Re: Railroads and the Auto Industry: A Research Question

Shawn Beckert

Greg Martin wrote, in part:

...The infrastructure of the industry was much the same for
all the producers during this period it was just the loading
techniques and equipment demands that were different as was
the destinations and origins.
Ah, but the devil is in the details, in this case the details
of *which* equipment, *what* destinations and origins. I intend
to run one or more sections of merchandise and auto-parts trains
on my St. Louis & Southwestern, and I want the motive power and
the cars to be as accurate for the time period as I can possibly
make them. It won't do to have auto-parts cars in the consist
that normally would have been seen on another railroad during the
late 1940's or 1950's.

An example: General Motors assembly plants were located in Southern
California, while Ford seemed to have its plants around the Bay Area.
I wouldn't want auto-parts cars that were assigned to Ford via the
normal CNW-UP-SP route showing up in SSW-SP trains that normally
carried General Motors traffic via St. Louis - Los Angeles.

Tony Thompson once mentioned that the Espee renumbered its auto
parts cars every time they were assigned to another manufacturer
or model year. If that's the case, I be hard pressed to know if I
was running the proper number series of cars for a given time period
or not. Granted, nobody else would know either, but that's not the
point. I strive for accuracy, unreasonable as that may be!

Shawn Beckert

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