Re: Car Travel

Russ Strodtz <sheridan@...>


Has certainly been covered before in many ways. Have a fairly large
collection of interchange lists involving the CB&Q & IHB from 1959.
Have browsed hundreds of these. Will make a firm attempt to restrict
myself to what was happening then and there and not my own observations
from post 1960. Comments inserted:

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.

Not a lot of PRR cars in the mix when you take into consideration
their fleet size. Why? I can only speculate. It may have been
because their fleet was older and generally in poor condition
compared to many other roads. There is also the consideration
that the PRR did just about all of their own deliveries and
usually got their cars received directly, (with the exception
of perishables). Roads that heavily used the switching roads,
(B&OCT,BRC,IHB), should, in theory, have had more road name

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
>For example, would it be different for a road like the Santa Fe,
>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
>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
>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.

Tim Gilbert

Can not totally agree in that area. I think that foreign car
usage was more often related to the availability of empty car
outlets than fleet size. In other words a car without a "home"
in a particular area was likely to be perceived as a "free
runner" and used as such. In the records that I am using as a
basis there are TP, T&NO, and OSL cars being used out of
proportion to their fleet size percentages. Another common box
car in the Midwest was the BCK. They seemed to have a larger
fleet than they really needed and again, no logical home route.

While I know that I may get dissenting opinions on this issue
I do not know of any "rule" or policy that would require any
road to move empty common boxes to their home roads. This
created a floating group of "orphans" that anyone could use as
they saw fit.

SCO-90 was designed to correct this problem but I do not know
the year of it's inception. Even when I do know it existed the
application was, at best, spotty. It could be used to one road's
advantage and another's disadvantage. The various "good ole boy"
relationships would have to be taken into account. I could site
actual instances where those relationships moved towards open
hostility but that would be after 1960. Given human personalities
I would find it difficult to believe that such situations did not
exist before 1960 but can not site any examples.

Comments anyone?


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