Re: Per Diem

Phillip Blancher <pblancher@...>

To give you an example of what Dennis wrote, the Rutland Railroad
avoided per diem like the plague. During the Steam Era, the Rutland
would receive coal for clients from interchange points in Norwood,
Malone or Rouses Point, New York off the NYC or D&H. These loads were
for clients anywhere along the line and originate from the PRR, B&O,
D&H or DL&W. If the cars were slated for go to say, Malone, they would
be delivered and as soon as empty, retrieved and returned to
interchange. However, if the coal was for railroad use, or they had
time to do this before delivering to the customer, the car would be
routed to the yard at Alburgh, Vermont. There, a coal trestle was
located and the Rutland would run the foreign car up the trestle and
unload the load into the clapped out 10000-series 2-Bay coal hoppers
(modeled using the Bowser GLa2 as a basis in HO for mandatory STMFC
content). Then the empty foreign car would be quickly released and
routed back to the quickest interchange possible. I believe they had
three days of the car being on the road before per diem would start.

Similarly, the Rutland purchased 350 40' PS-1 Box Cars from 1954-57
which roamed the US and Canada earning the company a tidy sum on per
diem. Those cars being modeled with the Kadee releases (for members of
the silver roof club) or Intermountain/Steam Shack releases (for
members of the yellow roof society).

I believe this was common for smaller class-ones.


Phillip Blancher

On Mon, Jul 22, 2013 at 11:42 PM, soolinehistory <> wrote:

--- In, "Francis A. Pehowic, Jr." <rdgbuff56@...> wrote:

This may be off topic, but if so, can somebody steer me to the right group? In this day of computers and electronic transfers per diem should be easy. Is there still per diem on freight cars?

In the steam era it would seem a logistical nightmare. How did they keep track of cars and transfer money? How often?
The term is "car hire" today, because it's been an hourly rate, rather than daily, since the late seventies. Here is a Power Point presentation that will tell you more than you ever wanted to know:

One thing it doesn't mention is frequency of settlement of charges, which during the era of interest on this list was monthly, IIRC. Remember, back in those days railroads had armies of clerks to handle this paperwork; it was a cost of doing business.

Back in that era, per diem was just a fact of life for most railroads; you paid per diem on foreign cars on your line, someone else paid you per diem on your cars that were off line, and hopefully, if each road owned the proper number of cars, it was a wash. Some smaller roads didn't own enough cars, and per diem was a continuing expense, which meant that there was incentive to manage it. That meant structuring the freight schedules to get as many cars as practical off the railroad before midnight. Little Chicago South Shore & South Bend was a good example, they ran a freight train nightly that was actually called the Per Diem, at least informally. The road did a heavy interchange with the New York Central, and the connection was on the east end of the railroad. Each evening a set of motors would leave Shops (Michigan City) westward after the commuter rush was over, run to Burnham Yard at the west end of the railroad to pick up all the NYC traffic, then head east. They'd stop again in Michigan City to pick up an additional block of NYC traffic that had been gathered during the day, then run like the wind to have the cars on the interchange before midnight. Fun train to try and chase.



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