Re: Making money with a railroad

Tim Gilbert <tgilbert@...>

Kurt Laughlin asked:

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
Tony Thompson replied:

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.
Reloading empty foreign boxcars made the reverse routing rule could be insane. For instance in June 1947, CIL #1 was loaded with merchandise in Crawford IN for Louisville (L&N). #1 worked its way down to Miami carrying merchandise. It then was loaded with merchandise by the SAL for Savannah. It then yoyoed about in Georgia and the Carolinas carrying merchandise. Finally about a month after it left Crawfordsville, it was loaded with signal equipment in Cayce SC for the SAL in Apex NC. It was then loaded with lumber in Sanford and routed for the Poconos via SAL-RF&P-PRR-D&H and NYO&W.

The NYO&W could not reload #1. So did they follow the reverse routing D&H-PRR-RF&P-SAL-L&N-MONON or the more direct line DL&W-NKP-MONON? #1 was routed the DL&W, but was reloaded on the NKP at Northeast PA (near Erie) with tomato juice for Nashville (TC) and routed NKP-B&O-SOU-TC.

In the early 1950's, the AAR established SCS-90 which simplified the return routing so that DL&W would get all CIL empty cars from the NYO&W in Scranton, and route them home via the NKP. If the empty car was owned by, say the C&EI, NYO&W could have delivered the empty to the D&H-PRR-C&EI or ERIE-C&EI, or LV-WAB-C&EI to get it home. (The above are hypotheses because the only SCS-90 I have seen was the B&M's.)

Tim Gilbert

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