Re: Freight car distribution

Bruce Smith

On Fri, August 8, 2008 7:44 pm, armprem1 wrote:
I would like to reopen the dialogue on freight car distribution.I am
aware that to some, it may have been discussed ad nauseam.I firmly
believe that we tend see more freight cars within their own region
than by size.What is your opinion?Armand Premo

First, it is probably not really appropriate to make such a broad
statement. We know that car distributions varied by type. Thus hopper
cars were far more likely to be home road and regional, while gons were
more likely to be regional and boxcars and flat cars were national in
distribution for much of the steam era. Reefers and tank cars followed
ownership distributions for the most part for originating loads, but were
widely distributed for terminating loads, especially for reefers. For
example, lettuce was still going to come in PFE reefers, even if you were
on an FGE road but the vast majority of produce originating on that road
would be in FGE/BRE/WFE owned cars.

For roads like the Rutland, you have to ask what it means to see lots of
NYC and PRR boxcars? This should not be taken to necessarily mean a
regional bias, since these were two of the largest fleets in the nation.
The question has to be were these cars present in greater numbers than
indicated by their percentage in the national fleet because of the
Rutland's proximity to these roads? Almost of the data presented here
over the years by Tim Gilbert and others has indicated quite clearly that
boxcars were present (with the exception of home road) in percentages that
resemble the national percentages on just about every road in the country,
thus putting the concept of home road and regional preference in boxcars
firmly into the category of modeler's fantasy.

Note that this DOES NOT apply to individual trains, as our ertswhile list
owner will no doubt point out with his "SP Forwarder" example... They
apply to fleets.


Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL

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