Re: General Question ... Was - Re: UoK Permalinks
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Well pre 1929...a lot of factors.
Car construction in the early 1900s wasn't robust enough for cars to stray and stay too far off systems. Steel created some issues even as it helped others... Strength went up, but given early steel prod... Of both over and under building... Caused truck, bridge and rail issues.
While link and pin was on the way out and air brakes coming in, you had enough system issues that had to be worked out that cars stayed on system more. Some rr systems weren't keen on sending cars they spent a lot on roving.
And.. One word. Chicago. While pigs infamously might have transitted without change of cars, many commodities still were transloaded in Chicago. If they weren't used there. Chicago was a huge vaccume that seemed to suck in everything. A lot came from east and west but the concept of intercontinental transit was, though not foreign, not exactly common either. Think about commodities. Coal, iron, limestone, sand, gravel, wood, lumber, cotton, wool, etc. Were available on both coasts... Or at least both sides of the Chicago divide. Given the weights involved, the western roads didn't need to Sent anything east... Yet. Eastern finished goods did come west, but not yet vice versa. Food was the one basic commodity that move west to east... But usually in blocks and didn't tary in yards along the way.
While other gateways were important, none was swallowing as much from both directions. Flour was one of the few refined products headed east... But the east had grain and got a lot through Lakers to Buffalo... Huge grain storage there to this day. So, while some flour made it, usually broken down and transhipped.
Some lumber... Doug fir and redwood esp. Did make it east, but Chicago was growing fast... Swallowed trains of lumber. Again, much that went further was broken down and transloaded.
Remember... Before 1929, there were a series of financial embarrassments. While less all encompassing than 1929, others were no less locally critical. 1893 killed many dreams and made many roads in the west vulnerable. The titanic depression caused a ripple through railroads. The immediate post ww1 economy was riddled with issues. Add the pandemics and things didn't move as much as far.
Start looking at what might be in those cars. Just on those photos today.. Whiskey, cocoa, furniture, agriculture... None of that would go far west without transloading. Thing return trips... Not a lot needed from the west pre 1940s. Much of the traffic was simply 1 way... At least crossing the Chicago divide.
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On Jan 14, 2020, at 4:45 PM, Jim Betz <jimbetz@...> wrote: