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

John Barry

Shortly after Pearl Harbor, the Army set up regulating stations at Spokane, Ogden, Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, and El Paso to maintain fluid traffic conditions on the Pacific coast.  They and additional sub-stations functioned throughout the war.

Army freight movements were under control of the Army's Office of the Chief of Transportation (OCT) after March 1942, before that, Chief, Quartermaster Corps.  All long distance carload traffic and all traffic destined to one of the ports was centrally routed through the OCT.  To avoid congestion in the ports, OCT set up ten Holding and Reconsignment Points:

Auburn, WA
Elmira, NY
Lathrop, CA
Marieta, PA
Montgomery, AL
Pasco, WA
Richmond, VA
Shreveport, LA
Voorheesville, NY
Yermo, CA

These points were used as transit storage for shipments through the ports they served.  When the port couldn't accommodate an inbound shipment, it was held at the holding & reconsignment point.  Lathrop served the San Francisco Port of Embarkation (POE) and Yermo served the LA POE.  A short delay might be held on the inbound railcar.  But any thing like a week or more (have to verify the exact cut off) would be unloaded and placed into Storage In Transit.  When the port was ready for the shipment, it was reloaded and forwarded.

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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