Regarding this conversation:
I cannot also help but think that there was -so much- lumber coming out of Oregon that no matter which side you tend to favor, there was plenty of board feet of timber to support you.
This massive amount of lumber traffic would have been
supported by housing for GI's coming home from WWII, then the Korean Conflict, then large stimulus spending to stave off an economic turndown by the then Republican administration.
Some things to add to this topic:
I have never in my research, seen evidence of flat car shortages out west in any documentation. However as Aaron Gjermundson stated earlier, I have seen quite a bit of photo documentation of lumber on flats and gons and I do believe that on the NP, much rough lumber came east on flats and gons and enough so that they could annex this to a separate train as I had posted prior.
In largely this same time frame of through the 1950's, the SP and NP had agreements where if the NP provided an empty boxcar via the Portland gateway, the SP agreed to return the load east via the same gateway, routing east via the NP.
I do believe that Guy Wilbur's documentation of wrapped lumber is solid however once it is in a boxcar, one concern is that unless you have a waybill of a boxcars load, it is impossible to see inside from a photo, on the other hand a flat car full of lumber is as plain as day as to what it is hauling.
In addition, regarding boxcar lumber loading, I have seen plenty and plenty more documentation on boxcar shortages and concerns. And many internal telegrams from NP traffic agents stating "if XYZ mill (in Oregon) cannot get more boxcars they will shut down for several days." This culminated into concerns - complaints from shippers - to letters from the Oregon Governers office - to where the SP was hauled before a congressional inquiry as to boxcar shortages. Several western railroads were in conference among themselves with the SP, before the SP testified.
Jim Dick - St. Paul