Re: Freight car distribution

Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

Tim O'Connor writes:

"I have a logical explanation."

Uh oh.

"Not every UP freight on Sherman
Hill served the same purpose."

Absolutely. This has been very clear to me since I analyzed my frt conductor's book. It is interesting to note that UP was apparently not classifying eastbound trains in Wyoming. The data shows cars bound for Laramie or Cheyenne to be placed randomly [?] in the train. Some eastbound trains appear to have significant blocks of cars grouped as they arrived from SP tracks at Ogden. Westbound trains, OTOH, appear more blocked which probably reflects the fact that North Platte was the major classification point on the UP east/west trunk line.

"Some were locals."

No. UP did not run local frt trains west of Cheyenne in Wyoming. They did run a train to/from the ballast mines at Buford and Granite but we have very strong data that shows that UP used through frt trains to load/unload frt at points on Sherman Hill.

"Some were headed
to the PNW."

Yes, about 15% went on the cutoff through Granger to Pocatello, ID.

"Some were headed to Denver, or Kansas."

Yes.

"And SOME were
blocked cars collected for return to the SP."

Referring to westbound trains.

"Does this seem odd
to you?"

Nope.

"There were just 3 other class 1's in California besides
the UP, and 1 of them was the most dominant railroad there --
the SP. Considering that the SP turned over 1,000 cars a day
over to the UP at Ogden, why does it seem unexpected to you that
the UP might want to expedite empty "return to owner" blocks at
times?"

Nope. Makes sense.

"The SP probably turned over all kinds of PRR and C&NW and
LS&I and SLSF and SAL cars at Ogden too, but LOGIC would say
that those would not be "returned when empty" to the SP."

Makes sense. OTOH, the trains with many more SP box cars present are eastbounds with loaded SP box cars.

"As I
said before, you keep beating this SP horse to death."

Well...the ol' nag won't die so I just keep swinging...

"SP was
essential to the Overland Route in your era -- it was basically
a joint operation. And to help you out, the connections at Omaha
were 7 -- C&NW/CMStP&O, MILW, CRI&P, CB&Q, CGW, WABASH, and IC."

You missed Mopac. I like the Mopac lettering. And Mopac hoppers found their way to Laramie [ oh...noooo ].

These 7 fought over the tidal wave of traffic the UP terminated
at Omaha/Council Bluffs -- and a good part of that wave was
coming from the SP. Does it seem odd to you that the UP would
have blocks of cars for its eastern connections?"

No. OTOH, I'm not seeing blocked eastbound cars in trains in Wuyoming. OK, here's a randomly picked [ Oh, nooo ] eastbound train. Cars are headed east in this order:

Gering, NE
Rock River, WY
Laramie
Chian [ Cheyenne ]
"
"
Laramie
Chian
Laramie
Omaha
Chian
Laramie
"
"
"
"
"
Gering, NE
Omaha
Denver
Laramie
"
Council Bluffs
Denver
"
"
Council Bluffs
Omaha
"
Council Bluffs
Omaha
Council Bluffs
Norfolk,NE
Sidney,NE
"
"
"
"
Denver
Kansas City
Chian
East [ 7 cars ]
etc.

"Maybe you should study UP classification yards instead. I've seen
diagrams that show tracks marked for railroad ABC or XYZ -- the UP
probably held cars for the Milw@Omaha or SP@Ogden (etc) on
specific classification tracks. And it probably cleaned out those
tracks daily, or twice daily -- resulting in (surprise!) blocks of
cars that were not random at all."

As I said, UP apparently did not block cars on eastbounds through Ogden-Laramie. Blocking may have occurred prior to that but it is clear that in 1949 eastbound trains were not blocked. Another example shows for 7 cars, every other one going to Kansas City or Omaha. Another shows cars bound for Denver interspersed with those bound for Chian and Laramie. Here's a strange one. 15 cars destined for Laramie followed by one headed to Chian followed by 7 going to Chian. For eastbounds, Fraley wrote down the city destination or mile marker. For westbounds, UP assigned numbers to destinations [ see UP Manifest and Perishable Train Schedules, Schedule 6 ]. Thus, 1 was SP through Ogden, 1B was Forwarder merchandise for SP at Ogden, 2 through Ogden north, 3 through Ogden to SLC, 4 south of SLC, 5 through Granger north, 6 northwest of Pocatello through Granger, 7 Chian to Ogden, 8 Denver, etc. These are not tracks. There's a video showing the yardmaster at Council Bluffs or North Platte showing cards with the numbers and the attacment to frt cars.

">Tim wasn't wrong. The theory simply fails for the data that we
have for the Overland Route.
"Fail" is too vague. YOUR data does not directly demonstrate the
proportional distribution theory. But dare I say it, Sherman Hill
is not the only place in the railroad world."

You're kidding again, right?

"And your data is
not proven to be representative or typical of the UP either. So
why should anyone rely on it?"

No one should. Note that I have never said that it should be relied on...unless one is modeling Chian to Ogden. However, as I noted as well, if one is modeling a similar scenario, like SP-SSW, SP-RI, NP-CB&Q, GN-CB&Q, a similar situation might be present.

I'm going to analyze my 1956 data and we'll see what that shows. Fortunately for other members on the group, it will probably take me 5 yrs to do it.

Mike Brock

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