Re: new books - Lack of Eastern SS Boxcars in LA during the Depression


rwitt_2000 <rmwitt@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., Tim Gilbert <tgilbert@...> wrote:


On Sep 21, 5:13pm, Richard Hendrickson wrote:
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: new books
The point about the photo collection in the book which everyone
seems
to be overlooking is that all of the photos were taken in a Southern
Pacific freight yard in Los Angeles, where box cars from any of the
northeastern railroads were less likely to appear than would
have been
the case in, say, Minneapolis or Kansas City, much less Boston or
Baltimore.
Jeff Aley asked:


Huh? I thought that Mssrs. Nelson and Gilbert used wheel reports
to show
otherwise: that at any major point in the U.S., boxcars are
distributed
according to their national percentage. I thought that, e.g. X29's
were
as common in LA as they were in KC, Boston, or anywhere else
(excluding
PRR rails).
Jeff,

First of all, the book is about single sheathed box & automobile cars.
The X29's were considered of all steel construction.

The distribution of ownership of total boxcars, all-steel & steel
underframed boxcars was not the same. SUF boxcars include double
sheathed as well as single sheathed.

In terms of ownership of the Total Boxcar Fleet owned by Class I
RR's in
the US on 12/31/1940, 39.4% were owned by RR's in the East; 17.2% in
the
South; and 43.4% in the West. Of the Total All-Steel Boxcars, 62.6%
were
owned by RR's in the East; 15.0% in the South; and 22.4% in the
West. Of
the Total Steel Underframe Boxcars, 27.8% were owned by RR's in the
East; 16.4% in the South; and 55.8% in the West.

The majority of Steel Underframe Boxcars (55.8%) on 12/31/1940 were
owned by Western Railroads. Assuming that the ratio of single to double
sheathed boxcars was the same in each the Eastern, Southern & Western
Districts, that the vast majority of single sheathed boxcars were owned
by Western Roads in an SP Los Angeles Yard should not be that much a
surprise particularly when many of the SP cars were probably in
temporary storage awaiting for the economy to expand so that they could
be loaded.

That said, the economy for boxcars was not nearly as national before WW
II as it was after WW II. In parsing various pre WW II wheel reports
and
other documents, there appears to be a much higher percentage of
loadings in home road boxcars before WW II than afterward.

Hope this helps explain why Richard could find so few photos of Eastern
Single Sheathed Boxcars in LA before WW II.

Tim Gilbert
I offer the suggestion that photographers usually take photos of what
interest them. Their mission is not to record a random sample of the
freight cars that pass through a given area. Wheel reports and other
similar records are the "hard data". Photographs are someone's vision
of their "world".

Bob Witt, Indianapolis, Indiana

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