Re: Loading foreign cars first

David Smith <dsmith@...>

Before you go too crazy trying to explain each deviation from the
national average, consider the statistical sampling issues. 90 cars out
of half a million is not a statistically valid sample and would be
expected to deviate significantly from the national averages. If you
flip 10 coins, sometimes you get 7 or 8 heads, sometimes you get 3 or
4, occasionally, you even get 10 or 0. Sometimes the bag has lots of
green M&Ms, sometimes, not so many, it's the same thing. Given the
statistics, it is astonishing that these numbers are so close, not that
they are different.

Dave Smith

David L. Smith, Ph.D.
Director of Professional Development
Da Vinci Discovery Center, Allentown, PA
"Who will pick up where Leonardo left off?"

-----Original Message-----
From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On
Behalf Of Tim Gilbert
Sent: Saturday, February 25, 2006 11:19 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Loading foreign cars first

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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