Bob Lucas

When comparing actual records of installations and retirements for
the AC&Y, a smaller Class I, I have found the ORER's to be accurate,
both freight car dimensions and ORER dates. The devil is in the
details, though, at least for date accountability. The AFE
(Authorization for Expenditure) project completion date, which was
how railroads accounted for their property for ICC valuation
purposes, appears to be the usual basis. For new car acquistions,
the entire series was shown even though not all cars were physically
on hand. AFE retirement completion dates do not mean freight cars
were scrapped. Some cars were simply removed from revenue service.
Scrapped does not mean what it says either. Cars sold for scrap
were sometimes whitelined, held until a "funeral train" could be
assembled. Though equipment had left the AC&Y property and there
may be a final weight ticket in the file, scrap cars could be found
at I.A. Barnett in Barberton or Luntz in Canton years later. What
was most telling was the carnage that took place during the steam
era. Many series averaged 1% loss annually due to accidents,
failures and derailments. Cars were still shown in ORER's until
finally disposition was made, sometimes a year or more later.

--- In, Malcolm Laughlin <mlaughlinnyc@...>

From: "Dave Nelson" <muskoka@...>
Subject: RE: Boxcar Utilization - Definitions
ljack70117@... wrote:
I have a question. Where did the ORER get the information the

From each railroad.

Although Dave's response is right, I'd like nto expand on it a

The ORER was (and still is) a tariff. It was published on
behalf of all of the railroads and was referenced in most other
railroad tariffs. It was the official reference for any tariff item
that referenced car type, dimensions, capacity, car number, etc.

The railroads were motivated to keep it up to date for cars
added because for tariff purposes a car did not exist if it wasn't
in the RER. Cars in the RER did not necessarily exist. When a
railroad got new cars, it would publish the whole series even if it
might be some months before all were delivered. Similarly, there
was no particular reason for a railroad to rush to delete cars from
the register after they were taken out of service, except for the
cost of the space that they paid for in the RER. So if a railroad
had an entry for a hundred cars and all but a few were scrapped,
there was no benefit from updating the RER until all were gone and
the line for that series could be deleted.

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

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