Modern Cabooses and the MRL

dak94dav Feb 14, 2016

  1. dak94dav

    dak94dav TrainBoard Member

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    Because I just can't help myself, my modern Texas shortline-the Red River Belt-will have a couple cabooses on the roster. I'll justify this (for myself anyway) by the long, urban switching movements on the Wichita Falls district. Essentially the same reason why BNSF and CSX still keeps a few.

    But on a Montana vacation a couple of years ago while traveling through Billings, I noticed SEVERAL Montana Rail Link cabooses in the yard that appeared to be anything but seldom used. What do they use their's for? I can't picture them needing as many as I saw for just "shoving platforms." They've got them in good shape for some reason. Can someone enlighten me?
     
  2. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Kansas City Southern, Gulfport Branch uses its lone inherited Mid-South caboose (crummy, cabin car, whatever) for backup moves on the five mile long Industrial Seaway, and other special occasions such as this returning from a move up towards my home.

    BTW, this car started life as an IC extended-vision caboose sometime back in the 50's or 60's, still works for us, graffiti and all....:rolleyes:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Arctic Train

    Arctic Train TrainBoard Member

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    Heres a video of one hooked onto a MRL MOU train. Maybe they use them for crew facilities on their work trains? Just a guess.



    Brian.
     
  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    MRL has cabooses set up as RCU, which are used in their yards. Should be numbered in the 11xx series and with stencil on both sides in large white letters "Remote Control Caboose". Not sure how many other non-RCU remain. I know one was sold, repainted and is now a cabin at the Isaak Walton Hotel in Essex, Montana. They used to have one painted in gray for M-O-W crew use. Have not heard it mentioned, but it might still be around.
     
  5. MRLdave

    MRLdave TrainBoard Member

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    I've seen the one in the video in MOW service quite frequently as well as one of their "standard" cabooses. Haven't seen any for a while, but they also had several set up as mobile offices and crew bunk cars, all painted grey as Boxcab states. Also, the cabooses hooked to almost every yard engine in Laurel (Billings) are "remote control cabooses" as Boxcab states. Rather than having remote control locos, MRL has put all the electronics into the cabooses.........the caboose can then be MUed to ANY loco in the MRL fleet, converting it to remote control. The cabooses have flashing beacons and air horns as well as twin air conditioners on the roof to keep the electronics cool.
     
  6. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Here's an MRL RC caboose, (I managed to blur the picture somehow :( ), at Missoula a few years back:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. dak94dav

    dak94dav TrainBoard Member

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    Well I believe that answers my questions guys, thanks! I'm not a railroading expert by absolutely any means, but having the remote equipment inside the caboose seems like a pretty good idea since it allows you to make an RCU out of any locomotive you couple to it. Maybe I'll use that concept for one or both of my model cabooses, too!

    And thanks for the photo and info, Hytec! That's exactly the type of operation I have in mind for the urban area of my RRB. I'm opting for an extended-vision like that one and an SP-style bay window.
     

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