Re: Refrigerator Car Return Instruction 1955

Tony Thompson

This was win-win. The railroads got a backhaul with someone else's equipment instead of toting empties cross country. The reefer owners got their cars back sooner on a more expedited basis.

Remember that reefers were paid on a mileage basis, loaded or empty, so the reefer owners could not care less about westward loads. And in harvest time, they wanted their cars back without divergence to loading points, followed by delays getting the cars unloaded again and moved to produce areas. PFE people told me that they put up with some westward loading (less than 10 percent of westward cars) but would have been happy with all empties coming west.

Tony Thompson

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