An opinion, not to be mistaken as knowing what I'm talking about.
Agreed, most cars have no front or back end: engines, tenders, and some passenger units excepted. However, if I were a brakeman, the car would definitely have a front and back. *L* If I'm trying to apply the brake on any moving car, I would be grabbing the wheel on the back end. That way, a sudden deceleration would throw me into the rear wall of the car instead of pitching me over the coupling and under the wheels. I suspect that brakemen who disagreed with my premise had short careers.