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Item pw-1100118



  • Cabooses were both an office on wheels for the conductor of a freigh train, and an observation vehicle so personel could look over the freigh train from the back and watch for trouble, including 'hot boxes' or other problems
  • Most cabooses were painted red, whether of original wood construction or more modern steel contruction
  • The red caboose became the icon or symbol of railroading to practially everyone
  • The cupola was an area with a raised roof that was one to two feet higher than the rest of the roof
  • Inside were seats, allowing train personnel (conductors, assistant conductors, brakemen, flagmen and other personnelto look out over the top of the roofs of the entire train thru the windows
  • Personnel had to climb a ladder from the floor of the caboose to reach the cupola.=
  • Seats faced in both directions so the caboose did not have to be turned and personnel could look over the train no matter which direction the train was headed
  • Practically every freight set that Lionel ever issued ended with a red caboose on the end, with the exceptions being a few trains with cabooses of a different color
  • Lionel manufactured work caboses (some with searchlights), bay-window cabooses, and cupula cabooses with both square windows (the most traditional type) and with porthole (rounded) windows
  • Some bodies were all metal, some bodies were all plastic, and some smoked
  • Yes, real cabooses had coal or wood burning stoves to keep the crew warm, and sometimes even cooking facilties, sink and bathroom)
  • Many Lionel cabooses, were precisely detailed with interior illumiation, smokestacks (even if they did not smoke), undercarriage detailing including air tanks and tool chests and tool boxes, railings and even black window frames
  • Both metal and plastic trucks were employed throughout the years
  • Some of the lowest prices caboooses had no detailing at all, just a molded plastic body on plastic trucks
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