Automobiles by rail - a question for Tim Gilbert

Malcolm Laughlin <mlaughlinnyc@...>

We know that in the 50's the railroads were rapidly losing the movement of setup automobiles to trucks. From what I remember, there was very little if any rail movement of finished automobiles remaining. But with the advent of the multi-level auto carrier in 1959 (?) the rail movement of autos rapidly grew.

In 1959 as part of my summer job in the Market Research department at the NYC I analyzed automobile sales by SMAS in all of the northeast. This project led to the purchase of the flexi-van auto carriers that went into service in 1960. My summer job in 1960 was in the clearance bureau out on the road measuring clearances to verify that we could handle the auto racks. Beginning in late 1960 the NYC auto traffic grew rapidly. My recollectionis that thenFrisco was one of the first to handle those cars from 1959.

Tim, can you provide any statistics on the actual movement of automobiles in those years, or is it buried in aggregate satatistics that also include the auto parts traffic ?

Malcolm Laughlin, Editor 617-489-4383
New England Rail Shipper Directories
19 Holden Road, Belmont, MA 02478

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