Re: Interesting car movements

Jim Betz


Aren't those NP car numbers simple flat cars?
Why not simply lumber loads delivered to somewhere in
Iowa from the PNW (NP or otherwise)? Which is, after
all, the most common load on any PNW flat car ... and
after they've been unloaded ... well, Peoria seems as
likely a place to send them as any other place within
one to two hundred miles of Ft. Dodge, Iowa.

My understanding is that car movement rules ('back
towards their home road') were violated "any time there
was a load going somewhere/anywhere ... needing that
car type".
Yes, if they had a load going towards the home road
and another load (and car) that could go the other way
then they would (or just could?) route cars the way
the 'rules' recommended. But "need always trumped
the recommended". And the revenue for getting a car
loaded was always significantly greater than any
demurrage charge.

Especially on any given day. And it seems un-likely that
the M&StL had a lot of flat cars in their own fleet - so
any load/need would be much more likely to be satisfied
with a 'captured' car ...
- Jim Betz

1a. Interesting car movements
Posted by: rockroll50401
Date: Fri Apr 4, 2014 6:17 am ((PDT))

I’ve had a chance to see an M&StL train list from Oct. 21, 1952. The train, 196, ran from Ft Dodge to Des Moines Ia. had 19 loads 3 empties.

First two cars ahead of the caboose were NP 61143, 61101 listed as empty flats headed for Peoria. My first thought was why are these empty cars heading the wrong way? Are they an articulated set? Then I remembered there were large heavy equipment builders in Peoria. Were those cars assigned there? Next, why are these cars off on a secondary mainline? To get to Peoria they’ll travel from Ft Dodge to Des Moines, then on the Q (via trackage rights) to Oskaloosa Ia. before being added to a Peoria bound train. They must have delivered some heavy equipment up that way? Maybe to the Gypsum mines around Ft Dodge? Was there implement plants there? Cars could have been assigned to one and delivered implements to rural Iowa?

Second interesting move is three PFE reefers 90703, 2381, 6689 and one MDT 10441. 90703 has a load of melons and the other three carried grapes. These cars are from Ft Dodge (where train originated) bound for the Wabash in Des Moines. To me not knowing, or caring, much about western produce movements I’d think the eastern gateway would be Omaha - Council Bluffs? The IC run from CB to Ft Dodge. Maybe that’s how the M&StL got the cars? The RI ran from CB straight to Des Moines. Why weren’t the cars routed that way? The Wabash had a line into CB. Why weren’t the cars delivered to them there?

Fun stuff to ponder...
Clark Propst
Mason City Iowa

Join to automatically receive all group messages.