PRR Class N5 Cabin Car (or Caboose) No. 477577

PRR Class N5 Cabin Car (or Caboose) No. 477577 (HMZJ3)

Location: Altoona, PA 16602 Blair County
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Country: United States of America
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N 40° 30.828', W 78° 23.958'

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"A lot of them put curtains in there and little rugs.... They had a pot-bellied stove and they were all good cooks."
- Richard Jackson, Yardmaster

On the road, freight crews climbed up into the cupola, inspecting the train ahead for signs of trouble. Smoke from an overheated axle bearing or a load that had shifted and was sticking out from the side of a car could cause a derailment. The crews did their paperwork here, too.

What's a caboose?
Well, it was a look-out, a rolling office, a home away from home. The caboose had bunks for the crews to sleep on at the end of the run, bins for clothes and tools, and a coal-fired stove for cooking and heating. Ten tracks might have been filled with cabin cars, many with crews catching sleep or a meal before their next run.

· Most called this car a caboose, but the Pennsy, with its habit of using distinctive names, called it a cabin car.

· The PRR's N5 class, introduced in 1914, was the industry's first all-steel caboose. This car was built here in Altoona in 1929.

· As safer wheel bearings, reliable radio communications, and electronic trackside monitoring of axles came into use, cabooses were phased out.

· Today, cabooses are used mostly on local runs that have long back-ups where it's unsafe for crew to ride the side or end of a freight car.

· At the end of a run away from their home terminal, crews now sleep in a motel.
HM NumberHMZJ3
Series This marker is part of the Pennsylvania Railroad series
Placed ByRailroaders Memorial Museum
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 at 2:31am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17T E 720334 N 4488036
Decimal Degrees40.51380000, -78.39930000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 30.828', W 78° 23.958'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 30' 49.68" N, 78° 23' 57.48" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)814
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1200 9th Ave, Altoona PA 16602, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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