Re: Placards

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>

1) Am I right in my belief that "not all cars had route cards on them"? For instance would an empty being "returned in the direction of its owner" have a card on it? Sure, it might have a card on it that was in use previously - or parts of same where it was torn off and just part of it stayed on the card. But it didn't "need" a card if it was an empty (on most RRs)?
Depended on the railroad, JIm. Many DID use route cards for empties. I will post some examples on my blog. Photos in yards are uncertain information, because a clerk may have torn off the old cards, but not yet have applied a new card, when the photographer happened along. But photos in trains, even just arriving or departing yards, should be reliable, and certainly such photos DO show cars with no evident route card. I would guess it's less than one-fourth of the cars, though, maybe as little as one-tenth in some photos, so the majority of your cars do need route cards.

2) I have been told (read here on this list?) that route cards were also used for local routing (to industries) . . . Correct? Sometimes correct? Was this practice "common" on particular RRs and/ or in particular time frames?
Good question as to which railroads did what. Hopefully there are experienced folks on the list who can speak for particular railroads.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
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