Re: Express Reefers?

Tony Thompson

Chuck Peck wrote:

Bob, the REA cars were not ordinarily available for direct use by shippers but were for use BY REA.  REA was
a consortium of various railroads, not exactly a customer in the sense of most shippers. 

       Well, the shipper called the local railroad agent, who arranged for an REA car to be delivered by the railroad for the shipper's use. In some places, there was a separate REA office, but REA did not move cars itself, but would have had to ask the local railroad to do so; and the waybill would be made out by the railroad's agent. And remember, REA also operated a large pool of express cars, composed of a number of other owners' cars, including Santa Fe and PFE. When a shipper needed an express reefer, they did not know if they would get an REA car or another owner's car from the pool. But all operated the same way under REA direction.

As I have been told, REA was charged by the carmile, not by weight. Thus, as long as REA knew the weight, there was no need for the hauling railroad to weigh the car.  

      This is a confusing statement. REA was PAID by the car-mile, loaded or empty. That is how they received money to operate, including buying and maintaining the car fleet (some non-REA car owners did maintenance on their own cars). They were paid by the railroads over which the car moved. And if the car was part of the REA pool, a payment was then due from REA to the owner of that car.
       The handling railroads were paid from the freight bill, which was by weight or tariff category, and icing charges were additional. So the shipper (or consignee) paid a freight bill to one of the railroads involved, which in turn paid REA for car mileage, and also paid any icing stations involved, for the icing charges, all of which had to come out of the freight bill.
        You are right, Chuck, it was complicated.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history

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