My Lionel bay window caboose (NY Central; 9174) has couplers at either end, suggesting that this car should sit in the middle of the train.
Question: In actual railroading, were bay window cabooses positioned at the rear of the train? Or somewhere in the middle?
Here in the U.K. Brake Vans (Cabooses) are at the rear of a train.
The reason for couplers at either end was so the van did not have to be turned on a locomotive turntable.
The bay windows are for the Guard to look and see where he and the train was.
I am sure it is the same in the U.S.A., but I could be corrected.
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In the era when cabooses were used, they went at the rear of the train.
All cabooses, real cabooses and most model ones I've seen, have couplers at either end. Cabooses are bidirectional. There is no right or wrong way to have it orientated. Some have the cupola offset. Even some bay window cabooses had the bay window somewhat offset. Doesn't matter. Cabooses were used as they were pulled off the caboose track at a terminal. They wouldn't normally turn a caboose, on a turntable or wye, at the end of the run to have face a certain way.