A caboose seems just the right way to bring the year to a close on Freight Car Friday. This year we take a look at one of the most iconic of these crummies, the B&O’s distinctive I-12 “Wagontop.”
In an era where railroads were often fiercely independent, it was not uncommon to see in-house designs for equipment. This was especially true for cabooses. On the Baltimore and Ohio, these unique designs were born out of more than just corporate pride – it was a matter of economic survival in the Great Depression.
The Wagontop Design
Amid the troubled years of the Great Depression, the B&O was faced with many problems. Two of the most pressing were a need for new freight cars (but with little funds for new purchases) and a work force in need of meaningful labor. The B&O could not afford to keep idle hands on the job…
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