Re: DS/SS split, April 1949; CNW, GN, CB&Q

gn3397 <heninger@...>

--- In, Richard Hendrickson <rhendrickson@...> wrote:

On Aug 27, 2007, at 12:20 PM, toddsyr wrote:

Armand Premo wrote:

"Could it have been a concession to the on-line lumber industry?"

If I'm not mistaken, I read that very fact stated on this list at one
time. Makes sense to me.

Todd K. Stearns
No, Todd, you didn't see that stated as a fact here, you saw it stated
as an inference, which is not at all the same thing. It has often been
inferred (by myself as well as numerous others) that the GN persisted
in building wood sheathed box cars as a public relations gesture toward
its many timber shippers. However, I am not aware that any
documentation has turned up which confirms that inference. It makes
sense to me, too, but there's no hard evidence.

Richard Hendrickson

--- End forwarded message ---

I was one of those who speculated that GN was catering to online lumber interests in
continuing to order and rebuild DS boxcars. See message #29759 in the archives. A list
member had the kindness to forward my message to Jeff Koeller, who has researched
these cars, including examining the AFE documents, and states that there is no evidence
to suggest appeasement of the timber industry as a primary factor in the GN's decision. In
fact, he found that they cost the same as comparable steel cars, so economy doesn't seem
a plausible reason either. I would guess (warning! rampant speculation ahead!) that GN
had such a massive investment in DS construction, and had a shop force so familiar with
the maintenance of these cars, that they didn't see a need to change. I have heard rumors
of an article or articles about the GN 45000-52999 series being prepared, and perhaps
some new information will come to light.

As far as a comparison of lumber traffic between GN and NP, I am not aware of any
breakdown between the two roads. Both did a brisk business in hauling lumber, though.
On my layout, however, most of my GN DS boxcars will be hauling wheat!

Robert D. Heninger
Stanley, ND

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