Re: Apparently, Boston & Maine boxcars made it to Florida

Tony Thompson

Dave Parker wrote:

One more time guys.  Prior to about 1942, there wasn't any such thing as a "free runner"

     I'm not sure what Dave based this statement on, and have looked into the history of freight car handling to see if I could see what he meant.
      I already replied that essentially the same Car Service Rules in place through the 1950s had been adopted by the AAR in 1934. But that only reflects some minor modifications at that time in the existing rules.
       I went back to E.W. Coughlin's book, _Freight Car Distribution and Car Handling in the United States_ of 1956, published by the AAR's Car Service Division, for which Coughlin worked. In discussing the Car Service Rules, he observed that freight car handling between railroads was governed by essentially the same principles and "the same Code of Car Service Rules as adopted in the closing years of the last century" [19th century].
        So effectively the first sixty years of the 20th century were governed by those rules, and though they continued in force thereafter, the widening use of Special Car Order 90 directions for direct return homeward of a growing variety of cars certainly began to erode the previous patterns of car movement.

Tony Thompson

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