It would be very unlikely that any RR would accumulate non-home
road cars for use, since they’d have to pay demurrage on them, no? So
why the surprise that these cars, if indeed they are being held in
anticipation of traffic demands, are home road cars? And they could
have been hauled there from the port and industrial areas of LA to
avoid clogging up the local yards in the LA basin.
I thought of that and I am not sure if it helps. Only two trucks in the
ATSF string are clearly visible. The one further left doesn't scream
loaded, while the springs on the second truck to the left may be
compressed a fair amount. The D&RGW gon adjacent to those cars is a
good indication of how an MT car's springs would look.
The gap between the top of the bolster and the underside of the top
cross-member of the truck appears to be greater on both box car trucks
compared to the empty Gon, but that could be due to different trucks.
I noticed that all six of the ATSF cars close enough to tell all seem
to have some manner of paperwork/placards attached to them.
Bill-of-ladings? Or paperwork indicating MT?
Resolution is not high enough to tell if there are seals on the doors,
and I am not an expert in this area - I'm not up on what seals would
look like and where BOL's would normally be attached, and if the ATSF
would attach some manner of MT paperwork in the same location. What say
Another question for an ATSF expert would be just how many EB MT XMs
would be passing through Barstow on any given day during WWII. They
would surely include many foreign road cars, and it may be enough to
satisfy the demand if a MAIN train was suddenly requested out of Yermo
for a west coast port, without having to stockpile ATSF MT's in Barstow.
I have often noticed lots of home road MT's in the large classification
yards in the few WWII pictures that exist (and I have no expectation
that N-G applies to them), but Barstow was not much of a classification
yard during WWII. John Barry has painted a very busy picture of traffic
passing through and blocks of cars being exchanged. A long string of
home road MT's being stored in such a location just to handle the
limited industry in the area does not make a lot of operational sense.
Conversely, the Yermo storage facility was no doubt receiving a steady
stream of loads from the east that would have generated a lot of MT EB
traffic. (That was the point of these distribution facilities -
accumulate material as it was produced, close to the ports of
embarkation, and then deliver ship loads of cargo in a day, on-demand,
to the ports of embarkation. This was a lesson learned from the
disastrous practices of WWI, where loaded cars were stuck for days and
weeks around the ports of embarkation with no ship to unload in to.)
PS - changed the thread name since this really doesn't have much to do
with the N-G theory
---In STMFC@..., wrote :
Just an observation on the “no way to know” observation about whether
cars are empty or loads. In this case, I basically agree with that
conclusion because of the angle and imperfect focus of the image. But
when working on the railway, it was pretty easy to tell just by looking
at the springs on the trucks. When they are compressed – each coil ring
is touching the one above/below – you know the car is full. When there
is space in between – (add a million caveats here) there is a good
basis to say it isn’t loaded.
From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Sunday, September 3, 2017 9:19 AM
Subject: RE: [STMFC] MTY's breaking the N-G distribution model
My bad - you are correct, and the close proximity of the Yermo
distribution center (less than 10 miles east of Barstow), could be a
perfect example of your post. My personal interest is WWII consists, of
which data is very limited. The PRR had a similar installation just
south of Harrisburg, and a smaller one just east of Altoona. I have
wondered, in the midst of such a car shortage, how the RR's would fill
the demand for cars as convoys were assembled.
The whole point of those distribution centers was to avoid RR
congestion at the ports. I don't think a RR would hold foreign MT's for
such service, but at the same time with a shortage of freight cars, I
find it hard to believe they would hold their own cars out of revenue
service waiting for the call.
The ATSF string at Barstow might be an example of such captive service
for the transfer of cargo from the distribution centers to the ports,
which fits in with what you describe - the distinguishing feature may
be that we are seeing is a complete train of home road box cars, if
these are loads (no way to know).