Re: Santa Fe & PFE's-Erie Citrus Traffic - freight claims

Malcolm Laughlin <mlaughlinnyc@...>

In the light of attempts to draw conclusions from freight claims numbers, I thought it might be useful to post this note about how the system worked.

> The terminating road usually gets the blame for perishables (hence the name). They tend to spoil fastest towards the end of their runs and since most had been in transit for a week by the time PRR got them from the west coast, what else would you expect?

It didn't actually work that way. Damage claims were apportioned among the railroads in the route, IIRC in proportion to mileage, unless it was demonstrable that one railroad caused the damage, which was unusual except in the case of market loss claims. The claim had to be filed by the owner of the damaged goods, usually the consignee, and was processed by the railroad rendering the freight bill, acting as agent for all of the participating railroads. Naturally the largest railroad has the largest claims bill, but a big part of that is those claims allocated to it by other railroads. The only way that you can tell whether one did better than another on perishables is if you can get a ratio of claims payments for perishables to the revenue from perishables.

Percent of revenue was the usaul yardstick in the 60's.

Malcolm Laughlin, Editor 617-489-4383
New England Rail Shipper Directories
19 Holden Road, Belmont, MA 02478

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