Re: Freight car distribution - photo bias situation

Malcolm Laughlin <mlaughlinnyc@...>

Here's another note of discord.

Photos are also biased evidence. You can’t tell which are equipped box cars. To give one example of the bias introduced, consider auto parts cars. These were assigned to parts plants by each railroad in some kind of proportion to revenue received. There was no requirement to consider ownership in loading them. These cars would tend to appear on all railroads serving the auto industry in proportion to ownership. Another such fleet would be DF cars assigned to General foods and other large grocery manufacturers. This was less so in the 40’s than in the 60’s, use of equipped cars having been an increasing trend over several decades.

The auto parts traffic would tend to make lines between parts plants and assembly plants have observed box car marks closer to the national proportion than would other lines.

Malcolm Laughlin, Editor 617-489-4383
New England Rail Shipper Directories
19 Holden Road, Belmont, MA 02478

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