one might add that a airhose should be there between the cars under the couplers
Yes and no! Air braking was introduced in about 1868. At first the equipment wasn't up to powering a whole train (leaks in the system). This particular road, the NPCRR had air breaks added over time and relied heavily on good old fashioned hand breaks into the 1880's. We have the cash books and ledger entries showing purchases and shop expenses. There are also a couple surviving cars that show the frame modifications and hardware added! Cool stuff.