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



No surprise that the home road cars would be held, but there are two factors to consider:

1) During WWII, the shortage of XM's was considered to be rather acute (and hence the use of MT Reefers in XM service (only in some circumstances, and for lighter loads.) So large amounts of home road MT's sitting around may not have been very common.

2) For modeling WWII, the string, especially if it was loaded, makes for a rather unique consist - a long string of what looks to be exclusively home road box cars. The lack of WWII consist data and photographs makes such a potential discovery "surprising" - at least to me.

Can anyone weigh in on whether the ATSF would nail paper on the tackboards of MT box cars during WWII
Dave Evans

---In STMFC@..., <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.



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 the group?

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.)

Dave Evans

PS - changed the thread name since this really doesn't have much to do with the N-G theory

---In STMFC@..., <rdkirkham@...> wrote :

Hi there,

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
To: STMFC@...
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).

Dave Evans

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