Re: Car travel

Russ Strodtz <railfreightcars@...>


A few points:

On the CB&Q all cars were supposed to move on individual waybills.
There were pads of "Slip Bills" available for empty cars and there was
only supposed to be one car on each slip bill. It was not considered
acceptable to use the waybills of whatever form received from the
connecting carrier. Only exception there would be tank cars or
similar moves.

I find your "System of Trust" rather interesting. I think we are talking
about exactly the same thing. The foundation of that "Trust" was that
if the GST's office put out instructions they would be followed. Isn't
that the way it was on the NYC?

Training of Yard Clerks? Who did that? All the training I ever got was
before I became an Employee. There was minimal on the job training.
Most of such training was simply instructions on how things were done
and an emphasis that everything needed to be done the same way it
was always done.

I will acknowledge that the policy of retaining all foreign 40ft box car,
(with a few special exceptions), gradually died off during the 60's.
That is beyond the scope of this group. The reason it died off was that
starting with the C&NW the Railroads finally "broke" the Grain Inspection
track system. In the case of the CB&Q at Cicero the two 120 car tracks
with a road between them was turned over to the Intermodal people who
badly needed space. As to the country elevators in Northern and Western
Illinois they now seldom loaded anything by rail. With the Grain Inspection
Track system gone they had to market their product in a different manner.
Now those branch lines are gone as are most of the elevators.

As to cars from Canada the NYC had direct connections with both
Canadian roads. The CB&Q did not.

You say you were involved in car distribution. Did you ever move empty
cars away from points where they could be loaded? Sounds like that is
what you are advocating.

What else can I say?


----- Original Message -----
From: "Malcolm Laughlin" <mlaughlinnyc@...>
To: <STMFC@...>
Sent: Thursday, 18 October, 2007 11:16
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Car travel

Posted by: "Russ Strodtz" I'd like to make a few commnets on Russ's post based on my recollections from the 60's when I was involved with car distribution.

> Rob, The flat statement was made that these cars were sent loaded or
back to Canada. I responded that that was not always the case and if
it was some kind of rule how was it implemented or enforced.

Looking right now at a record for CP 265790 on 19-Jul-59. This car
was loaded with glass bottles at Streator IL and is going to some
undetermined point on the CGW. It is difficult to see how that loading
and routing would get the car back to Canada.
Read Mr. Jackman's post on the subject.

It should be noted that the case mentioned was very unusual, and it was clearly illegal. Loading Canadian cars within the US was a violation of customs regulations and subject to federal penalties. For that reason most roads had strong policies about Canadian cars. On the NYC it was forbidden to load Canadian cars other than to or via Canada.

> It was not until the use of computers took over car distribution that
anyone paid very much attention to any "Rule".

This is absolutly false. Most railroads tried to observe car service rules and that was part of the training of every yard clerk. Before computers, it was an honor system that was effective most of the time. Of course there were numerous violations because it was next to impossible to detect most of them. But everyone knew that for the system to work overall, as it did, most times it had to be followed. In the 50's and 60's, before computers, much more of business was conducted on the basis of trust than is true today, and in those days you could trust people a lot more than today. That was a time when most people in the suburbs didn't lock their houses during the day.

> The "Clerks just issued empty waybills to Canada" was a rather feeble
attempt at some humor. I did not find it humorous.

> Yes, the Clerk, Agent, or Operator would hand write an empty waybill.
The destination on that waybill would conform to the current instructions
from the Transportation Department of the Railroad he/she worked for.

In my experience, use of waybills for empty general service cars was the exception on most railroads. Usually such cars were moved in accordance with car distribution orders on each railroad. There were general CD orders that said what to do with each kind of empty, by type and subtype and marks. The order might say to home route all surplus cars of a type or a group of marks. The only time a memo bill would be needed would be for an indirect connection car moving on record rights to indicate the off-line juntion for that car. BTW, suhc bills were not waybills in the legal sense, except for special equipment governed by CSD's. We called the memo bills. They might be simply an IBM card or other piece of paper that would be included in a stack of real waybills.

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

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