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Caboose Killer by TomRedlion Caboose Killer by TomRedlion
This is the enemy. This is FRED. This blinking black box replaced the caboose on the rear end of the vast majority of freight trains in North America.
FRED is an acronym of Flashing Rear End Device. It is also known as End Of Train Device or EOT for short. The simplest FREDs are nothing more than a box holding a blinking light and a battey.
More advanced FREDs monitor main brake line pressure and relay that data back to the engineer in the lead locomotive's cab. Some FREDs can  remotely apply the brakes using a signal from the engineer in the lead loco. Though that can be complicated and defeated by ice in the line.
Most railfans hate this little box. So do I.
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:icon914four:
914four Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
FRED was part of the problem, but deregulation allowing smaller crews also played a part. I'm willing to bet safety records were better in the last ten years of the caboose than in the past decade.
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:iconeyepilot13:
eyepilot13 Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
"Most railfans hate this little box. So do I." Total unequivocal agreement, especially since I'm old enough to remember cabooses quite well.
At least I got pix of some in the late 80s!
I took a pic of one of these left on the ground by Eola a couple years ago.
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:iconnightwolf7311:
Nightwolf7311 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
There is a computer program that allows railfans to see what the EOT is sending to the Engineer.I love that program to death
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:iconrailroadnutjob:
RailroadNutjob Featured By Owner May 14, 2014  Student General Artist
Pft. Silly FRED.
I'm a caboose fan, too, you know.
Reply
:iconredtailfox:
RedtailFox Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
come down and look at the ones that the railway that was QR National use....most of them do not work. it is rare to watch a train go by and the FRED actually be flashing. Then again it seems half their motive power is being held together with baling twine and chewing gum
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:icontomredlion:
TomRedlion Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Heh. Sounds like epic fail to me. Also sounds like the Australian equivalent of the FRA needs to tighten up their regs or the enforcement of the regs.
In the US, if a train needs a FRED or a marker, that light needs to actually function, or the train doesn't leave the yard. This one may well be malfunctioning or inoperative. Newer locomotives have a storage locker and a recharging port for FRED.
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:iconredtailfox:
RedtailFox Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
well, aside from a few breakdowns, this system here has a better safety record than most in the world. It is just another useless piece of equipment that the railways are expected to buy and maintain when it serves next to no purpose. Of all the accidents that Queensland rail has had happen over the years, almost all of them are of a type where the train is acted on by outside forces beyond the engineer and the railway's control. things like Washouts, heat effecting the rails, level crossing accidents. It has been many decades since an accident involving large loss of life has happened (the 20s IIRC) and due to other safeguards in place, these devices are only there to please the increasingly loud and intrusive 'health and safety' community. Workplace health and safety is supposed to protect workers, not become an industry in itself like it seems to have become, and certainly not to cause the simplest jobs to become tied up in red tape.
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:iconl3rotherwolf:
l3rotherwolf Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
I see these laying around especially near yards or places like factories where they are constantly building trains. Funny how they leave them lying around yet I can bet they cost the railroad a good bit for the job they do.
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:icontomredlion:
TomRedlion Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Several thousand. But a tenth the cost of a caboose.
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:iconl3rotherwolf:
l3rotherwolf Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Yes, also add in the conductor in the caboose too and there is even more $$ involved.
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:iconziggyshadowdust:
ZiggyShadowDust Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Hope that was discarded.
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:icontomredlion:
TomRedlion Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
It was just sitting there in the gravel as I walked by looking to take a picture of a GP15. There might have been a second one nearby.
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:iconbigbadmatt:
BigBadMatt Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014
Those things are such a pain in the butt. Especially when it gets really cold and they sometimes refuse to dump the air. And i think the air powered ones sometimes freeze up. When the temps drop, they get really unreliable. Few things are more frustrating than waiting to tie up, and having to switch out several EOTs on your former train until you find one that works
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:icontomredlion:
TomRedlion Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
I hate it when that happens...  :o (Eek)   Waaaah!   CURSE YOU!  
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:iconfinhead4ever:
finhead4ever Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014
not as interesting to look at as a caboose!
Reply
:icontomredlion:
TomRedlion Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
No. No it isn't.
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:iconcarpedraco:
CarpeDraco Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014
As a wee bratling riding in the car with my dad or grandparents, whenever we stopped to wait for a train to pass, I used to bounce happily in anticipation of seeing the caboose go by.  Even had a toy caboose to play with at home.  I used to wonder what happened to them, when I got older and no longer saw them.  *sigh* 
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:iconlostdaylight4460onda:
lostdaylight4460onDA Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014  Student Artist
 Ha ha a good name. It's been a while since I last seen a train with a caboose at the end. 
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:icontigrar:
Tigrar Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Seems to be an interresting system. Is fred required because trains are too long to regulate the break pressure just from the front end?

Well If I ever get to america I won't miss cabooses anyway because I've never seen one in action before.
Reply
:icontomredlion:
TomRedlion Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
More like a safety device. The flashing light tells anyone looking that that is, indeed, the end of the train. Also, the tremendous length of North American freight trains results in a substantial delay between the engineer applying brakes at the front end and the brakes applying on the last car which can be more than a mile away. This can be a problem in the hills. Even worse in the mountains.
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:iconrailphotos:
Railphotos Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I for one don't have anything against them because i was born after they killed the caboose so i don't have a fondness towards the caboose being on the end of every freight train.
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:icontomredlion:
TomRedlion Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
You youngster you!
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:icongundammech101:
GundamMech101 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014
How Dare You say such things Railphotos!!
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:icontomredlion:
TomRedlion Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Oops. You replied to me not Railphotos...
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:icongundammech101:
GundamMech101 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014
Hahah sorry
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January 17, 2014
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