Various technological changes eliminated the need both for cabooses and for more than two crew members to operate the freight train.
Furthermore, the safety and control functions required of cabooses and the crew members that occupied them were no longer required by the 1970s because they were automated via electronic controls.
First, the present model allows measurement of the contribution of a specific (and very important) technological innovation: the elimination of cabooses and the freight train crew members that go with them.
where C represents total costs, w is a vector of factor prices, y is a vector of outputs, a is a vector of technological attributes (including network size; in this case, the caboose variable can be regarded as a technological attribute), and T is a time trend variable, included to account for productivity change beyond that achieved through eliminating cabooses and associated labor.
CABOOSE = fraction of freight train miles operated with cabooses
The caboose variable (which increases as the fraction of trains with cabooses rises) is positive and significant, indicating that operating trains without cabooses and accompanying crews will indeed reduce costs (this result is discussed in more detail later).
However, it is possible that if the productivity gains from eliminating cabooses were exhausted by the early 1990s, the productivity growth from the two innovations combined could have slowed in the 1990s.
Get your caboose in gear - it's time for Fillmore's annual RailFest, a celebration of all things choo-choo.
Reservations are strongly recommended for the $15 caboose rides and the $89 adults-only murder mystery train ride at 6:30 p.
Sitting on a spur of track in front of an imposing Victorian train depot at Lake Los Carneros County Park in Goleta, the caboose is one of the highlights of the South Coast Railroad Museum.
Visitors can start a visit to the past with a tour of the partially restored caboose, which boasts a bay window and is dressed in the Southern Pacific's signature brownish-red paint.
Photo: The South Coast Railroad Museum in Lake Los Carneros County Park includes a caboose and the restored Goleta Depot, which was built in 1901.