Re: Loading foreign cars first

Tim Gilbert <tgilbert@...>

Chet French listed the 90 boxcars loaded by the Honegger Feed Mill on the WABASH's Streator Branch at Fairbury IL between January 4th and 29th, 1955. The table below breaks down the ownership of these 90 boxcars into ICC Regions which are then compared to the percentages each road owned on 12/31/1954 of the national boxcar fleet.

Region Reported % Rptd. % Nat'l 90 Cars x % Nat'l
WABASH 5 5.6% 1.8% 2
New England 1 1.1% 2.4% 2
Great Lakes 10 11.1% 18.0% 16
Central East 7 7.8% 16.5% 15
Pocahantas 1 1.1% 4.4% 4
Southern 15 16.7% 13.7% 12
Northwest 15 16.7% 15.4% 14
Central West 27 30.0% 20.8% 19
Southwest 9 10.0% 8.8% 8
Total 90 100.0% 100.0% 90

Chet French concluded:

A total of 90 loads were pulled from Honeggers during the month,
which included 85 foreign cars and 5 home cars. Eleven CBQ and FWD
cars and eight ATSF cars, which were probably destined for the Q's
and Santa Fe's interchange tracks at Streator, appeared to have been
captured for loading.
Rather than speculating where the loads were dispatched, let's ask the question from where did the supply of empties come.

From Chet's introduction, Honegger gathered grain locally, applied their witch's brew to that grain, and sold it as grain. From the table above, the Southern and Western Regions supplied more than their "fair" share (66 of the 90 boxcars above vs. 53 if the supply of empties was made proportionately to what the roads owned at 12/31/1954).

1954 was a Recession Year while 1955 was a year of Recovery. Accordingly, as the economy picked up, the boxcars which had been returned to their home roads because of the lack of loads during Recession began to be loaded. The percentage of boxcar loadings jumped for a short while because there were not enough foreign empties around for loading.

Using this reasoning, we can assume that the majority of boxcar loads which the WABASH received on the Streator Branch came from the south & west if unloaded boxcars on the Streator Branch were the sole source of empties for Honegger.

Another source of empty boxcars would be if the WABASH plucked them off westbound through trains on their main lines, and routed the empties to the Streator Branch for loading. In this case, the supply of western boxcars should be more because any empty eastern boxcars would have interchanged earlier in order to avoid unnecessary per diem charges.

So perhaps we should ask Chet if he has any inbound information about what boxcars were received on the Streator Branch.

Returning to where the Honegger loads went, I would think that most of them went east as was the case with the soybean meal from the Swift Plant in Frankfort IN as per the data Bill Darnaby supplied the Group last October, but I am no farm boy to know for certain.

Tim Gilbert

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