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In North America the common name for the final car on a train was the "caboose". In other English-speaking countries the term "brake car" or "guard's van" was more common. In each case the purpose of the car was to provide shelter and accommodation for the train's crew.

Modern freight trains seldom feature these crew facilities in a separate car (they are usually incorporated into the engine car) so the term has largely lost its usefulness.

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