Re: AAR Rules

Guy Wilber

Dennis Storzek wrote:

I occasionally browse the Modern Freight Cars List, and noticed this posting last night, which I've re-posted here with Mr. Dawson's permission. Mr. Dawson was nice enough to add a little biographical information, which I've added at the bottom.

Mr. Dawson stated; "It also does not prevent individual railroads from operating non-compliant cars by agreement among themselves." 

Dennis, you recently made this same claim:  "The AAR regulations only governed interchange, and were based on an agreement between all the member railroads. As such, each road could use whatever "banned" equipment on its own lines, and even make side agreements to accept "banned" equipment from other roads."

There were no "side agreements" between railroads for use of equipment prohibited in interchange during the 1900-1960 period.  

Interchange Rule 130.  Acceptance or rejection of this Code of Rules must be as a whole, and no exception to an individual rule or rules shall be valid.

All members (railroads and private lines) signed onto and agreed to abide by the Interchange Agreement; "...the Subscriber will abide by The Code of Rules governing the condition of, repairs to, and settlements for freight cars for the interchange of traffic, as formulated and promulgated by the former Master Car Builders' Association and by The Association of American Railroads (Division V - Mechanical), or by either thereof (which rules are designated on the minutes of said Association's proceedings and are commonly known as "Interchange Rules"), and by each of said rules, and abide by each and all decisions and interpretations of The Arbitration Committee provided for by said Code of Rules..." 

"Although at one time the AAR technical committees consisted solely of representatives of operating railroads, they now have members representing private car owners and suppliers."

All the previous associations allowed representatives from private lines positions on the various committees.  Union Tank Lines and General American both had several representatives on the Tank Car Committee through the years.  Armour & Company had a representative on the Arbitration Committee as well as the Special Committee on Salt Water Drippings. 

"Even though railroads now own less than 50% of interchange freight cars, railroads still retain a majority of voting members in each committee.  Since the railroads have to live with the results of any equipment failures out on the road, this is entirely reasonable in my opinion.  The Interchange Rules themselves, which are updated twice a year, are the responsibility of the Arbitration and Rules Committee."

It was simply the Arbitration Committee during the 1900-1960 period which promulgated the Rules of Interchange.   

I respect Mr. Dawson's contributions, he is well informed.  I do believe it is important to distinguish the differences within the periods of interest.  

Guy Wilber
Reno, Nevada

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