Re: Speaking of private car rosters


Dave Nelson asks:
As it appears it was a smart move to form all of the reefer and tank car
companies, why didn't other car types and commodities get addressed this way
too? Fer instance, 50' boxcars with auto racks (or in later years, the
autorack cars). Or plain jane coal hoppers running between Gary Indiana and
the Pocohontas coal belts? Or any covered hopper? Or depressed flatcar?
Superficially at least, it appears these situations are not far off of
reefers from California -- loaded one way and returned empty.
So why wasn't it done?
Dave, I think the specialized nature of tank car and reefer traffic had
inhibited railroads from wanting to own very big fleets, so private owners
tended to do the job, and got the attractive boost of the mileage payments
instead of per diem. But this didn't and doesn't apply to "plain jane coal
hoppers" or most any other car type.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2942 Linden Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail,
Publishers of books on railroads and on Western history

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