Re: RE; Car Service Rules


"When Empty Return To" dates from at least WWII and probably earlier.  I won't venture a guess on the fist application.  This stenciling on the side of the car was an early effort to get cars that were in assigned service(specially equipped cars) and cars loaded with contaminated commodities back to there loading point without clerks having to dig for the information.  Some railroads did stencil this on cars that were free running equipment in an attempt to get their equipment back home.  Contaminated cars and cars with special equipment were sent back per Car Service Directives(CSD).  Car Service Rules still applied to the free running equipment.

Most western carriers had better maintained and newer equipment and thus when they got "out East" more often than not they would become trapped and used for loading, some not returning for months or even years.  Bill Dick has commented on this on the list.  Loading home road equipment to off-line destinations for per diem purposes was usually caused by an excess of on-line equipment and the owner having insufficient business.  This caused some carriers to ship foreign empties home and use home road equipment for loads.  It happened but was not a recommended Car Service Division practice.


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