Re: Santa Fe & PFE's-Erie Citrus Traffic - nastiness award, to Tony Tthompson

Malcolm Laughlin <mlaughlinnyc@...>

I admire your cynicism, Malcolm, but I really doubt this was
dominant. Yes, schmoozing was a factor, but performance mattered to

It's not cynicism. It' was a well known fact that railroad freight salesmen used their entertainment budgets to buy traffic. Salesment for the south Shore were reputed to have the largest expense account in the industry.

> those cargoes were perishable, remember. Of course, I realize YOUR
anecdotes are much more reliable than those of senior people at PFE.

I didn't offer any anneccdotes on reliability

That may have been their impression, but I know that in the case of
the NYC it was false. In the 50's and 60's we may not have been as
good as the Erie, but not for lack of trying. Don't know about PRR,
but wouldn't be surprised.
I don't know that PFE people were very interested in whether
NYC was trying or not--they just talked about performance.

If the service was as bad as you like to think, perishables wouldn't have been a major part of NYC's eastbound traffic out of Chicago and St. Louis.

You've also said that NYC didn't care about providing service for that traffic. That may have been the opinion of of managers at PFE, but that doesn't make it true. It's common in railfan circles to claim that a railroad doesn't care about something because of some perceived problem. But that's often untrue. the opinion of one group of people outside that company doesn't make it true.

NYC's service to the early morning produce market in 1949 was a 3:00 pm cutoff on the IHB 60 hours previously. By 1960 it was down to 48 hours. Hardly not trying. Also the NYC built its icing facility at Wayneport in that era.

I knwo that in the 60's we did quite well on service from Chicago to Boston and New York. The Erie was soemwhat better but not so much as to justify the implication that Erie service was good and NYC was bad. Maybe the PFE people were thinking about service to intermediate points which was much more problematiic.

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

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