Re: Frt Car Distribution, diversions, routing et al

John Hile <john66h@...>

--- In, "lstt100" <lstt100@...> wrote:

Shippers did specify routings but were not required to do so.
Shipper specified routings were more commonplace during the 40's and

Diversions were specified by the broker. Example would be
diversion lumber moving from Pacific Northwest

Following is from the "American Association of Railroad
Superintendents, Proceedings of the Fifty-Eighth Annual Meeting and
Committee Reports, 1954" and a discussion regarding efficient freight
car handling.

Among those in attendance at the Pacific Coast Post-Convention Meeting
were C. H. Grant, general superintendent of transportation, SP; L. P.
Hopkins, superintendent, SP; Grant S. Allen, superintendent, WP; Frank
Chase, superintendent, NYC; R. N. Whitman, superintendent, GN.

Part of their discussion regarding Rule 2...

MR. HOPKINS: We try to load them in the direction they belong, but we
have difficulty, and I imagine all other railroads have difficulty.
You put a car into an industry, he calls for a certain route, then
after he loads the car he changes his mind and sends it another route.
Rule 2 is out as far as he is concerned.

From an operating standpoint or competitive standpoint, you can't tell
this fellow you're not going to take that car, or you're going to
unload it, because he's going to send that car out in spite of
everything. I'm trying to make my statement as much from the facts as
we can. There isn't any sense in these railroad people who are
sitting here coming up and saying they literally comply with Rule 2,
because we know they don't. And we have much evidence of it in some
of our Northwest neighbors. I don't want to mention this fellow
Whitman (laughter), but we send automobiles up to Washington and the
automobile cars don't come back to us. They're loaded on a connecting
line and they don't move over our railroad. A car is ten days getting
back to our points in California where they would be back in three or
four days if they went by direct route.

MR. GRANT: I work out here and I think we have a condition in the
Pacific Northwest that is unlike anywhere else in the United States in
the handling of cars. We have up in this country what are known as
brokers in the handling of lumber. In some places they are referred
to as rollers. They buy cars of lumber without any market whatsoever
for them. They go out to a mill and buy a carload of green
two-by-fours or some particular kind of lumber, and they'll bill it to
some point - for instance, they'll go out and order a car for
Cleveland, Ohio. They know very well that they have no intention of
ever getting that car to Cleveland, Ohio, unless there's an unforeseen
act of God like and earthquake or something, but nevertheless they
bill the car to Cleveland, Ohio.

It isn't ten miles out of the terminal before they divert it, maybe to
Saskatchewan, or some other place. We have on our line many times 25,
30, 40 or 50 of these rollers running around and they lay in our
terminals for sometimes a month while waiting for diversion, or until
they get a sale. We're one of the worst offenders on violation of car
service rules, but it's due entirely to the lumber brokers.

We have it in Washington, we have it in Oregon, we have it in
California. We used to have 40 or 50 cars laying around at Gerber and
a lot of them in Sacramento, a lot in Bakersfield, and as far down as
Los Angeles. But I don't worry too much about it because we're really
not at fault.

The fellow comes in and puts in a firm car order, for a car for a
certain point. Naturally, we'll furnish a New York Central car.
Perhaps it's going to that point. But he's just as apt to turn around
and bill that car to Hollywood, Cal., and then we have to answer for
misuse of foreign equipment.

It's something we've fought for years and we just can't combat it, we
can't beat it. These fellows are just in the lumber market.

MR. ALLEN: You have the same thing with the hauling of other
commodities, canned goods and all that sort of thing.

MR. GRANT: It's not so bad.

MR. ALLEN: No, it's not so bad, lumber is the worst one.

MR. CHASE: We have the same situation in the East, and you have the
same situation on every railroad in the country. For instance, the
Reading right now has over six thousand cars of anthracite coal. It
is the same in all parts of the country, but it's a condition we live
with and do the best we can.

John Hile
Blacksburg, VA

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