Car Service Rules

Jim Betz

Hello friends,

� I'm back from the PNW (Portland 2015) and would like to
discuss -again- the car service rules.� But not from the
viewpoint of the rules themselves but rather looking at
"the actual practices" (the every day realities).� The following
is primarily about box cars and how they were/weren't
dealt with ... please don't muddy it up with the considerations
of "special equipment".� I'd like to understand more about how
the ubiquitous box car was handled ...

� My first question is - has anyone actually talked to someone
��������������������������������������� who worked in the jobs that made the
��������������������������������������� decisions of "which empties in the yard
��������������������������������������� will be sent out to be loaded"?
������������������������������������������ Is there anyone on this list who actually
��������������������������������������� did this work in the time frame of this list?
������������������������������������� � (Or at least in the 60's.)

� Who is it that -actually- makes the decisions?� For instance - did
the crew in the yard actually work from a switch list for empties
that was "by the car numbers" ... or did they just as often take
the "first 5 empty box cars they could find" and put those on the
local to be delivered for loading?� And did the crew on the local
actually deliver cars to be loaded by car number - or did they put
the easiest empty car they had in the string in the current
industry spot?
� Related question - didn't the conductor on the local that was
delivering cars for loading have the "final say" about whether
or not they would be doing extra moves to deliver a 'better'
box car (by the Car Service Rules) to a particular industry?
� And what about this question - did the clerks who made up
the list of cars to be delivered to an industry actually know
what would be loaded into that particular car (where it would
be routed) ... before the car was pulled from the empties in the
� I've always thought that an industry called in an order for a car
(or cars) of a particular type ("Send us 4 boxcars") and the RR
delivered ... but the RR didn't know what the routing of any
individual car would be until after it was loaded.� Not true? �
� What I'm really asking is "how often were the car service rules
-actually- followed?" ... and the accompanying question "how often
were they not followed?".� My suspicion is that the expediency of
"grabbing the easiest available" car was "the rule rather than the
�� Yes, of course the RR knew that "most (all?) of the box cars being
�sent today to the mill in Eugene would be loaded with lumber".
�That's not my question - my question is did they know the
�destination of the cars ===> when the industry asked for the cars?
�And even if they did just how important was it to them to follow
�the car service rules as opposed to filling the demands?�

� Consider this as well - we've been focused on lumber recently -
what about loads of canned fish/food from a cannery or loads of
flower bulbs or ...��
� � � � � � � � � � � � � ������������������������������������������������������������������������������ - Jim B.

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