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coffin car

coffin car
 n.— «The reason the Glendale tragedy was so severe is that train 100—like many commuter trains across the country—was being operated without a locomotive up front. The train was in what’s called “push/pull mode.” A locomotive pulls the train one way, but in the morning heading toward Los Angeles the whole set is pushed, led by a special passenger car, called a cab car. There’s a small booth up front where the engineer controls the train. The concern is that a cab car weighs less than half of a locomotive.…“He was constantly telling me that that was the most dangerous car to ride on in the train.”…His daughter says he and other train personnel even have a name for it. They called it the “coffin car.”» —“Is There a ‘Coffin Car’ on Your Train?” ABC News Dec. 1, 2005. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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