Re: When Did Autoframes Start Moving to California?


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Jan 26, 2008, at 9:47 AM, gary laakso wrote:

I paid more attention this viewing of Mine Line Motion Picture's
Western Steam in 1940 DVD and in the sequence over Cajon Pass, from
the Santa Fe heavyweight passenger train there is a UP bullmoose
2-8-8-0 with a freight that includes a PRR gondola hauling auto
frames. The sequence is suppose to be from 1940, is that the time auto
frames started moving west? The other rare shots in the DVD include
AC-9s as coal burners, one in a yard and the other in a passing track.
Gary, the larger auto manufacturers had satellite assembly plants in
Southern California (and other parts of the country remote from
Detroit) as early as the 1920s, so the shipment of auto parts to those
assembly plants date to well before World War II, and there is
photographic evidence that some gondolas were equipped with auto frame
racks as early as the mid-1930s. The volume of auto parts traffic to
satellite assembly plants greatly increased after World War II, partly
because surplus factories built as part of the war effort were offered
by the federal government for pennies on the dollar. Also, the car
manufacturers found that it cost a lot less to ship parts to the south,
west coast, etc. and assemble them there than to ship fully assembled
automobiles. So in the late 1940s and 1950s long strings of auto frame
gondolas and other auto parts cars were seen in transcontinental
freight trains. However, that traffic certainly did exist on a smaller
scale before the war.

Richard Hendrickson

Join main@RealSTMFC.groups.io to automatically receive all group messages.