Re: Cement Hoppers - Far Ranging or Mostly Home Road?

Malcolm Laughlin <mlaughlinnyc@...>

A few points that I haven't seen addressed explicitly in this thread.

a) Looking at a 200 mile radius, here are some marks that you would have a good chance of seeing on cement cars in Connecticut - L&NE, CNJ, NYC, B&M, D&H. Those are just the ones I'm sure of.

b) Covered hoppers were not general service cars. They were covered by an AAR special car order that required empty return via reverse route (on a "revenue form of waybill without charges"). They could be assigned or in pools. There were three possibilities (not saying no exceptions to the 3).

1. Customer assignment was the most common. Customers wanted an assured car supply and insisted on assigned cars. This would be likely for an isolated cement plant.

2. Agency pools existed where several users of a particular car type were at the same station. A railroad preferred an agency pool to specific assignments because utilization was often better. You might have found such a pool for DF cars or for covered hoppers, in the days before railroads had the computer capability needed for a system-wide pool. This would happen when one yard served several cement plants.

3. Unassigned controlled by the owning railroad. This required that the railroad have the capability to know where all such cars on its line were so that they could be efficiently distributed. An early example was when the NYC acquired its first 100 ton covered hoppers for grain service carrying only traffic shipped under a specific tariff. Those 100 cars were entered into the computer as a pool. The agricultural industry marketing manager got a daily report on their locations and told the covered hopper distributor in the transportation department which shippers could get them. In the case of the Flexi-Flo cement cars, There were several pools, one for southeastern Ohio, one for Selkirk and another that I forget. These cars were distributed under authority of the district transportation superintendent. It would be a rare occurence that an Ohio car would go as far east as a Selkirk car would go west since most cement moved around 200 to 300 miles. Less than 150
almost certainly went by truck (1960's).

c) The term "confiscated" is not something you would have heard AFAIK in the 50's or 60's. Here is a definition from wiki.

Confiscation, from the Latin confiscatio 'joining to the fiscus, i.e. transfer to the treasury' is a legal seizure without compensation by a government or other public authority. The word is also used, popularly, of spoliation under legal forms, or of any seizure of property without adequate compensation.

Obviously the word does not apply to appropriating a car for a load since it is not a seizure. And there is compensation. That's what per diem rates are about.

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

Join to automatically receive all group messages.