Facebook Page
Old Time Trains

What's New ~ Articles ~ Stories ~ Archives ~ Photographs ~ Preservation ~ Library ~ Home



The most important piece of paper for every locomotive is the 'cab card'. Actually more than one such form is carried in the cab of every locomotive in a framed glass covered holder. Located above the engineer's seat in steam locomotive days, this holder is still located in the cab of today's diesels. An annual form is kept behind, with the monthly form visible through the glass.

These forms are a safety requirement of the federal government and cover the inspection and testing of various components including the boiler, firebox, gauges, running gear, draft gear etc. It also contains, on the reverse side, a record of out of service time. This allows full calendar months to be credited (to a maximum of 12) towards the tube renewal time, normally every 5 years.

These forms are signed by a boiler journeyman, a journeyman machinist, and the officer in charge, which is usually the General Locomotive Foreman of the Locomotive Department (roundhouse or back shop) where the work was done. These forms must be sworn to a Notary Public as proof of having been done in compliance with requirements.

One of these requirements was for a washing out every 30 days of the boiler to remove crud. For a steam era shop foreman's view point of this read Joe Howard's story, Wash Out.

Shown here is a U.S.A. form modified for use in both the US and Canada. It is from a Wabash Railroad steam locomotive used in Ontario. A sister engine also used in Canada is shown here.

What's New ~ Articles ~ Stories ~ Archives ~ Photographs ~ Preservation ~ Library ~ Home

Old Time Trains © 2001