The Lionel O Scale 6-16581 Square Window Caboose Union Pacific 16581 is a model of a square window caboose. The caboose was an essential part of a freight train for most of the history of the rail industry. A caboose was a dormitory car placed at the end of freight trains. It had two purposes: 1) Provide an extra safety feature- the crew could look for "hot boxes" or other issues with the train. 2) It provided an office for the train conductor, who kept various reports on the train's set-outs and pick-ups. In the 1980s technology allowed for the discontinuation of cabooses- the reporting was automated, and a rear end computer device could monitor the train effectively. The square window caboose is typical of Union Pacific CA Series cabooses built with a high cupola in order for train crews to see over the taller postwar freight cars.
Road Name and History:
Union Pacific Railroad: This railroad is a big part of 19th Century US history, and is still an important part of the economy today. Legislation creating the Union Pacific was signed by President Abraham Lincoln- UP would be the eastern end of the first transcontinental railroad. In one of the most important events of the 19th Century the transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869. Celebrations were tough on the Union Pacific, where mismanagement, waste, and corruption made the company anathema to many Americans. Excellent leadership first under Jay Gould and then E. H. Harriman propelled this lagging railroad into a premier US railroad. Mr. Harriman's philosophy of pumping cash back into the railroad worked wonders, and the Union Pacific became a very successful railroad throughout the 20th Century. The merging during the 1980s and 1990s of key Western railroads Missouri Pacific, Chicago & North Western, and Southern Pacific (among many more) has positioned this huge railroad to be one of the two megasystems operating in the Western US.
Travel Tip: The City of North Platte, Nebraska, has built the Golden Spike Tower that enables public observation of Union Pacific Railroad's huge Bailey Yard, one of the largest freight yards in the world.
Road Number: 16581
Recommended for Ages 14 and Up.
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