Overseeing security from the caboose

John Pescatore states that network “..security will always be in the caboose [and not] in the locomotive,” (“Companies aim to build security awareness”, Jan. 26, page 30). Mr. Pescatore has missed at least a decade in the railroad industry; the caboose disappeared from North American trains sometime in the 1980’s. Carrying the analogy further, does this mean security is still back at the station?

On a more pedantic note, the caboose was actually one of the more important cars in a train. The conductor rode there and he/she was ultimately responsible for the safety and security of the entire train and its crew. The engineer only operated it, and did so under the conductor’s orders.

Also, the caboose was an active observation post from which employees were required to watch over the train to ensure that there were no problems which the locomotive crew could not observe (a train is a very long piece of equipment). So continuing Mr. Pescatore’s analogy, perhaps security did belong in the caboose!

(Opinions expressed or implied are solely my responsibility.)


Frederick (Rick) Jelfs

Information Technology Services

Toronto Transit Commission