Re: RE; Car Service Rules

George Eichelberger

Did all railroads approach using foreign and home road cars for off-line destinations the same way? When did "When Empty Return To...." markings and corresponding car service rules begin?

I ask because the Southern Railway records are full of examples where the railroad made a point that its per diem balances were usually positive and a good source of revenue. In other words, loading SR cars to offline destinations was not seen as a most cases. At the height of the incentive per diem car boom (admittedly after the STMFC era), the Southern purchased 50 foot box cars that were intended to be basically free running.

I mentioned to the list some time ago that the other railroads would "trap" Southern cars for use on their lines because they did not have sufficient equipment of their own. The NYC after WWII was an example. At a time of rapidly increasing car purchase costs, paying per diem could be seen as a less costly option.

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