Hi Tony and all,
I've addressed this to Tony because I -know- he knows the answers -
but any one can answer ...
I have to admit that I'm a bit fuzzy about what the prototype did/didn't
do in terms of the documents that were created/used for moving freight
Some of the answers to this are probably RR specific ... but I'm not as
concerned about that as "getting the big picture" straight in my head.
Specific RR practice differences, if you know them are appreciated but
I have/understand that the following movements were done:
1) Movements of cars in a yard.
2) Movements of cars from/to a yard - and - to/from a 'local' industry.
3) Movements of loads and empties from one yard/location to another.
4) Movements of cars from one RR to another (or receiving from).
5) Movements of cars being "returned to sender" ... such as cars
that were in captive service and were labeled "When empty
return to ____".
6) Empties being moved for redistribution purposes such as moving
a beet gondola to be stored somewhere until it was needed again
or moving some type of car from a yard that had extras to a yard
that needed that car type. A simple to understand/see example
of this is the movement of empty auto racks up and down the
So I will make some statements/assertions as a way of getting
started at the kind of answers I'm looking for - some of these will
be wrong (or at least wrong for some particular situation/RR).
Number 1 was usually a switch list - and there was no waybill
(there actually may be a waybill but it is not used by the crews
doing the moves in the yard for this type of movement).
Number 2 had a waybill - that was in the hands of the conductor -
and usually a "routing card" that was stapled to the car (which was
for the convenience of the crew). The routing cards were created
by a yard clerk and were applied to the cars in the yard. Normally
these routing cards/forms would be removed upon delivery to
the location (but they were often "missed"). These documents
could be on either the side of the car or the end - or both. If it
was on the end the tack board was almost always on the right
side when viewing the end of the car. There were many possible
locations of the tack boards on the sides of the cars - with the
two most common being either on the door or just to the left
of the door - and low enough to be 'reached' by the crews.
Tack board locations on 'special' equipment (i.e. other than box cars)
Number 3 had a waybill - and did not use a routing card. (But a
"left over" routing card might be stapled to a few cars and "did
not mean anything".
Number 4 was a special case of number 3 ... in that there was
a "via" field that was used to identify the 'next RR'. Sometimes
this was 'complicated' by the use of more than one 'intermediary'
RR. Did the RRs ever put more than one "via"?
Number 5 had a waybill - for an empty - that gave both the
final receiver (what was stenciled on the car) and the 'next'
receiver (the "via" - such as an intermediate RR).
Number 6 had a waybill - and it was similar to the situation
in numbers 4 and 5 - but there wasn't any "via".
===> Do I have those correct? Am I missing any of the
reasons why cars were moved?
Extra credit - were/are there different forms that I didn't call
Special extra credit - does anyone have complete sets of
actual examples of these forms for
any of the following RRs? Great
Northern, ATSF, SP, WP, UP ... essentially
any/all of the 'Western RRs'. I'd actually
prefer links to web pages for these - my
intent would be to download, print, and
probably even copy and change.