Re: War Emergency Hoppers

Tim O'Connor <timoconnor@...>

Shawn Beckert wrote

My problem is nailing down the type of traffic that moved
on the Cotton Belt during these years. Since this was a
"bridge line" moving freight through the St. Louis gateway
to points West, I can get away with running all types of
cars, up to a point. What's hard is trying to pin down what
percentage of what kind of freight moved on the SSW. And one
of my problems is knowing how much coal - if any - they were
moving in my era of interest. I asked about the P2K hoppers
because I don't want to spend money on them if they wouldn't
normally be seen in Cotton Belt territory. Thus my question
to the List. Can anyone tell me with confidence that these
cars should not be represented on my railroad?
From my "Report on the Alton Railroad Company", there is a
table showing that "transcontinental traffic"* for 1920's-30's

(1) Tonnage split about 68% eastbound, 32% westbound
(2) About 39% of eastbound tons were perishable foods
(3) About 38% of eastbound tons were lumber and wood products
(4) About 15% of westbound tons were iron, steel products
(5) About 19% of westbound tons were autos, trucks, parts
(6) Other westbound traffic was manufactured products which
included merchandise, paper, foods, beverages

That sounds about right to me for bridge traffic on the SSW.
Coal would have been received by the SSW at St Louis, Memphis
and other points for distribution all over its lines, but not
as bridge traffic. I think IC, GM&O, L&N, NC&StL, Southern,
B&O, C&O, Wabash, CB&Q, MP, C&EI, RI, and even NYC coal cars
would not be unusual on the SSW between St Louis/Memphis and
Pine Bluff. What you need is a list of SSW online customers to
see which ones received coal, and from whom!

[ * The table is not entirely clear about how it defines
traffic to be transcontinental or not. My guess is that
it may simply mean freight conveyed from western roads
to eastern or midwestern connections. The book is chock
full of data and I haven't studied much of it closely. ]

Timothy O'Connor <>
Marlborough, Massachusetts

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