Re: Freight car distribution

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>

Armand Premo wrote:
While I must admit that I am more familiar with roads in New England, but by observing freight yard photos of other areas of the country I have concluded that there is the strong likelihood that I will not see as many Pennsy cars (of all types) in Los Angles as I will in Boston or more UP cars in Omaha than in Baltimore.
We have indeed discussed this at considerable length before, Armand, and possibly you were not on the list for that period. (You can consult list archives very usefully.) But Tim Gilbert, Dave Nelson and others analyzed data exhaustively from many sources, and all pointed to the same conclusion: the national (yes, national, not regional) distribution of free-running cars like box cars is that of the proportions of the car fleets. In other words your conclusion is wrong, on the average.
As Mike Brock correctly points out, this does not necessarily tell us anything about an individual TRAIN, nor about a specialized yard which might be serving a specific industry with assigned cars. But it does tell us about regional differences. In effect, it shows that the system of free-running cars nationally really DID have them running freely.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
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