Re: Lumber Loads on Flat Cars and in Box Cars

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>

Jim Dick wrote:
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.
This is certainly true, and in the early 1950s SP issued "equipment instructions" letters to yard clerks, agents and conductors to specify that 50-foot box cars, of ANY ownership, were to be moved to Eugene, Oregon for lumber loading unless in assigned service. SP was trying to fill the needs with both company and foreign cars, but as Jim describes, had a hard time meeting demand. This is worth pointing out to those modelers who assume that all lumber loads were on flat cars. My impression for the SP is that box car and flat car loadings were similar in number.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
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