Re: Car Service Rules

Jim Betz

Hi all,

  Dan Holbrook's response below seems to imply that the RRs went thru
ever further reaching sources of supply to "fill an order".  I'm sure that
really happened from time to time - but I am wondering if those layers of
sources were used simply in order to meet the "car service rules" for a
box car ... 

  Let's set up a situation where a shipper somewhere on the West Coast
asks the SP for a box car to go to the East Coast.  Let's suppose that the
shipper is a plywood mill in Roseburg, Oregon.  Unless I'm taking Dan's
comments out of context he seems to imply that the SP would fill that
order first from whatever cars are in Roseburg, next from whatever cars
are in Eugene, and lastly from cars on adjacent divisions. 
  That's well and fine for a special car such as a depressed center flat.
But wouldn't the SP provide "the closest box car it can find"?  What I'm
asking is that if there was an empty -box car- right there in Roseburg
then wouldn't that car have been used ... "regardless of what the car
service rules would dictate" (i.e. no matter what road name it wore)?
  Certainly if there were two empties in Roseburg and one was an East
Coast car and the other was not ... then the East Coast car would be the
choice (assuming that the car service rules were followed). 

  And what would be the situation where that same East Coast box car
would -not- be selected?  For instance, let's say that some West Coast
car (an SP?) was to be picked up at another industry that would be
worked before the plywood mill ... and the East Coast car was at a 3rd
industry that would be worked after the mill ... wouldn't the RR use
the 'easier' car rather than come back to the plywood mill to deliver
the East Coast box car 'just' to follow the car service rules? 
  Who would make the decision(s) in this case?  The conductor or the
car clerk in the office (who is not there)?
  Would the SP change the order that industries were worked 'just' (?)
in order to satisfy the car service rules?  This seems possible for one
or two cars but could result in a significant increase in the time it
takes for the local working those industries to complete the work if
there were very many 'swaps' from one industry to another.
                                                                                                                - Jim B. 

On 9/3/2015 2:31 PM, STMFC@... wrote:
6a. Re: Car Service Rules
    Posted by:  lstt100@... lstt100@...
    Date: Thu Sep 3, 2015 1:39 pm ((PDT))

I'll add to Tony's comments based on my 42 year railroad career, which predates list, but I was hanging around with agency and car distributors as early as 1964 and did do car ordering, supply and distribution.

Under Car Service Rule 15 which stated "shippers were responsible for making a request with local agents concerning cars needed for loading, a specific date, the commodity to be loaded and the destination of the car." This information was placed on a request for empties form, each railroad had a different variations, but they all had them.  Lacking a car on hand at the station, the request was forwarded to local yard and or the car distributor in attempt to locate and appropriate car.  Lacking a car on the division the request was escalated to adjacent divisions.  Once an appropriate empty was found, even if it involved a backhaul, it was sent to the station for loading.  Agent noted the car on his industry request form noting the car initial and number that was provided for the specific load.  Car Service Division liked to go thru these reports and audit them for compliance.
                    ... snip ...

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