Caboose
Author: Notch16

I never had any personal experience with the cars. But when I was a kid, I was always fascinated by models of them for some reason.

Here's someone working on an old LaBelle kit...

http://cwrailman.com/Drover%20Caboose/Drovers%20Caboose3.htm

~ BZ



Date: 06/29/13 03:50
Re: Drovers Caboose
Author: Evan_Werkema

As it relates to Santa Fe practice, cabooses, combines, coaches, and anything else handy were surely used as drovers cars and vice versa over the years. My impression of their purpose-built cars like D918 pictured in the thread below ( http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?11,3113462 ) is that they were designed to be used in conjunction with a regular caboose, with the drover's car acting strictly as a "cowboy pullman" and the train crew accommodated separately in the caboose. According to a sketch in Ellington's Caboose Cars of the Santa Fe, the interior of D918 included bunks in the end with wide spaced windows, coach seats in the section with close-spaced windows, pot belly stoves and latrines at each end, and that's it. The cars lacked other features common to cabooses like cupolas, desks, tables, lockers, etc. Ellington says that initially drover's cars were handled behind the regular caboose, but as later all-steel cars were added, they were often placed just behind the locomotive and ahead of the stock cars.



Date: 06/29/13 05:38
Re: Drovers Caboose
Author: MartyBernard

According to federal regulation the cattle had to be taken from the car and watered and fed periodically. My understanding is that was a good part of the drovers job.

Marty



Date: 06/29/13 05:48
Re: Drovers Caboose
Author: mamfahr

> Would think somebody would know when the last
> serious cattle shipment would have been. Would
> think shortly after the original BN merger.

Those lasted into the late 1970s at least, perhaps into the early 1980s. I can cite some examples of cattle movements from that time, but don't know for sure when the last one, or the last "serious" one, (as you say) was.

Take care,

Mark



Date: 06/29/13 05:56
Re: Drovers Caboose
Author: Evan_Werkema

TCnR Wrote:

> Would think somebody would know when the last
> serious cattle shipment would have been. Would
> think shortly after the original BN merger.

Page 163 of McMillan's Canyon Lands and Super Chiefs contains some photos of Santa Fe stock loading at Peach Springs, AZ in 1972. The caption says the road handled less than 100 cars of livestock that year, and that the end came soon after:

In 1973, Santa Fe and other western railroads (MP, T&P, FW&D, SP, QA&P, and Frisco) filed with the Interstate Commerce Commission to discontinue carload rates on livestock shipments in the 12 western states. The ICC authorized the rate cancellation on February 27, 1974, ending an era in Santa Fe history.



Date: 06/29/13 08:58
Re: Drovers Caboose
Author: ntharalson

Evan_Werkema Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> TCnR Wrote:
>
> > Would think somebody would know when the last
> > serious cattle shipment would have been. Would
> > think shortly after the original BN merger.
>
> Page 163 of McMillan's Canyon Lands and Super
> Chiefs contains some photos of Santa Fe stock
> loading at Peach Springs, AZ in 1972. The caption
> says the road handled less than 100 cars of
> livestock that year, and that the end came soon
> after:
>
> In 1973, Santa Fe and other western railroads (MP,
> T&P, FW&D, SP, QA&P, and Frisco) filed with the
> Interstate Commerce Commission to discontinue
> carload rates on livestock shipments in the 12
> western states. The ICC authorized the rate
> cancellation on February 27, 1974, ending an era
> in Santa Fe history.

Please understand I am not disputing this. However, I
was reprimanded by Al Krug for saying the BN had
stopped such shipments in the mid 70's in response
to a shot on Crawford Hill that showed livestock
cars up front pre-double tracking. So, I believe we
can infer that cattle shipments lasted past 1972 on
the BN, although probably gone from other roads.

Nick Tharalson,
Marion, IA



Date: 06/29/13 09:16
Re: Drovers Caboose
Author: mamfahr

> > In 1973, Santa Fe and other western railroads
> (MP, T&P, FW&D, SP, QA&P, and Frisco) filed with the
> > Interstate Commerce Commission to discontinue
> > carload rates on livestock shipments in the 12
> > western states. The ICC authorized the rate
> > cancellation on February 27, 1974, ending an
> era in Santa Fe history.


> ... So, I believe we can infer that cattle shipments lasted past 1972
> on the BN, although probably gone from other roads.


Hello all,

Without knowing the details of the tariff cancellation (mentioned above), we can't know for sure if it had any impact on cattle movement generally, as the cancellation likely applied only to specific territories, railroads or origins/destinations. As I'd mentioned previously, UP and BN (at least) were still handling cattle shipments into the mid/late 1970s, and UP handled hogs into the 1990s, so we know for a fact that the tariff cancellation didn't cover everything, everywhere in the west...

Mark



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