Re: Making money with a railroad

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>

Kurt Laughlin asked:
Let's say the AAA RR gets an order to ship a boxcar full of shlurm from some point on their road to a point 1500 miles away on the CCC RR. To get there it must travel 500 miles on the AAA, 500 on the BBB, and 500 on the CCC.
a) Does AAA get paid the same whether it loads it's own car or someone else's?
For transportation, yes (and gets more because it's the originating road). For per diem, it would of course pay nothing for its own car, but as we've discussed at some length, that's a small factor compared to the transportation.

b) Who pays the per diem charge for the car - the road on which it sits at midnight or the road who is using it to ship a product, i.e., the AAA. (I'm pretty sure it's the former.)
Yep, the former.

c) I assume the BBB and CCC each get paid for hauling the equivalent of 500 car-miles across their road. Would the shipper get a bill from each RR or would AAA charge them them for 1500 car-miles and pay off the BBB and CCC as billed later?
The shipper pays AAA, and AAA pays BBB and CCC. Imagine the amount of paperwork for all the cargoes over all the railroads.

d) I also assume that there were fixed mileages (and rates?) established between various points, otherwise there'd be no incentive to move things to their destination rather than taking the grand tour. If this is true, how could RRs "sell" themselves to various shippers (as has been described on this list in the past) - wouldn't the charge to get from point A to point B be the same no matter which way it went?
No, no set mileage. But if the car had to be returned empty, it returned over the route it followed outbound with a load, so that each road gaining from the original shipment had to also bear the expense of moving the empty. No one wanted a circuitous routing. Tariffs are a VERY complex subject and were in general NOT linear with distance nor with route. Some on this list will be able to add much more detail on that part.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history

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