Malcolm Laughlin <mlaughlinnyc@...>
Posted by: "Rob Kirkham" > Given the assertion (and I doubt any will argue it) that the ORER lists
would include equipment that was not really available for service - whether
retired or in storage or ....
Note the change in topic heading. Listing a car not effectively in active service was not an inaccuracy.
The intent of the ORER was not to proivde a list of cars in use. It's primary purpose was as a tariff in which all of the information about a car perinent to the calculation of a rate could be found. Secondly, it was a reference source in which could be found dimensional and other data on a specific car. There was no intent that the ORER be usable for obtaining counts of particualr types of cars in service.
We have an asymetric situation here. It was mandatory for a car in revenue service to be listed in the ORER. In the absence of a listing, there would be cases in which a rate using the car could not be determined. There was no need for a listed car to ever be in service.
Railroads listed a car when it was known that it might be put into service. That might be when the car was ordered from the manufacturer, on advice that it was being built, at the time of shopping for conversion, or some later time, but ALWAYS in advance if going in service. With 40's and 50's data processing and communications capabilities, a railroad couldn't know within days or weeks, maybe months when a car was going to go into service. And there was the publication lead time. So, of necessity, a large number of cars was listed on a prospective basis.
At the other end of the life cycle, a car stayed in the ORER as long as there was any, however remote, prospect of it getting into revenue service.
The percentage of cars listed that were in active service could vary as a result of the level of acquisitions and removals as well as the management style of the railroad.
Malcolm Laughlin, Editor 617-489-4383
New England Rail Shipper Directories
19 Holden Road, Belmont, MA 02478