Re: MTY's and WWII War Department Transpiration Storage facilities

John Barry


Don't forget this is in 1943 during WWII.  The Office of Defense Transportation (ODT) through ICC orders has just made the private reefers a national pool, the ODT Liquid Transport Division is managing the national tank car fleet, AAR is investigating reports of detention and providing daily car reports to ODT and the Army's Office of the Chief of Transportation (OCT).  OCT is centrally routing all Army carload freight from their Traffic Control Division in Washington, monitoring shipment progress as they roll by the Regulating Stations and holding traffic or diverting it to the Holding & Reconsignment Points (H&RP) if the destination Port is unable to accept and load it.  At this point in the war, Yermo is ONLY a H&RP, not a depot, that comes much later in the war.  The H&RPs were designed and operated as Storage in Transit facilities an overnight journey from the port it served.  The Army tracked shipments with waybill files for the majority of the stuff there as it was only temporary.  The H&RP wasn't set up to pick & pull items or fill requisitions like the depots.  When the port could accept it, the inbound carload was reloaded into the next available suitable car and forwarded.  Or it was diverted to another destination by the carload.  One way to get those empties would be to cull them from the next EB Santa Fe manifest freight.  There was an imbalance of loads and empties through Barstow, I doubt they stockpiled any cars there.  Another possibility to consider is that this may have been an empty west bound cut of ATSF cars returning from the UP at SLC.  Barstow is where they would have been delivered.  And no one has commented on the mix of road names in the cut on the track just behind the Santa Fe boxes.
John Barry
ATSF North Bay Lines 
Golden Gates & Fast Freights 
Lovettsville, VA


PO Box 44736 
Washington, DC 20026-4736

From: "Tim O'Connor timboconnor@... [STMFC]"
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Sunday, September 3, 2017 8:39 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] MTY's and WWII War Department Transpiration Storage facilities


Also, demurrage is something charged to rail customers, not railroads.
Railroads paid per diem to each other. If you took too long to load or
unload your cars, you paid demurrage. Or if your cargo sat waiting for a
boat at a port, the railroads charged demurrage for that. I think it was
used as a fine, and was much more than per diem.

Many railroads had NET INCOME from per diem, and none of them were happy
about it, because it was generally lower than the cost of ownership of the
cars. The NP and GN annual reports from the 1950's complain about it constantly.

Of course Incentive Per Diem changes all that, but that hasn't happened yet.

Tim O'Connor

Schuyler Larrabee] wrote:

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.

    Schuyler, my understanding from talking to railroaders, and also from perusing data of this period, is that you are exaggerating the importance of per diem (as do many modelers). In the era of this photo, per diem was about a dollar a day. Most freight bills yielded revenue of 50 dollars and up. Of course I am not saying that per diem was ignored, only that it was only PART of the equation. Making sure you have cars for revenue loading, especially if you are keeping a customer happy, was far more important than a dollar a day. And even if Accounting complained, your boss in the Traffic Department would totally defend you.

Tony Thompson

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