Re: "Reciprocal" Switching - Please Explain

Rob Adams


I can't speak to the specifics of the WP/SP arrangements, or to whether this is type of Reciprocal Agreement you are referring, but some of the midwest roads that I'm familiar with would enter into agreements whereby one road would switch certain industries one period (e.g. year), and the other road would handle it the next. I suspect these practices varied a great deal, and may have depended to some extent on how much traffic was generated and how it was ultimately to be routed. Like you, I'd really like to know more about this.

Kind regards, Rob Adams

Beckert, Shawn wrote:


Is there a document or publication that explains the details
of "reciprocal switching"? This Western Pacific circular that
I'm wading through seems to give witness to a lot of this.

An example: The Judson-Pacific Murphy Company (a steel plant)
had two tracks in Emeryville with a combined capacity of 80
cars. That's a heckuva lot of gondolas and boxcars moving in
and out. This whole industry is listed on the tracks of the
Southern Pacific, yet the circular shows this as being served
by the Western Pacific.

How did this work? If the trackage was owned by the Espee, I
can't imagine them standing by while WP took the business of
a very large shipper away from them. Money must have changed
hands for the owner of the trackage (SP) to allow a competitor
(WP) to service one of their on-line industries.

Can someone clarify how this sort of transaction was done?


Shawn Beckert

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