Re: freight car "tidal movements"

Tim Gilbert <tgilbert@...>

Tim O'Connor wrote:

I just encountered an old freight car distribution term, when
I was reading the special notes in the 1950 ORER regarding the
AMRX mechanical reefers built in 1946:

"Cars in this series are operating in special service and
should not be handled in the TIDE MOVEMENT* but handled
strictly on record rights and in home routes so they can
be returned to assigned points."

The implication of course is that freight cars often moved with
the "tide of traffic" without regard to car service directives
or return home rules, unless their owners were pretty adamant
about it! Of course in 1950 a 50 foot mechanical was a rare
creature, and relatively hard to lose track of (compared to,
say, a 50 ton twin coal hopper).

According to page 86 of the "Proceedings to the June 1948 AAR RR Superintendents Convention," Manager of the AAR's Reefer Section GW Taylor stated that the "Tide Orders" had been canceled, and "at the present time, cars (reefers) are handled on owners' instructions or in service run." Accordingly, perishable loadings in PFE cars in "PFE territory" (SP, UP & WP) increased from about 2/3's in 1947 to over 80% in 1949 according to the table on page 450 pf the Second Edition of Signature Press' "Pacific Fruit Express."

In spite of this cancellation, I am sure that Tony Thompson can relate "horror stories" about what PFE (& perhaps SFRD) considered was the misuse of its reefers on the return run West.

Tim Gilbert

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