Re: route cards

Todd Sullivan

Hi Paul,

In the 1960s, at the Northern Pacific Terminal Company of Oregon, we stapled a computer-generated Car Label to every car that came into our possession as soon as it was checked in a transfer or train.  All inbound transfers and trains were checked by a clerk, the transfer list checked against the waybills and keypunched, Car Labels and a switch list printed, and then the cars had their Car Labels attached before they could be switched.

We certainly got a lot of cars that did not have routing cards attached, so I think it depended on the RR and its rules.  In most trains, the conductor (and brakemen) knew where each car was going based on the waybills in the conductor's possession.  The NPTCo had joint industrial trackage with the SP&S, and the SP&S never had route cards on their cars.  I know this, because I had to go to the SP&S Hoyt Street yard office to check their records for cars on our joint tracks that did not have Carl Labels just to make sure they were theirs and not one of ours that had had its Car label removed.

Todd Sullivan

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