board as near the end of the car as possible. These steps must be no more than 24 inches above the top of the
rails, and if they exceed 18 inches in depth, they must have an additional tread and be laterally braced.
Cabooses are constructed either with or without platforms. A typical caboose showing the location of the
safety appliances is shown in figure 7.4. These appliances for both a caboose with a platform and one without
are discussed in the following subparagraphs.
a. With platform. Some cabooses are constructed with platforms at both ends. These cars are equipped
with a running board down the center of the roof. Many of these platforms have latitudinal extensions leading
to ladders located on sides of the superstructure. On other cars with cupolas, longitudinal running boards
extend from the cupola to the ends of the roof. Also on these cars, a wrought-iron or -steel handhold extends
around the top of the cupola, 3 inches from the cupola's roof. Four right-angle handholds at each corner may be
substituted for the continuous handhold. Cabooses are also equipped with box steps leading to their platforms
at each outside corner of the car. The lower tread of these steps must not be more than 24 inches above the top
of the rails. Curved handholds are located on the sides at each end of a caboose with platforms. Boarding a
caboose from the front, a railroader braces his foot against the side of the step and grabs the curved part of the
handhold; as his hand slides up the railing, it helps to pull him up on to the platform.
b. Without platform. Cabooses constructed without platforms are usually equipped with side doors with a
step for each. These steps must be at least 5 feet long with a minimum tread thickness of 1 1/2 inches and a
backstop height of 3 inches. Again, the bottom tread of the steps must not be more than 24 inches from the top
of the rails. The steps are supported by metal brackets with minimum dimensions of 7/8 x 3 inches.
Curved handholds are attached beside each door opposite the ladder from a point not less than 36 inches
above the bottom of the car, curving away from the car downward to a point not more than 6 inches above the
bottom of the car. Vertical handholds are also located on each side of both doors.