Re: Car travel (was NMRA Book)

Kurt Laughlin <fleeta@...>

Thanks Tim, this is good stuff.

Let me rephrase the second question: Did the increased possibility of originating and terminating a particular load on the big roads with wider areas and customer bases lead to a detectably higher percentage of home road cars on those roads?

And a follow-up to question 1: Certainly there were variations in the home road percentage due to the economy, but was the swing in a good vs. bad year something that would be readily discernible by looking a the composition of a train or active yard (statistics of small sample sizes aside) or would this only be seen if one watched storage yards and deadlines?

Thanks again,

----- Original Message -----
From: "Tim Gilbert" <tgilbert@...>

1. For boxcars, was the home road percentage (which I'm defining as the
number of own-road cars found on the owning road) typically higher or lower
than the national fleet percentage? (Realizing that the percentages were
probably all over the place based on a number of circumstances, just trying
to get a feel if it was "about the same", "a little higher", "about half",
"triple the number", something like that.)


The PRR owned between 9-10% of the National Boxcar fleet. The percentage
of PRR to total boxcars on the PRR was greater than 9-10% because 1)
home road boxcars served somewhat as a strategic reserve to be used only
when other alternatives were exhausted; 2) in times when there was a
national boxcar surplus, many PRR boxcars were returned home empty and
placed in storage until the economy picked up again; and 3) a much
higher percentage of PRR boxcars were unserviceable (or in car shops or
dead lines) than those owned by foreign roads which were on the PRR.

The same thing happened on other roads - particularly when there was a
boxcar surplus which caused the home road percentage to sky rocket.

2. Was the home road percentage affected by the geographical area served?
For example, would it be different for a road like the Santa Fe, Southern,
or PRR that covered a large area or a wide range of customers than for a
road like the Maine Central or Monon that might have had a smaller area or
customer base but owned a similar or higher proportion of boxcars? (In
other words, if, say, the NYC and C&EI each had 45% boxcars in their fleet,
would their home road percentages likely be the same or different?)

A larger road like the ATSF, SOU and PRR owned a higher percentage of
the national boxcar fleet than smaller roads like the CIL and MEC, so
there was a built in bias - the PRR owned 9-10% of the national fleet
while the MEC owned about 0.4% meaning that, the PRR boxcars were 9
percent plus of the total boxcars on the PRR while the MEC's percentage
would be 0.4% plus. The "plusses" would include the effect of strategic
reserve, cars in storage or in car shops. How much those "plusses" were
on the overall home road percentages varied.
----- Original Message -----

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