This gallery of photos taken during the Conrail era is broken down by caboose class.
At Conrail's beginning, cabooses were found at the back of almost all freight and work trains, but the caboose era started coming to a close on May 1st 1984, when TV-11 operated with a FRED. By the end of the decade, cabooses were mostly gone, with many sold off or scrapped.
The N10 class consisted of 50 cars built at Altoona by the PC. 49 of these made it to Conrail, given the series 24000-24049.
The N12 class consisted of 50 cars built by International Car Company for the PC in 1970-71. They carried their PC numbers to Conrail, in the series 24500-24549.
Built for the Reading by International Car Co. in 1970, the N20 class numbered only 20 cars. In 1976, the first ten cars, RDG 94100-94109, went to Conrail, however the 94110-94119 went to the D&H.
The N21 class were the only cabooses bought new by Conrail, numbering 113 cars in the series 21201-21313. These cabooses were built by FGE at Alexandria, VA.
Built by the Erie Railroad at their Dunmore, PA shops in 1945-46, the N3A class was given CR 19653-78 on the roster.
Conrail inherited these classes of "Northeast Standard" cabooses from the Reading. The N4s were assigned CR 18705-63 (ex-RDG 92834-92928 built in 3 groups in 1936, 37, and 41).Class N4A was assigned CR 18800-57 (ex-RDG 94002-74, built in 1944 and 1948).
Conrail's N4B class is a group of ex-CNJ cars, assembled from kits supplied by the Reading in 1941. Cars were assigned CR 18860-18890 (ex-CNJ 91500-91549).
The N5 series cabooses were inherited from the Penn Central (and they got them from the Pennsylvania). The PRR's N5C was an iconic caboose, easily identified by its streamlined cuploa and porthole windows. The other N5 cars were more conventional looking, but were also still serving through the end of the caboose era on Conrail.
The N5B class was built by the PRR in 1941. 183 cars made it onto Conrail, assigned slots CR 19103-06 and CR 22796-22996. Some cars were renumbered into CR 20001-20076 by the late 1970s.
Conrail's N5G class was a group of Northeastern-style cabooses built by the Lehigh Valley between 1937-46. The cars were assigned CR 18601-18701, 18400-05 and 18417-26. CR 18613-18701 were acquired directly from the LV in the merger, but the other cars were transferred to the PC in 1968 before joining the Conrail fleet. Many variations exist in this group of cars, including window style & locations and step construction.
The N5H class consisted of 20 cabooses split between two groups: former Indianapolis Union cabooses and former Southern cabooses acquired by PC.
The N5K class consists of 7 former ATSF cabooses purchased by the Penn Central. These cars have a unique look as the PC cut down the cupola and added a bay window.
The class N6A transfer cabooses were numbered in the CR 18006-18194 series, formerly PC/NYC 18006-18194.
The N7A class consisted of 185 cabooses numbered throughout the CR 21513-21798 series, formerly PC (same numbers), built as NYC 20298-20497.
The N7B class consists of 88 cabooses in the series CR 21000-21099, formerly PC/NYC 21000-21099.
The N7E class consists of 19 cabooses numbered 21150, 21151, 21153-21169; formerly EL C351-C355 and C357-C370.
Conrail's N8 cabooses came from the Penn Central, who had inherited them from the Pennsylvania. The N8 looks very much like a stretched N5C with the distinctive streamlined cuploa. There are three easy spotting features to tell the two apart. The N8 has longer end platforms with "shields", square side windows and a smaller cupola than the N5C.
Penn Central rebuilt a number of former NH NE-5 and NE-6 cabooses with the addition of bay windows.
The N8D class cabooses were former EL (and DL&W before that) "Keyser Valley" cabooses.
Conrail's N8D cabooses originally ran in regular service, then they were switched over to transfer service (and renumbered) in the summer of 1981 when it mistakenly was thought the frames were structurally insufficient for mainline use (they were built on former tender frames).
In mainline service, they were in the 22000 series and while in transfer service, the 19000 series.
Former PC 18355 in storage at Rutherford, PA on 6/5/1983.
Former PC 18358 is seen at Cresson, PA on 12/18/1982.
Former EL C344 at Cresson, PA on 11/17/1984 with some damage to the steps and side window.
Former EL C344 at Cresson, PA on 11/17/1984 with some damage to the steps.
Former EL C314 at Horseshoe Curve, PA on 7/25/1982.
Former EL C325 is seen at Harrisburg, PA on 6/8/1985.
Former EL C315 at Enola, PA on 9/19/1982.
Former EL C331 in storage at Rutherford, PA on 4/30/1983 with damage to the other end.
Former EL C319 at Rutherford, PA on 3/4/1984.
CR 21244 along with a sibling is bringing up the rear of this TV train on the ex Lehigh Valley at Bound Brook. The ex CNJ station is at left.
CR caboose 21276 trails an eastbound over the top at Washington Mass.
Former EL C331 in storage at Rutherford, PA on 4/17/1983, with a bit of damage to the end.