Private carline service territories (was Tangent...)

Earl Tuson

Near to where I model are Shell, British American and Imperial Oil properties...
A somewhat related, recent data discovery (for me at least,) was the fact that many, if not most, of the states appear to have taxed private car lines that operated within their borders. Actually, I'd found (and now lost) the Supreme Court case that limited the taxation to ONLY the portion of the car lines' business that occurred within the taxing jurisdiction. Methods appear to vary, but are typically based on proportional use (car miles) or earnings within a given state, but may also include the value of fixed assets within a jurisdiction as well. My particular interest was largely satisfied with the data published in the State of NH Treasurer's reports; other states may have published data in their respective Public Service or Railroad Commissioners' reports. Next, I want to take a trip to the state archives to see if I can unearth the original submissions made by the car lines themselves, as the Treasurer's report only gives an assessed value with tax levied, offering a <roughly> proportional use between fleets of reefers and between fleets of tank cars, and certainly an indication if a car line simply did not operate there at all.

I'd compiled the NH data for 1920-1939 to see general patterns, but focused my analysis on my modeling year of 1930. While MDT's involvement in the substantial Maine potato traffic (coming down the seacoast to the urban northeast) drives them to the top of the refrigerator car companies with nearly 1/2 of the total assessed value, the next two most common are fascinating: URTC is assessed at over 1/8 of the total, while NYDX is another 7.8%. It is my belief/understanding that these are closely associated with bridge traffic routed through Canada (GT/CN/CV/B&M Train 490, for example,) and I need to explore more ways to reflect this in my central NH locale. Rounding out the top five are Armour and Swift, roughly tied. Where's the industry giant? PFE accounted for only 2.6% of the total assessed value of reefer lines operating in NH in 1930.

For tank car firms, the top five assessments contribute 7/8 of the value: BMX, CSRX, TCX, UTLX, and GRCX, in that order. I am not aware of any of these companies having any significant infrastructure in NH; all operate out of Massachusetts ports (Boston, Beverly, Chelsea, etc,) and/or Portland, ME.

NH is a small state hugely dominated by just one railroad and having a minimal number of largely parallel routes radiating from Boston. This corporate and geographic reality does much to simplify my analysis, and I suspect similar data for larger states with a multitude of railroads and routes may be of far less use. YMMV,

Earl Tuson

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