Re: Car Movement Forms/Documents

John Barry


I am on lunch hour at work, but you have given something to chew on.  

There are only two reasons to move a car:
    1. The car is needed somewhere else than where it sits.
    2. The car is where it needs to be, but is blocking access to something else and needs to be moved and replaced.

Your real question is how do you document moving cars for 1 and 2 above.  And that like the great adult undergarment, depends.  More after hours.
John Barry

ATSF North Bay Lines
Golden Gates & Fast Freights


PO Box 44736
Washington, DC 20026-4736

From: "jimbetz jimbetz@... [STMFC]"
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Friday, February 27, 2015 12:25 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Car Movement Forms/Documents

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
not required.

  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
       West Coast.


  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)
was "varied".

  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.
                                                                                                        - Jim

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